The goal: a 2:48 or at least break my masters PR of 2:49:13 from 2007. 2007 also last my marathon run. A sense of uncertainty loomed. But, not to overrule a hint of confidence, for having run the marathon many times faster it was certainly an achievable goal.
Not so fast, February I failed to run the marathon distance in Hyannis at an 8:00/mile pace, having to walk \run the last 10K. Later in March my half-marathon time was a 1:23:26 predicting the marathon to be 2:55:58, but, not necessarily on the Boston course. It was the beginning of March that Boston Marathon training resumed picking up from the first week of January.
I'll count my blessings as five weeks is not enough preparation for Boston! An extremely supportive family, a God given talent, a strong desire to achieve a goal and mental training are all a tribute to this year's journey.
So, how was the race?
Drive to Boston ($27 parking), take a bus to Hopkinton (couldn't wait to get off that bus), limber up and in the corral for the national anthem and F-15 flyover. Note, several key mental training factors here, one my wife also ran the race so being together right up to the start helped, second is being able to blend "Saving Private Ryan" symbols (national anthem, military flyover) and WWII GI struggles and sacrifices.
1. 6:32 -2:48 not achievable at this pace for a downhill mile, passed by 100s
2. 6:11 -a little too far in the other direction, chill out
3. 6:17 -starting to get to the sweet spot. 5K -19:40 -okay let's go for sub 20:00 minutes every 5K
4. 6:16 -still going downhill
5. 6:34 -first "real" hill
6. 6:23 -runners starting to thin and get their paces. 10K -39:36 on target
7. 6:23 -ugly but loveable section as its flat, tuck in behind to avoid the wind, poor group formation, took gel in prep for hill
8. 6:35 -another hill cruising. 15K -59:41 still under by 19 seconds.
9. noisy Natick
11. maybe a 22:11 as I must've bumped the watch taking off the gloves, sun warming.
12. reset the watch, lost time waddling. 20K -1:19:49 11 seconds under, gloves back on, looked for friends at 4, 9, 10, 12, did the cold\wind\economy keep them away?
13. 6:29 -reset the watch, screaming tunnel a bit much, they are over the top. 1:24:13 Half. Can I negative split? It would be my first but up for the challenge and feeling good.
14. 6:27 -that's the way!
15. 6:38 -reality sets in, this is work. 25K -lost 5 seconds
16. 13:03 -hill climbing over Route 128 takes alot of runners back
17. 6:41 -the "meat and potatoes" you gotta have strength for the Newton Hills. 30K -lost 24 seconds
18. 6:27 -watched teammate pass me and drink Coca-Cola, later catch but unable to hold
19. 6:44 -JK hill its more work
20. 7:00 -Heartbreak, dig deep work hard. 35K -lost 51 seconds, this hurt
21. 6:30 -easy on the hill down BC, glanced at gravestones
22. 6:36 -losing focus, feeling the tiredness. Cleveland Circle the Army troops are line marching with full packs, flashback to young faces sacrificing themselves in honor of our great country in WWII.
23. 6:22 -regained a new breath, focus and relaxation. 40K -lost 11 seconds
24. 6:31 -push it or you won't get there
25. ? one mile to go was 2:42:00? did it really take eight minutes on the last mile?
Finish 2:50:24 at a 6:30/mile average. Second Half 1:58 slower. 2:42:12 Age Graded Time.
Temperature ~45 with 10-20 mph head winds. Post-race massage along with immediate fluid hydration. I recall walking with the volunteer, after catching my breath, asking for water.
As I write this the legs and energy are better than any Boston I have ever ran. In the race its a matter of keep pushing to the redline point, never broaching, push your limit, reserve to the end to endure the course. The downhills were light not heavy and fast. But, this now good feeling leaves me wondering should I have taken a greater risk?
1 -Sudbury Resident
7 -Masters in Massachusetts
19 -BAA Runner
6 -BAA Masters Team
Amazingly Kyle posted another marathon PR. Congratulations!
Thanks to all for reading and your well wishes; maybe we'll see you here next year!