Monday, April 20, 2009

The 113th Boston Marathon

Wow.... I wasn't prepared for this. I don't mean physically, I mean mentally. Going into this, I just wasn't buying into the hype that is the Boston Marathon. But they made a believer out of me today.
I went to the expo on yesterday and it was crowded but I wasn't impressed with it. I did buy one of the overpriced official jackets, but felt like I had to have one. I also saw Team Hoyt there.
I was looking for Kara Goucher to get an autographed pic for Wille, but alas she wasn't there.
I awoke this morning and caught the shuttle from my hotel to the race shuttle buses and then made the 26 mile trip to the start. The athletes village was ok. There were plenty of drinks and energy bars but it was crowded. The good thing is that the weather wasn't too bad. Rain was predicted for later in the day, but it was overcast and a bit chilly. It was below freezing when I got up, but it was probably in the high 30's low 40's by the time we were outside.
Ok time to line up in the corrals. Then we're off, it took about 3 minutes to cross the start and then we were running. This is the largest marathon I've ever run, and I was worried about having room to run. It does take a lot of energy to get through when you're running just a bit faster than some. From almost the start there was great crowd support. And there was never a time without that support. Every city we ran through was extremely supportive. All the parts you've heard about now I was seeing. Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, let's stop here for a moment. As we approached Wellesley I heard this loud noise. A sign warned us to cover our ears. As we hit Wellesley (Women's) College, the ladies were screaming and had signs that said kiss me. I picked me out one, and moved over to plant a kiss on her. About 15 seconds lost, but I wasn't going to miss this opportunity. On to Newton, Brookline, Brighton, and Boston. This is a hilly course and while it is a net downhill, it is not what you'd think of as a downhill course. It is hard on you and takes a lot out of you. Before we hit the halfway point, there were people walking the hills. On the bus I overheard a conversation where this guy said "don't worry about Heartbreak Hill, you'll run over it and wonder, was that it?" I knew where it was before we climbed and certainly didn't wonder "was that it?" It is hard on you around mile 20, but it also isn't the last hill as I thought it was. Around mile 19 I passed Team Hoyt, and it looked like he was having a hard time. I was almost in tears thinking about them and the dedication of father Hoyt to his son. Around 22 I saw Bill Rodgers (Boston Billy) over to the side and he seemed to be having problems. I checked and he finished just over 4 hours. Which means he did indeed have problems because he is much faster than that.
I had already mentioned two things, (1) one of my New Years goals was to run Boston in under 4 hours, and (2) that my IT Band problems might derail that goal. I started out running just under 9 minute miles because the start is a steep downhill. On level ground I tried to hold 9's, lower downhill and higher uphill. Around mile 18 my IT Band put out a little dull pain, then looked up at me and smiled and said, just don't want you to forget about me, but I know how bad you want this, so I'm going to give you a break today. No more IT Band problems. That is not to say that I didn't have other problems. I was starting to hurt around 20 and had just under an hour to finish. I walked a bit on a couple of the hills near the top and then started back running when it leveled off. That seemed to work well, and I still was holding close to 9:15's, which if I was able to hold would just get me in under 4. At mile 25 I wanted to walk so bad because they were still teasing us with hills. But I knew that I was too close to 4 to do any walking. They have a sign that says one mile to go, and when I hit that I started picking it up a bit. Another hill, oh well just kept pushing and topped it, turned left and I could see the finish line in the distance. I like that because I kept up my pace and took it on in. I didn't know for sure if I had beaten 4 because the clock was gun time and I didn't beat 4 there. But my Garmin said 3:59 and change. Official time 3:59:35. Mission Accomplished.
I don't know if I'll run this marathon again, I'm qualified for next year also, but I've learned not to say what I'll do right after the race.
This is an awesome race if the conditions are right. While we had a head wind off and on, the conditions were still good.
I am also pleased that I have accomplished two of the four goals I set for myself this year.
Blessed that I was able to finish this race with no apparent injuries.

14 comments:

Middle-of-the-Pack Girl said...

Reese, congratulations, I was so happy to see you come in under 4 today. That is an awesome effort, especially with an IT band problem. I am glad you enjoyed Wellesley, I knew you would! My brother has told me that you always hear Wellesley before you see it - I am glad it could give you inspiration to keep on going. Glad the crowd support was good also, and that you were able to come in with a pace you were happy with.

And yes, the expo is a bit overcrowded, isn't it? I volunteered so I could give my brother a jacket, because yes, they are super overpriced - over $100, right?!

anyway, congrats again, I hope you can see a bit of this city while you are in town. If you have questions about anything, just shoot me an email or drop a comment on my blog and I can give you info on how to get to it, etc. (I work in Cambridge and used to work in Boston.)

Lil' Bill said...

Way 2 go Reece!!!! I was following you and several others today. (Even though I am at a conference and am suppose to be paying attention to the speaker!) Oh well... trakin' my running partners takes precedent! Priorities.

I'm glad to hear you took a "walk break" in Wellesley... :)

Enjoy the rest of your trip.

C U soon!

DawnB said...

Congratulaitons Reese, awesome job and I'm pretty sure you'll do this again. wonderful job meeting your goal!!

Southbay Girl said...

Awesome Awesome Awesome!!! Congrats Reese! What a great race and what a fun mid-race experience!! I'm glad you had a good time!!

Charlie said...

Great run in Boston. I think I would have had the same transforming experience, going into the race no willing to buy into the hype and then becoming a believer...

On a side note, sounds like this slump your in your running just means you need to re-charge your batteries. You've raced a lot already this year. 3 marathons, a 100 miler and whatever other short distance races you've done...?? Lots to add to your resume.

Willie said...

How did you pull yourself away from Wellesley? I figured you'd run a 5-6 hour marathon once you got to the free kisses!

Great job! Come back soon, we all miss you.

Dr. Marc and Tanya said...

Reese,
Great job, I haven't qualified yet. But I was there a few years ago to cheer Tanya on. It was quite an experience.
MJ

glenstanley said...

Thanks for the descriptive post about the Boston Marathon. Glad you met your goal.

shaley26miles said...

Great Job. Thanks for running with me until I zoned out. Next time I'm staying tuned in. I felt like I just went to Boston, ran a marthon and then got back on the plane. Loved reading your blog about it.

Just_because_today said...

you reached your goal, congratulations. I heard about the college girls...I am a runner and even I wouldn't kiss a runner after so many miles! eewk, we get sweaty!
Then again, if there is a college boys crowd, I might try it...

RBR said...

Fantastic run and fantastic report! I know you are a 100 miler (still hope to pace for you one day. You are so fast though it will have to be after mile 80!LOL!), but the Boston marathon is still a cool milestone. I am glad you had a great time!

Congratulations!!

Vivian said...

Awesome job Maurice. You have inspired me to start training again. I think I will aim for San Antonio in the fall. Good for you!

JenZen said...

CONGRATS!! GREAT JOB!! What an awesome accomplishment. Love that you got a kiss out of it too. :)

rob said...

Reese, big congrats on Boston! That's one of my goals, to qualify and run Boston one day.