Wow, where do I begin? I could go on for days and days about ever aspect of the race- from the overall atmosphere in Boston to the crowds along the course. The entire event was absolutely amazing and the second I stepped off the plane I realized why I, and so many others, work their butts off to get to Boston.
But let's talk about the race itself. Going in I had doubts, and those were compounded by the fact that on Saturday and Sunday, my lower back seized up so bad I couldn't stand up straight and had to stop every 10-20 feet to bend over and stretch out my back. I spent a lot of time on my hotel floor rolling out on tennis balls and lying flat on the floor with my legs up on the wall, perpendicular to the floor. My injuries leading up to the race, my under-trained racing legs, and the possibility of rain all were weighing on my mind.
Marathon Monday. I got up, it was cold 35-40 and windy. I went to athletes village to wait out in the open for 2 hours before the race. I was cold, my So Cal blood can't handle that crap. Anyways, I was mentally going over the race plan I had posted earlier. I really wanted to stick to it.
So the race finally starts and here I am, after 23 months of hard work and waiting for this day, I am scared to start. I am scared to let everyone down that is counting on me to do well. I am scared I will disappoint my wife whom traveled with me and was hoping I would happy with my time. As I get to the starting line (3:00 off the gun time) I slowly get into my slow run. I am going to stay with plan of starting easy for teh first 10 miles. Man did I feel like an ass. EVERYONE passed me! It is one thing to go easy at a marathon and have a few people pass you that you know are fools, but to be at THE Boston Marathon all these fast, fit people pass you like you are walking. But, I stuck to my plan. It just made me feel less like a runner and even a little out of place.
The first 10-11 miles were on pace and I almost felt bored going at that pace. Then mile 12. I get excited that Wellesley is approaching, just like everyone else. And that is just what I needed and planned. I get the boost I need from the girls and my legs and head feel better. I am followin my plan. I use the energy to get me to mile 15-16. Here I decided to put on my Ipod and hit the hills. I maintain my same pace up and over all the hills, which is really tough considering you are at mile 17, 18, 19 going up fairly steep hills.
After the peak of Heartbreak Hill, I am feeling good but tired. I know I can hang on for a respectable time. However, some quick math tells me that I could re-qualify for Boston if I picked the pace up and eliminate 5 minutes. I think about and realize that I am better to just keep a good pace then to run really hard and maybe blow up and not finish strong.
I keep on chugging along and I start to feel it at mile 24. I just need to hold on until mile 25 then I know that I can get it done. Sure enough I get to mile 25 and now I know I am home free. The legs are feeling lifted by the thousands of people out cheering. It is 10 deep on each side! It is so loud for the last mile you can't think- which takes away all the pain. Once I see the final right turn before the famous "left onto Boylston" I start to smile. Others are grimicing in pain and I am smiling my ass off. I see the Convention Center, make my left on Boylston and boom! there is the finish line all big and beautiful. 800 meter celebration run. Wave, smile, wave, smile... then cross the most historic and memorable finsih line in the history of our sport.
My final time- 3:22:25 . For all I had beenthrough I am blown away with my time. I couldn't be happier.
I actually ran a slight negative split for that course amazing!