Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My last marathon

I was in Boston yesterday, and I ran a marathon. Yeah, that Boston and yeah, that marathon. The bottom line: 4:15:35 (9:45).

Running it was a last minute opportunity for me and I certainly hadn't trained for a marathon. My last 20-miler was in September and when I tried to do a 16-miler in October, I crashed and burned at 12 miles. I ran a 10-mile race in January but then I hurt my toe and I had been taking it easy ever since. Lately I have been running low mileage on Saturdays at a 12-minute pace with the 10K Group Training Program that I coach for. Recently I did an hour of serious running before one such meeting with a friend, followed afterwards by four more 12-minute miles with the group, but that's been about it for my base.

Predictably, the wheels came off after 11 miles. My per-mile time slipped out of the eight-minute range into the nine-to-twelve minute range, and I started run/walking. However, approaching Heartbreak Hill, I told myself that I would never again be at the bottom of the most famous hill in all of runnerdom after having already traversed twenty miles on foot, and I was going to run all the way up it to the top, no matter what. Mentally fortified, I ran the next three miles and then I had a couple of more brief walking forays before running the last mile and a half to the finish.

I'm not embarassed about my time although my placement sucks, about 18,173/22,849, in the bottom twenty percent. My forever favorite marathon is still New York City, which I considered to be deceptively hard, but a Boston newspaper columnist called the NYCM a "JV race" compared to Boston, adding, "This is where hearts are broken, and sometimes bodies." Second-place finisher Daniel Rono said, "Boston is the toughest of all." I agree. Those hills (mostly downhills with a few wicked uphills) are crazy. My legs are totally on fire today.

11 comments:

Rhea said...

What?! You ran Boston?! How cool is that! I saw the whole race live online through universalsportsdotcom. Lucky, lucky you.

Makita said...

Boston! I am insanely jealous. Just 10 more minutes to shave and I hope to add Boston to my repertoire. Good for you!

Kelly said...

Well, it's better than I EVER could have done. Congrats! I hope you had fun.

Joe the Novelist said...

Congratulations! Now it's REST until next Wednesday's Capital Challenge.

Rainmaker said...

What indeed!?! You ran Boston all secret squirell. We gotta get you hooked up with a cell-phone or something so you can tell your peeps (that'd be us) when you're at the same staritng line.

Congrats though, Boston is Boston - and enjoyable no matter how painful.

jeanne said...

Did you lose my phone number???

Congrats! woulda been fun to meet up Plus? i totally woulda made a sign for you too.

and...what's the deets on how you got in?

Susan said...

GOOD JOB! You got it done. Wonderful!

ShirleyPerly said...

I haven't run NYCM but do think Boston can be quite hard if you go out too fast early on. Very cool that you got to run it!

Just_because_today said...

don't know how I missed this! Congratulations on running Boston. It should be a marathon to just run, just because and leaving our competitive selves in the hotel

Petraruns said...

how did I miss this post! You ran Boston? Man! Fantastic effort despite not being ready for it - think you did the best you could and you took everything possible from it. I loved NYC but found it hard - BOston sounds very daunting. 2 minutes and 17 seconds to dump first...

Dori said...

OK, I missed this too. Congratulations! It wasn't the time you wanted, but you're one of the few who can say you've been there.