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.