Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Boston Marathon 2016

Boston Marathon
Boston, MA
Mileage - 26.2
Time - 2:58:48
Pace - 6:48
Place - 1265

There are so many facets to this race I don't even know where to begin. Boston is one the world majors and the most prestigious race in the United States for the qualifying standards, history and overall runner experience. It certainly lived up to the hype.

Besides the competitive nature of the race, there are several other (and I wouldn't call them small) intricacies to this race that make it so perplexing. The weather is always a factor this time of year on the East coast and plays a big part in race strategy. The hilly course with a net downhill challenges even the best runners in regards to planning the best time to exert the most energy. Finally, the crowd support is unlike anything I have ever experienced. The final two miles were almost deafening, and if you need a bit of motivation you will definitely find it there.

Like many on the course on Marathon Monday, I struggled. It was warm and we battled headwinds. Could be worse, right? Sure. Personally, I just had a bad day. It was my worst marathon performance to date. My finishing time and effort didn't reflect my previous four months of training. Stress, travel, dehydration, and a lingering injury was the right recipe for disaster that struck me around mile 10. It was all downhill from there...and I'm not talking about the course. I hadn't even come close to Heartbreak Hill yet.

Quitting wasn't in the playbook, but sometimes physiological problems become a concern in those late miles. On top of that, I was passed by about 800 people in the second half, which was a bit demoralizing. Each mile marker brought me closer to the finish and that's what I focused on the rest of the race. Once I hit the 25-mile sign I knew I could get under three hours if I just hung on to a 7:30 pace. And that is what I did. I threw my arms up to celebrate briefly and stepped over the historic finish line with a huge sense of relief. Then I grabbed my medal and drop bag and passed out in the grass on the Boston Commons for a couple hours. As my friend Becky said after, "you're stronger now than you were this morning" which was a true testament to finishing the race.

I really wanted to enjoy this more than I did, but that's the way the marathon goes sometimes. Not every day you go out to run is perfect, and today was one of those days for me. What I did enjoy was visiting with friends, sharing stories and living the excitement that is the Boston Marathon

Amanda excited after finishing her 10th consecutive!
Boone, Stacey and James pre-marathon on Boylston Street

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