Boston Marathon Recap

A week ago the On ZAP Endurance team took to the streets of Boston with high expectations. Training had gone well. Team spirit was high coming off the personal bests Whitney Macon and Tristin Van Ord had run a week earlier in Rotterdam. The weather outside may have been ideal, but there was a perfect storm brewing for the ZAP team.

These are not the recaps we want to write. We know so many of you have supported this team and were rooting for them in Boston last week (thank you!), and we wanted to let you know how it played out.

If you’ve followed some of the updates over the last few weeks you knew that Josh Izewski had dealt with some small issues throughout the buildup. The issues were varied, but in the final 2 weeks leading into the race his left knee had been giving him trouble. Arriving in Boston it was still not feeling 100%, but in his pre-race run the day before the race it loosened up throughout the run and felt good after a few strides. So we went into Monday cautiously optimistic, hoping that as he warmed-up the knee would loosen up. Unfortunately for Josh, it didn’t play out that way. Just past 10k he started to have some sharp pains in his knee that got progressively worse, and he made the decision to step off the course just before halfway.

In the opening miles Josh was running with teammate Andrew Colley. After an opening 5k of 15:33, Andrew cruised through 10k in 30:38, splitting 15:15 from 5k to 10k. Andrew was on his own at that point and continued to be through halfway, which he passed in 1:05:36, and up the Newton Hills. Cresting the hills and feeling relatively strong, Andrew suddenly began to lose sensation in his arms and his peripheral vision. He stopped at the medical tent at 20 miles where they performed an EKG. The EKG came back abnormal, although he was eventually cleared to leave the tent. He is currently working through medical care here in Blowing Rock to find out more information. He is feeling good and has been cleared for light running, but not for hard training.

Joanna was on pace for an Olympic Trials qualifying mark through the opening miles. But by mile 8 she began to struggle with her breathing, an unusual and alarming development early in the race. She was able to gut through mile 18 before having to pull into a medical tent to receive treatment. She was also cleared and is feeling back to herself a few days after the race.

We are still in the process of understanding everything that went wrong last week, and certainly the shadow of Covid (and Tyler’s withdrawal from the race due to lingering effects of it) looms over our thoughts. But we should know more in the coming days and weeks that will help us develop the next steps moving forward.

It was a disappointing day and a stark reminder of how humbling the marathon can be. There’s no way around the fact that it’s a brutal practice to train hard for months and have a race not come together on the day. The marathon can be savage that way. You can’t regroup and try it again next week. One of the things that makes the marathon so emotionally charged is the finite nature of the opportunity, the high stakes game of pushing all your chips into the center of the table.

Even when you bust it’s still important to remember that the long-term gains come from the training, not the race. Each of the athletes who toed the line elevated themselves during the build-up. They did some things in training that were better than they had done before. And that is what they’ll build off of the next time out. We don’t know exactly what that will be for everyone yet. The recovery process is still playing out, but we’ll share that with you all once we have those conversations.

ZAP Coaching Recap

Believe it or not there were more than the 3 ZAP athletes racing last week. In an effort to end this recap on a high note and to recognize some awesome performances, we wanted to highlight some other great performances last Monday.

ZAP Coaching clients had 10 athletes racing. Collectively they came away with 4 outright personal bests and 10 Boston qualifying marks!

  • Torrie Edwards, PBBQ
  • Scott Sanoff, PBBQ
  • Kate Sanborn, BQ (29th overall)
  • Ken Shelton, PBBQ
  • Tim Meigs, BQ (4th AG)
  • Erica Brecher, PBBQ
  • Ellen Moss, BQ
  • Kimberlie Meeker, BQBoston Best
  • Conny Pritchard, BQBoston Best
  • Eric Johnson, BQBoston Best

Congratulations to the ZAP Coaching clients for crushing it and going 10 for 10 on BQ marks! And congratulations to all of the ZAPNation runners who competed on Monday. Despite it being a challenging day for the On ZAP Endurance team it was wonderful to see many of you over the course of the weekend and at our shakeout run on Sunday morning. Celebrate the accomplishment and look forward to even better things to come!

P.S. I am not European, but I am spearheading the transition from PR to PB. Nobody says “my personal record in the marathon is…” Everyone uses the phrase “personal best.”. So why are we using PR as the abbreviation? (And this is with all due respect and love to Pete Rea, who’s joke, “You know what makes it easier to PR? … When you’re coached by PR!” will be far less relevant. Sorry Pete.) Join me in restoring sanity to our abbreviated runner lingo!