It’s probably too soon to fully appreciate what I did today but I wanted to write about it while it was fresh in my mind. Today I completed my first Boston Marathon. I ran it in 3 hours, 6 minutes and 29 seconds. That time is just over a minute faster than my Qualifying time that I ran in the Disney Marathon. This is weird. Before 2009 I was just an ex and fairly casual college runner. Now I can legitimately say that I run marathons. Kind of cool, I think.
Boston was totally different from Disney but really great for a number of reasons. Starting in a small town 26.2 miles outside Boston it meanders through parts of 8 towns in Massachusetts before ending on Boylston street. Some highlights:
1) Little kids watching with their parents who hand out oranges, water or just try to get a high-five from you. Very Cute.
2)The sheer noise of the Wellesley college girls. I knew it was coming and I could literally hear their roar as I approached. For a good quarter-mile theer is a sheer wall of screaming, crazy, college girls leaning over the barrier, cheering you on. Add in the noise of the crowds in Boston and it is pretty surreal.
3) I high fived a guy in a chicken costume on the side of the road and ran by Santa and a few elves later on. Also late in the race I ran past a guy dressed as Captain America, complete with a shield.
My ultimate goal, sub 3 hours, was not met, but in terms of pure effort I am amazed at what I did. My performance was vintage me. I ran the same pace for about 15 miles, running even and fairly strong. I picked it up on a downhill mile and then slowed on the hills as it got later into the race. But after I crested the last major hill around mile 21 something strange happened. I decided to make a surge. It was still a long way to the finish but at this point I knew 3 hours was not in the cards and so I think that sort of took the pressure off.
So I took off. I found open space on the sides of the route and just started blowing by people. And another amazing thing happened. My legs handled it. At Disney, my hamstrings were gone by mile 22 but here they survived the whole way and never really hurt. I didn’t train more or better for this race, so the only explanation is the crowds and pure adrenaline carried me.
The last few miles I kept pushing. I had tunnel vision of sorts, keeping my eyes ahead and missing a lot of the fantastic crowds. At this point every mile feels like it takes two to complete and it was touch and go but I still kept surging and when I made the final turn, all I could do was try to remember to smile, pump my fist a bit and get to the finish line.
After I crossed the line and stopped running I realized how much I had overextended myself. My legs were shot and the long walk to get water, food, a medal, and meet family was difficult. I considered plopping in one of the available wheel chairs for a minute but didn’t. I met my mom and her friend, got home and promptly passed out on the couch for 2 hours. I feel better now. My legs probably won’t tomorrow…
So that’s it. I ran Boston. And it was awesome.