Two years ago I ran my first Boston Marathon. That blog post is entitled “Another Chapter Ends.” (side note: the images only work if you click on them.). In that post I wrote:
I don’t know exactly what the next chapter has in store for me. I am not the author in the book of my life but more of a reader in a “choose your own adventure” novel. I know what some of my choices are and I think I know where they will take me but for the most part my future is clouded in mystery. All I can do is keep reading and running.
Yes, I do realize how lame it is that I just quoted myself. However, this blog is for me. Very few people read it. I like looking back and seeing my frame of mind from years ago and someday I will be looking back at this blog post too. It’s truly amazing to me how much my mindset and focus of thoughts have changed in 2 years. I’m mostly speaking of my personal life.
This was my ninth marathon. Most of this go-around was completely different for me. This time I was not in good shape. Without regret running has taken a backseat in my life. My mileage was way down. I had trouble on my long runs. I knew that I was not in shape to PR, not even close. I had long ago decided that I would run the race for fun.
The days leading up to the race reflected my attitude about the race. I did not worry about any of the details. I drank far more than I should have even the night before the race! I didn’t worry about sleep either. The two days prior to the race and the morning of the race had me out of bed before 6 AM.
The morning of the race I met up with Isaac from Daily Mile. We’d never met but I figured it would be more fun to have someone I kind of knew to talk to for the hour long bus ride and the long wait at Hopkington. I’m glad we met as it really helped to pass the time. It does take a long time for me to strip off the 30-40 layers of clothing I wear before race start but even after doing all of that there was time to chat. We had some good laughs over the announcer “if you know what I mean.”
As we made our way to the race start I sought out toilets (foreshadowing for the race). What we found was nothing short of incredibly. It was runner heaven! A full parking lot with the entire perimeter lined with port-o-lets! There was even a square of them lining the center which had a secret room! In the secret room were four standing urinals for men. The efficiency of this was incredible!
I executed my race plan — to just run at whatever pace I felt like with little contemplation. I looked at my splits each mile but didn’t get excited nor discouraged. They were just my splits. In the first mile or two I ran off into the woods to pee. I peed another three times during the race. Just before my rendezvous in the woods I caught up with Isaac but after I left for my break I never saw him again.
Things went very well for the first 11 miles or so. I was surprised at how fast I was running and how good I felt. As we approached Wellesley College, also known as the scream tunnel, I waited to hear screams. This year I did not. The girls, known for kissing marathoners, just weren’t very loud this year. My favorite sign here was “I’m sexually frustrated.” I chuckled and moved along.
By that point in the race my legs had already started to tire. This year, much like last time, I ran along the right side of the course. Last time I watched the course. This year my head was cocked to the right the whole time watching the crowd. The crowd is what makes Boston so special. There was no stretch longer than 200 meters that did not have at least one person. Most places were lined 4 and 5 people deep for the entire route. The entire course is like the finish chute of most large races I have run. At times I truly felt like a celebrity. People pressed against the barriers screaming at me and yearning to get a high five!
I started focusing on mile 17 where I knew my girlfriend and her son would be. When I saw her I smiled and kissed her. I was hurting, badly, but it was very nice to see someone so happy to see me. I was able to see her one last time as I rounded the corner onto Boylston.
I finished in 3:30:27. I had said that I’d be disappointed if I ran any slower than 3:30. I wasn’t disappointed though. Approximately One hour and 20 minutes later the bombs went off. As I piece the timeline together we must have been on the subway at the time of the blasts. My sister and parents were at Prudential Center and could hear the blast and see people running.
There were so many things that happened on this weekend. This race report is already longer than even I will care to read years from now.
I am looking forward to returning in 2014. My qualifying race (luckily) got me into both 2013 and 2014. I am curious to see how the events of this year will change the race.
1 7:43 (includes a pee break)
.2 1:24 (7:00/mile)