After missing the sub-3 hour marathon at Mississippi River, I really REALLY wanted to nail it here at Boston. We flew into Boston on Saturday 4/18 and checked into our Motel 6 in Braintree at the end of the T line. Not nearly so nice as the hotel in Cambridge from last year, but far cheaper. We met up with Russ and Karen Johnson from our ABBA days in Arlington on Sunday morning before we picked up our race packets - it was nice catching up, but a little short as they were headed to go watch the Red Sox game. Marla and I walked around the expo for a little while, and went by to visit Kathryn Switzer at her 261 booth where she treated Marla to some gear for being one of her 261 ambassadors.
Race Monday started off cold and the forecast was for rain throughout most of the day. The forecast was pretty accurate, as it turns out - it
was in the low to mid 40s all day. We got rained on a bit at Athlete's Village in Hopkinton, and then I got rained on solidly from about mile 10 to the finish. I was stylin on the bus from Boston Common to Hopkinton, dressed somewhere between business casual and hobo. I wore an old sport coat, with an old flannel shirt underneath, with an old pair of flannel PJ pants. I was still a little cold on my legs, especially waiting under the tents to fill the start corrals. I started shedding clothes to be donated to charity as we left Athlete's Village, leaving my flannel shirt for last right before we left the starting corral.
I was excited to get started, but I managed to keep the first mile relatively slow (7:06) but just ran the next several miles by feel, averaging in the 6:40s between miles 2 and 17. The uphill at mile 18 slowed me to a 7:02, and heartbreak hill was a 7:16. Even so, I knew that I was still on pace for a sub-3, particularly if I used the long downhills on into Boston to my advantage, and that's exactly what I did. With 1 mile to go, I had just over 7 minutes to spare, and was running around a 6:50 pace. I made the right onto Hereford and kicked it up to go as fast as what I had left, then made the left onto Boylston Street and pushed as hard as I could towards the finish line. Checking my watch revealed the glorious 2:59:34! Sub-3! I threw up my arms and shouted!
I really do love running a marathon in cold weather. The rain was no problem at all. That said, walking a half-mile to pick up dry clothes, drained of energy, with only a "heat retention" cape completely stinks! I was chilled to the bone by the time I left the finisher area, and each step was shivering torture back to get dry clothes. Next year if the weather is similar, I'm running with a credit card and going into a store on Boylston to buy some sweats!
Shoes: I ran in Merrell Bare Access 3s, size 10.5. Despite the rain constant rain, these worked out great.
Shorts: I ran in a new pair of 2.5” gray pin-striped split shorts from Adidas. Despite rain, they worked great, although they were soaked most of the race. Copious amounts of Body Glide kept me from chaffing.
Shirt: I wore a new Flow print tech singlet from InknBurn. It soaked through after mile 10, but ran pretty well. No chaffing despite the soaking.
Socks: Injinji medium weight no-show toe socks – same socks I’ve been running in for several years.
Fuel: I carried 3x Apple/Cinnamon Hammer Gels, one taken at mile 7, 13, and I lost the 3rd one. I picked up a GU (I think) around mile 18 and took that instead. I also ate Gummi Worms every 2-3 miles. I took water and Gatorade from alternating aid stations, skipping the first few. I started with every other aid stations (every 2 miles) but eased off in the middle of the course to every third aid station as I began to feel a little sloshy. After mile 20, I just powered through the aid stations, figuring that none of the water or Gatorade would get out of my digestive system and into my bloodstream until after the race.
Hat: Marathon Maniacs classic hat. Very comfortable.
Glasses: With the rain and overcast, I didn't wear glasses.
Watch: Garmin 610. Worked great, although recorded my distance as 26.4, same as last year. Of course, I planned for that distance instead of 26.2.