I got out of bed
on two string legs.
It might have been
And yet, this year’s
This year the weather before the race was cloudy and rainy and windy and 40s or mid 50s. And again, on race day the weather was sunny and going into the 60s. I will admit I was disappointed to see this, but I wasn’t going to allow that to prevent me from trying to run my race. As a runner, you try to control so many things; but you can never control the weather (and if you can, than you and I need to have a little chat!). You train for months. You wake up on race day and you take what is given. Regardless, you give your best.
Last year on the bus ride out to Hopkinton I was nervous, anxious, and uneasy. This year I made a special playlist of awesome pre-race songs to get me into the zone. Also, because this is the kind of thing I do, I decided to run the marathon in a pair of Saucony Kinvara’s. They are significantly lighter than my Asics 2150s and, seeing how I am a midfoot striker, I wouldn’t have a problem moving to a more minimalist shoe. If you don’t recall me talking about these new shoes it is because I bought them 8 days before the marathon. I had about 15 miles on those kicks before I laced them up for 26.2. Needless to say, the Redhead strongly opposed this decision, which is why I didn’t tell her I was going to race in them.
This year, several amazing things happened. First, by chance, I got to meet the guy who was on his 45th consecutive Boston Marathon—the longest active streak of any runner. He was extremely nice and very relaxed for the race. I guess 45 will give you some level of comfort. I also saw Ryan Hall doing sprint outs before I went into my coral.
At the starting line the excitement was unbelievable. Thousands of runners were there to go rock it. I was ready. And so was the angry sun. It is sometimes hard to explain to non-runners why running under a blazing sun is so difficult, even if the temps are mild. So, typically, I just show them the sunburn I received while running under the hot sun. I got burned again this year despite wearing a shirt and hat. The Redhead likewise got burned from spectating. My body was just not prepared or adapted to running in the 60s. Every long run (and all runs but one) were in 40 degrees or below. Most were below 30.
I trained to run at 10am. I did each long run at 10am. I was not trying to avoid the sun and noon heat. Only, here in
But, back to the starting line, I took the first mile slow, a 7:15. Then I just relaxed and never looked at my watch again until the half. A 1:30ish half. Right on pace. But at mile 10, well before the maniac screams of
Soon I was making the 90 degree turn that signals the start of the Newton Hills. I ran those true, but my pace was slowing. Still, I ran every step up those hills. Sadly, by mile 22, I felt like my heart was going to explode out of my chest. I was overheating. I hit a water station and walked through. I did this a few more times over the last five miles. No matter what I tried, I just couldn’t get my body to cool down sufficiently enough to resume my desired pace. On a day where so many had amazing and record breaking times, this weather was too much for my pasty self.
But, I was still having a wonderful time. I never felt angry or frustrated. I knew I would be rounding onto Boylston soon and I would be giving the Redhead a huge kiss. After frantically looking for her on my ‘runner left’ (outside of Trader Joes) I told her how much I love her and I motored home for a 3:14:xx.
This is a good time. Although it is about 12 minutes slower than what I wanted. I do feel a bit like I had a bad race. Unlike
Lastly, back home in the D I walked over to the conveyer belt to grab the jumbo suitcase the Redhead and I shared during our trip. Alone, as all other passengers had already grabbed their belongings and departed, I noticed a Hansons/Brooks bag circling. Moments later Desiree and her husband walked up to grab their belongings. I told her how amazing she did and how proud everyone was of her. She then asked how my race was (I was sporting the marathon jacket). We talked for a few more minutes and then she was off. Sadly, I didn’t ask her if she got any of the free water they had at the finish line.