The trip had all gone as planned. No major hiccups or setbacks. Our hotel, The Boston Park Plaza, was just a few blocks from all the happening spots. Boston Common, The Charles River, The Boston Marathon Finish Line, and The Health and Fitness Expo.
We arrived Saturday in time for check in and a walk to the North Side for Dinner at Ernestos Pizza. It was a blast walking around and seeing all types of people visiting and just being Boston.
Sunday was our day to visit The Expo and pickup my race bib and bag. We could have spent all day at the Expo as there was so much to see, do, taste, and buy. We also had dinner later with our Golden Adventures Group at Magianos. We called it a short night and headed to bed to be ready for Marathon Monday.
After a good night sleep, I woke up and tweeted this:
|Curt Metzger @distance66||15 Apr|
This is it! I just can't explain my feelings this morning. Something special is about to happen. #BostonMarathon
Speaking of Monday, it sure was weird not running on a Sunday. That long wait through the weekend was a different feeling. As was waiting till past 10am to start the race.
In retrospect, the only thing I forgot Monday was the two Advil I wanted to take that morning. Other than that, everything was spot on. As I stated in my Remembering Boston BLOG, I will wear a long pant if I do Boston again as the wait in Hopkinton was a tad chilly. Time did fly in Athlete Village and soon it was my time.
At 10:21am, I started The Boston Marathon. I had been told on many different occasions to NOT try and run past and zig-zag through the crowd the first several miles. The downhill start coupled with the cool temps and MASSIVE ENERGY would make it hard to resist this, but I did.
Mile 1 8:00
Mile 2 7:45
Mile 3 7:44
My race plan, if you could say I had one, was to run relaxed and see what happened. I guess in thinking back I saw this, but did you know there are water stations EVERY MILE? This may have been part of my undoing. I say undoing, but I am happy with my time, just not the way I felt during some of the race.
Mile 4 7:29
Mile 5 7:41
Mile 6 7:29
I was taking either Water or Gatorade at every stop. I did stick to my PowerBar Gel plan of every 4 miles and at those stops chased it with H2O, but I probably drank too much through the first 2/3's of the race. I think I felt it most in miles 8-12 or so.
Mile 7 7:30
Mile 8 7:36
Mile 9 7:42
Temperatures started at the mid to upper 40's and they seemed to be climbing. The sun was out and there was just a hint of a breeze coming across the West to East course. I was definitely comfortable with the singlet, shorts, beanie, and MySleev. I soon took the beanie off and used it as a cool rag to sponge off.
Mile 10 7:38
Mile 11 7:41
Mile 12 7:41
I had my phone with me for any photo/ tweeting moments and knew there was one upcoming. As I removed the phone from my running pouch, I could hear the girls from Wellesley. I wanted a video of this. I had no plans of saliva exchange, but I did want a video. FAIL! I guess my true guy roots came out and yes, I can not operate a phone video camera and run a marathon at the same time. I though I was capturing awesome footage for what seemed to be a 3/4ths of a mile. After the race, I find all I got was a small one-second clip. You must believe me. It was loud, uplifting, rambunctious, and like nothing I have ever seen.
It led to this tweet which I was able to perform while running a marathon....
|Curt Metzger @distance66||15 Apr|
Wow. Wellsley. #BostonMarathon.
Mile 13 7:53
Mile 14 7:38
Mile 15 7:54
My training always includes Hills and/ or Hill Repeats. I felt ready for The Newton Hills. There had been some small hills in the first 15 miles that were obviously affecting some runners. I felt OK. What did affect me was the massive downhill runs. I believe there must be adequate training for downhills if I ever want to run Boston FAST.
Mile 16 7:49
Mile 17 8:19
Mile 18 7:52
I remember stopping at the Mile 16 water station to get a PowerBar Gel down really good and take a good drink of water. I really wanted to give my best for the Newton Hills. The next 5 Miles were tough. The series of 4 hills grows to a final smack in your face with Heartbreak Hill for most of mile 21. Boston is the best from around the world and many were walking the hills. A steady drum beat is one thing that helped guide me over Heartbreak and to the final miles home.
Mile 19 7:54
Mile 20 8:12
Mile 21 8:21
I saw no indication I was done with the hills. I knew from studying the elevation map, it was all downhill from here, but somehow I did not believe it. The breeze was picking up and soon got cooler as we approached the finish. I wanted to find a good, tall, strong runner to sneak in behind and draft the rest of the way home. I chatted with one guy who seemed at my pace. He was helping a gal PR. She was not running with him, but was positioned back some 10-15 yards, but was gathering much support from the crazy crowds.
The crowds were insane. Many families were there together and I am sure made the day of this event. Kids lines the course waiting for a high-five from a marathon runner. I tried to oblige as many as I could. Some were being instructed by mom and dad of how to hold the orange slice so runners could grab as they ran past. I also snacked on these energy treats. Thank you Boston for such giving spirit.
The college kids turn out as well. They obviously were trained well by their parents and high-five, shout your name ("Go SPROUTS"), and drink mighty heavily all day while lining the course. OK, maybe two out of three.
Mile 22 7:55
Mile 23 8:03
Mile 24 8:09
I don't know how I missed it, but I do not remember passing The Fenway Park area. OUCH! Oh, I recall the Citgo Sign beckoning me home from about 5 Miles out, but I must have been distracted as I ran by the Hallowed Fenway Grounds. Next Time I Will NOT!
The excitement grew as we got closer to the finish. I ran with what seemed to me a father/ daughter team for a while. He was tall, so I kind of ducked into his draft and kept soaking in the moment. I think she was helping him PR since she would swing out to the water stops and bring him cool refreshment back. She even asked if I wanted one. I did without those last few miles and lived on adrenaline alone. What a feeling. What a scene. I felt like I was with so many other first-timers. I felt like everyone respected the course and the traditions of Boston. I felt honored to be there in that moment and everyone around me seemed to have that same sense.
As we ran down Commonwealth Avenue, all I could think about was "Get this right! Right on Hereford! Left on Boylston!"
The place was electric. The final stretch was so cool. And then....I hear...."Hey Curt!" It was Blackie. Chris Blackman, a co-worker with Kathy, was finishing too. We raised our hands in triumph as we cruised down Boylston.
Mile 25 7:47
Mile 26 7:40
Final 0.2 7:02
|Curt Metzger @distance66||15 Apr|
3:26:30! All I can say is WOW. #BostonMarathon
I never saw Kathy. She took this picture and was screaming my name, but I never saw her there on Boylston.
Yep, lots to me thankful for and lots to plan for next year.
I do hope to run Boston 2014. I do hope to run it with Chris Medley who helped me qualify for this year. The road to 2014 starts now. Proper diet. Proper strength training. Proper mileage. Proper hill training.
I do hope Kathy is able to and wants to come with me. I do hope for a safe and fun race in 2014. We should still #PrayForBoston and be #BostonStrong.