I flew down Saturday afternoon, went to the Expo on Sunday and had a great afternoon. We took a Limo out to a friend’s (ESG) house and had a great pre-race lunch. The Limo then brought us back to Boston. I was staying with a good friend that let me stay in his rent house the whole time I was there. We made dinner and got all of our stuff ready for the next morning. We got up early and TTM, ESG, Kfox and I drove to the buses at the finish line. We caught a bus to the athlete’s village. We setup our spot where all our friends could come join us. Before you knew it we were getting on our shoes (Brooks Green Silence), loading up our GUs’ and putting Body Glide on. We then started walking to the starting line. We dropped off our bags at bag check and made the .7 mile walk to the start. People were running off left and right to hit the port-a-pottys one last time. I was just staying as calm as possible as I made my way up to corral #5. Ten minutes before the start I removed all of my throw away shirts as it was 48 degrees, very little wind and sunny.
Mile 1 - 7:03 (Hopkinton) I was right on pace. I stayed on the left side of the road as this side did not have a guard rail (Thanks for the heads up Jayna) and a little more room. This mile is downhill and very easy to get a fast start. If not for the crowd I could have easily ran .20 sec faster. After about a half mile on the left side of the road there were tons of guys peeing in the trees.
Mile 2 - 6:55 another easy downhill mile but still real crowded.
Mile 3 - 6:50 (Ashland) there was a split in the road and I stayed on the left hand side which was a mistake as the road curved right. This added some distance to my race but it allowed me to pass tons of slow people. I took my first GU at 3.5 miles.
Mile 4 - 6:54
Mile 5 - 6:58 First mile with net uphill but just barely. These miles were rolling and would take their toll by the end.
Mile 6 - 6:55 more rolling hills but this was a net down.
Mile 7 - 6:59 still felt like I was holding back and this was very easy. In this mile my friend Steve Henderson came up behind me and then ran with me for a while. I knew he was shooting for sub 3 so I told him to have a great race. We stayed together for about a mile but then I let him go. He really helped to keep my pace up.
Mile 8 - 7:03
Mile 9 - 7:03 Took second GU and second drink of water. I was hoping to hydrate just enough but not too much in this race. I was grabbing two cups with my GUs.
Mile 10 - 7:02
Mile 11 - 7:06 these miles were flat and still rolling. Not too many true flat miles on this course. I was now starting to learn how technical this course is. You need to go easy on the up hills and fast on the down hills without trashing your quads.
Mile 12 - 6:50 we hit Wellesley here. I have always heard of the girls of Wellesley and how they will kiss you if you stop. They were on the right and I stayed to the left to stay out of the crowd. It lasted maybe a 1/3 of a mile or more. They were screaming so loud with tons of great “Kiss ME” signs. I was very overwhelmed by so many women yelling for us runners. After we got thru them and it got silent again I turned to some guys and said “I feel like I should smoke a cigarette now”. I got no reaction. I guess it was just funny to me. So I sped off to get away from their bad personalities.
Mile 13 - 6:49 I hit the halfway point at 1:31:06. 13 seconds ahead of my plan. I felt very strong at this point. I kept thinking every mile that I felt better than I did at the same place of my last marathon. I was thinking the first half put sub 3 out of your mind and run your race. This is a positive split course and I knew what kind of shape I was in.
Mile 14 - 7:06
Mile 15 - 7:09 took my 3rd GU and drink of water here
Mile 16 - 6:51 this was the last downhill mile before the hills. I was thinking light on my feet and recover for the hills. I kept thinking of all the hill work I had done every Wednesday morning.
Mile 17 - 7:14 First Newton hill which was very long but nothing I wasn’t prepared to run. My pace was just a few seconds fast on this hill so I felt good.
Mile 18 - 7:23 Second Newton at fire station and I was a little tired on this one but just about right on pace for the first 2 hills.
Mile 19 - 7:10 this mile was a little downhill and should have been a little faster but I was just recovering from the first 2 hills.
Mile 20 - 7:22 john Kelly Statue, hill #3. I lost about 10 seconds here but still felt ok.
Mile 21 - 7:32 Heartbreak hill and I was only about 5 sec slow here. I felt very strong and I past a hundred+ people on this hill. This hill seamed shorter than the others but it is probably more known for being the last hill. Took my 4th GU and drink of water here
Mile 22 - 7:10 here is where I was suppose to hit the gas and get fast again. My energy level was very good but my legs were sore and hard to turn over. I lost another 20 seconds this mile.
Mile 23 - 7:30 this should have been a much faster mile as it was downhill. Somehow I lost 30 seconds here.
Mile 24 - 7:11 Recovered a little here. Still passing tons of people each mile. This mile seemed very quiet. Where did the crowd go?
Mile 25 - 7:18 so tons of people here yelling like crazy. I didn’t realize it at the time but I learned later that there are tons of hecklers on the course. They were yelling at people walking. The hills and the competition of this race will claim a lot of runners.
Mile 26 - 7:24 the last two miles I spent too much time doing bad math trying to figure out where I would finish in this race. My calculation had me anywhere from 3:06-:10 and no PR.
Mile 26.2 - 6:35 saw the finish line and started to sprint. Passing tons of people. Once I saw my watch hit 3:06 I let off the gas just a little and enjoyed the finish.
Total - 3:06:16 PR
Finished 2052 out of 22,500 runners. 280th in my age group
This was probably closer to my “B” goal time but I knew on this course that was a strong possibility. I am super excited to get a 3:20 PR on a course that is probably 90 seconds tougher than Houston. It was nice to have energy the last 5 miles and not feel like I was going to die down the stretch. My legs were very sore down the stretch and I just had to keep pushing it and telling myself ‘How much pain can you handle”. I was also a little careful because I didn’t want to pull something. I was passing many people walking with tight muscles. My training for this marathon was similar in mileage, 70 mile weeks and 85 mile peek week as in the past but the quality was a little higher. I had lots of MP miles in the long runs. I plan to continue that in future cycles as well as adding more core, stretching and strength work.