Boston Marathon - RunMarathon

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Boston, Massachusetts
United States
Boston Athletic Association
49F / 9C
Total Time = 3h 12m 52s
Overall Rank = 3210/23162
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 508/3869
Pre-race routine:

I woke up with plenty of time. I grabbed a cup of coffee and watched a little TV. After a bit I jumped in the shower and got dressed. I was in no hurry since we were staying in Westborough and only had a short drive to the state park to catch the shuttle. I went down to the lobby and ate breakfast consisting of eggs, bacon, half a bagel with cream cheese and a pastry. Went back up to my room and finished getting ready for the race. My girlfriend drove me the the shuttle pick up point.
Event warmup:

I didn't do much in the way of warm up. I walked about a mile from the shuttle drop-off to the bag check in. Then I ran/jogged/shuffled my way through the crowd to the athletes village. I got in line at the porta potty but soon realized, along with about 30 other guys, that there were woods located directly behind, problem solved. I walked over to my assigned corral around 9:40, showed my number to the volunteer and stepped in. I give a lot of credit to the corral system here. There was none of the usual pushing towards the front you find in other races. Everyone was pretty calm for the most part. After the F-15's flew overhead and they played the National Anthem I dropped my jacket in the trash bag at the side of the corral and got ready to go.
  • 3h 12m 52s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 07m 22s  min/mile

The gun went off and we started the shuffle, it took a full 3 minutes for me to hit the mat. I must have been nervous even if I didn't feel like I was, my heart rate wouldn't drop below 175. I kept telling myself to calm down, relax and hold back. My goal pace was around a 7:26, I was hoping for a 3:15 finish but I wasn't sure how the hills were going to affect me since I didn't do a lot of hill training. I tried to stay with the crowd and not pass anybody, but I still ran a 7:00 first mile. I chalked it up to start line jitters and just kept telling myself to calm down and hold back. Didn't do a lot of good though, second mile was a 6:50.
I started to feel my quads start barking around mile 4. All the research I did on the course prepared me for this, I just wasn't expecting to feel it until much later in the race. I did my best to ignore it and drive on. I was clocking a pretty consistent 7:08 pace for the next couple of miles. I knew this was faster than my plan, but I couldn't seem to hold back anymore than I already was. It must have been the crowds and the charged atmosphere, it was unlike anything I've ever experienced. Just past the 12 mile marker I started hearing screaming. I'd heard about the Wellesley College scream tunnel but it was loader than I expected. When I finally got within eyesight of the college I saw all the girls and their "kiss me' signs.
I hit the halfway point at 1:33:33, a little ahead of pace. I even had a foolish thought that I might actually be able to PR this race. I stuck with my plan of hitting every other water station since the course had one every mile. This seemed to work well as I was never thirsty. Around mile 17 I spotted Heidi on the side of the road cheering me on so I ran over and gave her a quick kiss. Then I started up the hills. Like everybody says, the hills weren't that bad, it was nice to be able to use different muscles for a while. I thought I was pretty strong up, even the famous Heartbreak wasn't that bad, but going down was a different matter. It seemed like every step on the down slope was going to snap my quads in half.
From mile 22 on my legs were in agony, every step seemed to be an act of sheer willpower. The crowd was awesome though, it was like they could sense I was hurting so they started shouting encouragement even louder. Any thought of a PR vanished at this point. Although my original goal of 3:15 was still in sight, I knew it would be close. I downed my last gel in hopes that it would help a little. At mile 23, I grabbed 2 gatorades and walked the water station, it hurt to start running again but I did.
A mile from the finish line they have the "one mile to go" marker. This was a nice boost, except that right after it was a small "valley" passing under a bridge. Although it was a very small downhill/uphill, I think it hurt the worst of all of them. The crowds were simply phenomenal here, constantly shouting and cheering. A right turn, up a block, a left turn and there it was...the finish line. I was never so happy to see one in my life. I reached down as deep as I ever had and tried to finish strong. When I looked at the clock I realized that I made it under my goal.
What would you do differently?:

Try to hold back on the downhills at the beginning even more.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked through the cooldown area drank some water, collected my medal, mylar blanket and food bag. Then walked another 2 block to the bus with my clothes bag freezing. After I collected my bag I worked my way to the meeting point were Heidi and here mom met me.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not enough hill training.

Event comments:

This was by far the best ran marathon I've ever seen. The volunteers were outstanding and plentiful. Drink stations every mile on both sides if the road. The crowds couldn't have been better. This is definitely a "must do" race.

Last updated: 2009-01-04 12:00 AM
03:12:52 | 26.2 miles | 07m 22s  min/mile
Age Group: 508/3869
Overall: 3210/23162
Performance: Good
165 Average Heart Rate
Course: This course needs no description.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5