Today, after school, I have my final California pre-Boston Marathon training run. My next and final run will be Saturday, in Boston probably down the famous Paul Revere Trail to the Boston Commons or by the Charles River, either one is spectacular in the Spring. Then it is game time!
So here is my plan:
First, you take a bus out to Athlete's Village at Hopkington High School where you will sit under a massive tent or in the open on the grass. So my first plan is to take a small, fold up chair that I can discard before the race. I learned the hard way a few years ago that the ground can be very, very cold up there. I will also wear multiple layers of clothing to keep me warm for the few hours you must sit around and wait.
Once the race starts, I plan on being patient and go easy. Usually, I am really good to start slowly but at Boston it is so hard to hold back. You are starting on a downhill and everyone starts so fast that you almost get "caught up" in the moment and want to run fast too. I did it once and blew my race up!!! So I plan on doing my first 10K very slow.
After the first 10K, I will gradually pick up the pace ever so slightly. Still don't want to sabotage my race. The tough stuff is ahead.
At the half-way point I will pick it up again. This time it will be easy to get a little bit faster (almost too easy and can get you moving too fast again). The half-way point is at Wellesely College and the massive amounts of girls that come out to cheer is mind-boggling and ear shattering. My first time I was shocked and amazed that you could actually hear the cheers from a half-mile away! Once there the sheer thrill and excitement carry you through like you are floating on air.
After that it will be maintenance. I will maintain that new pace for the next 3-4 miles. Then we get to the hills of Newton. Here I will pan my attack. If I am feeling it, I plan on attacking the hills since hill running is one of my very few strengths. I will use a short stride with a quick turn-over and get up the hills fairly easily.
Once get past the top of Heartbreak Hill I will take it easy down the backside (fairly steep decline) into Cleveland Circle. Once on the flats, I will try and emulate what I did at LA and really pick up the pace. I hope I am feeling good from saving my legs early on and can "get up and go" at this point.
I can visualize the wall of people you run through on the way into downtown Boston. I can visualize the infamous Citgo sign telling you that you are almost there. I can visualize running down Commonwealth Ave, and I can visualize the most amazing turn in all sports, the turn onto Boylston Street. From here it will be a straight, half mile shot to the finish. I can see myself finishing.
Finally, I can visualize myself walking past the finish line, medal in hand, and seeing my wife on the side waiting for me. The best will be when I can give her a big hug and kiss and tell her in her ear "I DID IT!".