2013 Boston Marathon
*it beat up my quads, but it didn't get my heart
I've been delaying this entry for many reasons. Mainly the time allowed me to process the experience and really, to allow for some serious reflection of the entire weekend that found a tragic and powerful ending on Monday, April 15 2013 @ 2:09 pm.
I've wanted to take part in America's finest, most history-filled marathon event for many years. I finally made the commitment in 2012 and followed through with it. I can honestly say it was by far my most memorable marathon to date. I didn't run a personal best as I desired but, there is so much more to Boston than a PB. The B.A.A. is a first class organization and, with the assistance of the fine volunteers and the people of the greater Boston area, they gave me an experience of a lifetime. From the expo, packet pick-up to the shuttle buses and staging/starting areas, nothing was left undone. They have thought of it all and do it right. Once the race got underway the citizens that lined the course to cheer were simply amazing. Near constant fan support from Hopkinton to Boylston Street kept me running, as walking just wasn't an option. Again, simply amazing.
As I crossed the finish line I felt deflated more than any other marathon I had previously ran. It wasn't a feeling of overall exhaustion rather, my legs (quads) were left somewhere back on the course near the base of the Newton Hills. The amount and degree of downhill running was beyond any thoughts I had going into this event. I had read numerous articles on how to race the predominantly downhill course. I scoured the internet for tips on how to train so those hills wouldn't get the best of me. I talked to others that had ran the race in years past. Nothing prepared me for what I experienced that day. People told me, "there are a lot of downhills" quickly followed by "don't worry about Heartbreak Hill, it's not that bad." They were right about that, the uphills were a blessing after all the pounding that left my quads rubberized and soon had my IT Bands locked tight so running down the backside of Heartbreak was near impossible. Once I got to mile 23, I stopped and used someones cell phone to call my wife to explain to her I was not going to be on Boylston as we discussed. I wanted her to wait for me and not head to the family waiting area until I had passed. (she never got the message, but did wait to see me turn down the famous Boylston off of Hereford Street) After I had called her I had a moment where all I wanted to do was slow to a walk. That happens in a marathon and it's easy to do. It's immediate relief from the agony you are feeling at that point. Human nature says, stop. But, I knew that it would be extremely difficult to get moving again and even if I kept jogging at the slow, painful pace I was doing, it was still TWICE as fast as a walk. So I kept running. The fans would call out my number and scream, "come on 813, you are going to make it. You look great, keep it up." Liars. But I knew what they were trying to do, and it worked. The finish line came a bit later than I wanted but I can say, the final 385 yards were as amazing as I thought they would be. Looking back at my Garmin results I can see the last bit and how much I picked up the pace just on adrenaline.
Boston took a bite out of my quads. I will get revenge as I am planning on returning to Hopkinton in 2014 and racing that same historical course in hopes to conquer those hills. And when I do, and when I turn off of Hereford Street and on to Boylston Street, I'm sure there is going to be a different feel. The energy I can image is going to be nothing short of ecstatic and the victims of this years disaster will be honored as I go bye the two sites. I'm hooked, and now Boston has me the third Monday in April for awhile.
*I am not going to address the horrific, selfish act of two individuals that took so much energy, exhilaration, honor, strength, courage, and good ol fashion fun from some 27,000 runners and their families and friends that day by ending the race in the 4:09 hour. There is plenty of media to read, and at this point most of us has had their fill. I still lay awake at night thinking of that day and I am so ever grateful. But I am also still angered. I will go back and celebrate with my peers the way we were supposed to. I hope to see you there!
Here is the GARMIN data for the race: CLICK HERE
M: 0 rest/ ice foot
T: 7 miles, ice foot
W: 0 treat/ice foot
TH: 0 ice foot
F: 33:00 4.5 miles, 4 X 30 sec at 5:30 pace
Su: 3 miles on treadmill plus strides