113th Boston Marathon
April 20, 2009
After much debate, I made what turned out to be a really good clothing call: my favorite Adidas running shorts, long sleeve poly shirt with my club singlet over, Wrightsock double layer socks, string gloves and some well worn Adrenaline GTS 7’s.
Bagel and OJ at home, another bagel on the bus to Hopkinton, a banana in the field, much Gatorade and water. Probably started a little light – might have eaten a bit more before leaving home.
My 6th Boston and 10th marathon overall was a personal worst: 26.2 miles in 4:14:16 – 9:42 avg.
Evaluation against goals:
Perhaps an omen… 2:30 AM the night before the race… The batteries in one of our carbon dioxide detectors go low. It starts to beep, the dog starts to bark, I’m trudging downstairs to get a ladder from the garage to get the thing down. Of all nights!
Stay under 9’s
I started out with Natasha in the unsorted throngs from the time-waved entry corrals. We bobbed and weaved and passed and were passed by many as the field tried to spread out. I made a detour into the woods after a couple of miles and urged Nat to run on to her faster goal (she’d finish with a nice 3:45!) while I trudged along. Thos first few miles were kinda slow – coming through the 5k mark at 9:21 pace.
As the crowd began to thin, I seemed to find the 9 min mile rhythm. Cruised through Framingham and the Wellesley screams and, by the half way point, was on-plan. Crossed 13.1 in 1:59:06 but knew that wasn’t going to last. No real pain – jus didn’t have the speed in my legs. I refocused on the primary goal, having fun, and began to high-five more kids, chat with more runners, and focus on just running steady.
I got to the hills as we turned the corner at the fire station (mile 16) and could feel my pace dropping. I started walking the water stops to make sure I grabbed both a cup of water and a cup of Gatorade, mixed them, and tried to drink the whole thing. I was happy that, albeit slowly, I ran up every hill – no walking except the length of the water stop tables.
I continued my slowing but steady pace down through Cleveland Circle and toward the ever-retreating Citgo sign. I was still running – just not so quick. I paused to greet my family just after mile 25 and knew I had it in the bag. 4:00 was well out the window but I was sure I could pull in under 4:15.
I go under the final underpass and turn onto Hereford street and I start to feel the first twitches in my calves. I change up the stride a bit and keep them at bay. I make the final turn unto Boylston street and can see the finish line ahead. I’ve got more than 4 minutes to go the final 600 yards and I figure I can do this! And then… The knives to the calves strike – are you kidding me? Now? But it’s right there! I hobble a bit, break stride a few times, but manage to cross the line with 44 seconds to spare. It’s a victory!!
Then the fun part of the race…
Met up with friends (Monica(5:50), Mike(2:45), Adam(5:04), Cheryl, and Thor(3:02)) for a few 12oz carbo reloads. Now THAT is the way to finish a great day!