Or "How the man in the pink tutu crushed me"
Got into my starting corral with a few minutes to spare. Tried to locate a friend from college but couldn't find her and ended up finding B2's friend K who was planning on running a 3:20 but wanted to start off easy so we decided to go out together.
Seemed like a smart plan at the time. Yeah I easily forgot all about that going out easy-negative split goal once the competitive juices got flowing. Actually I just decided to push myself to the limits and see what would happen.
The first mile was the only mile in the entire race that I felt semi comfortable. From thereon out I was either slightly out of the comfort zone or in the I wonder what the wall feels like, could this be it? zone. I didn't feel bad the first 16 miles but I definitely didn't feel good. I felt like I was pushing, but that was all right, I kind of wanted to know what it felt like to push the whole way. K was obviously feeling stronger than I was. I even tried to talk myself into easing off, but then convinced myself that was a cop out and that those type of negative thoughts wouldn't get me anywhere. (Note to self, self preserving tactics are not necessarily always negative thoughts) So I pushed on keeping step with K through about 12 miles. I speed walked through all the water stops and then would chase down K. Somewhere between 9 and 13 I just couldn't chase him down anymore and had to let him go. I had to run my own race, and 7:40 pace wasn't in the cards.
Around 13 a few guys were downing beers (yes runners in the race) and asked if I would like to partake. I declined. I couldn't believe these guys were drinking beers and running at the same pace as me. Unbelievable!
So I trudged on at a pace that felt slightly uncomfortable up through 15. Got some much needed surges from the wonderful crowds, especially at Wellesley, man those girls can holler. I kept telling myself that if I could hammer through 16-21 it was all "easy going" from then on. I knew that I had trained a lot on hills and felt that my quads were going to be strong through Newton. 16-21 came and went and I didn't go quite as fast as I would have liked, and my quads did not feel strong like they did in Youngstown. They were a wreck. My left calf started to protest early into the hills but I just told it that wasn't an option. Not on Marathon Monday!
I finally crested Heartbreak Hill and I just kept pushing. Unfortunately the effort I was putting forth wasn't resulting in the splits I wanted. I thought for sure with the net decline I would be able to hold a steady 8 minute mile the rest of the race and perhaps still break 3:30 or even PR. But it just wasn't in the cards. My quads were protesting every footstrike. I put my head down and trudged on. I decided to wear my Wild Bill shirt and it did help that I got a lot of cheers "GO Wild Bill!" The drunk Boston College boys got a kick out of the shirt and I exchanged some high fives and declined yet another beer.
Around 22 JD caught me. I don't know how she spotted me but she did. We were both faltering a bit at this point but having her catch me gave me the strength to push hard the next mile or so. I thought she was going to drop and I just kept willing us both on motioning for her to keep with me. As we passed into 24 she found her stride and moved ahead of me. I strived to stay with her but had to fall back. My calves and quads were not on board with that plan.
About this time the man in the pink tutu passed me. I was in disbelief. I muttered outloud "You're killing me man." Either he didn't hear me or he didn't care. He just kept cruising by me. He was getting plenty of cheers :)
I knew my family would be just before 26 so I started looking for them. Just before the newly added hill I saw my sister standing up on the fence waving. So cool. She got some great pics and I continued on. About to trudge through the new dip and rise towards the end, and yes that hill was killer though it was small. The downhill hurt so bad.
I headed up Hereford and finally made the turn onto Boylston. The crowds were great and I gave it my all trying to cruise in under 3:31. I ended up just over at 3:31:04. About 18 minutes better than last year at Boston.
I am extremely pleased with the result, but upset that I didn't run a smarter race. If I would have just eased off at the beginning I may have saved my quads and even ran a bit faster. Lesson learned (hopefully!)
The finish was a bit scary this year. I knew JD was just ahead of me so I tried to hook up with her. We got our Mylar blankets together and then we got held up. Everyone was at a stand still. This huge crowd of runners all in Mylar blankets in the sun and we are not moving. My head started spinning and I felt like I couldn't breathe. JD said she was about to hop the fence. It was really a weird feeling. Thankfully the crowd started to move and I managed to find someone to take my chip off and give me my finishers medal. I made my way to my bag and then to the family meeting area. My mom was there waiting for me. It was pretty surreal. I was pleased but beating myself up a bit. Apparently JD passing me along with the tutu fairy had given my ego a blow :)
But today I am feeling really good about my race. I proved to myself that even running a bold but perhaps not smart race I can still gut it out and get a good finish time. I had nothing to lose and everything to gain and I can honestly say I left nothing in Boston on that course. I was spent at the finish. And perhaps a bit dehydrated :)
Splits as follows, last split is 1.2 (No 26 mile marker, what's up with that?)
I made it home from Boston today. And it was straight into work for me. Nothing like getting back to the real world :)
Tons to post about the whole weekend. Lot sof funny and amusing tales! Had a lot of fun and learned a lot, will have further installments about the weekend in general later with pictures.
Huge thank you's go out to everyone who has supported me in all of my endeavors. Thank you for all of your extremely kind comments. I am overwhelmed.
Especially special thanks go out to my family who drove over 12 hours to support me this weekend. It means so much to me.
And all of my love goes out to my wonderful and supportive husband. I missed you this weekend in Boston but I ran this race for you and I know that you were there with me the whole way. Next year I hope you'll be waiting for me at the finish line! Love you babe.