By the time I got everything cleaned-up and got myself ready, I'd missed the first wave start. I was pretty disappointed by this as I really wanted to see all of my friends get through the corrals and start. I also wanted to head next door to the church like I did last year and meet the Elites before they made the walk to the start. Oh well. Anyway, I got upstairs and the second wave was getting into the corrals and the coaches made their call for the third wave to get warmed-up with our "group" active stretching routine. I made sure everything was packed into my bag so I could put it on the bus, or that it was on my person if I would need it. I made my last call to Lex. I told her that I had dropped 2 Honey Stingers in her purse in case I might need them when I saw her at 14 (come to find out later, in my "inner voice" I told her about my debacle and said I would DEFINITELY need them when I saw her at 14). I hit the porta-potty one last time then put my bag on the bus, and joined my friend Tom McManus for our warm-up and march to the corrals.
Once I arrived in my corral, I found I was relaxed and at ease. I was cool as a cucumber and ready to go. Eerily cool. I usually get a lot more nervous before the start of a local charity 5k than I was in the corral at the Boston Marathon. I just knew everything was going my way today. It only took about 5 minutes or so from the start of the third wave for me to get to the line form corral 7 (much better than the 12.5 minutes from about the same corral in last year's 2 wave start). Once across the line, I tried to settle into a relaxed, easy pace. About 1/4 mile in, I realized that the crowd I'd settled with was on a 9-930/mile pace (much slower than I wanted to be). I remembered something Luau told me that Chris Russell mentioned about sticking to the left hand side/shoulder and hitting a better pace, so I found my groove on the left and stepped-up to hit my 8:00/mile pace for the first few miles.
My splits for miles 1-5 (8:06)(8:01)(7:45)(7:47)(7:52)
Somewhere in the first couple of miles of running on the left, I settled in behind a guy I recognized as @RangerDutch from twitter. I knew it was his first Boston, but I thought we had similar goals to the best of my recollection of his tweets. However, I didn't want to step-up and say "hey! You're @RangerDutch right" So I just settled-in behind him and drafted until around mile 9 when I made a move around him and he didn't answer. I had my first Honey Stinger at mile 7, and when I reached into my waistband to grab my Endurolytes, they were GONE! I had dropped them somewhere along the course and didn't realize it. After I got through Natick Center I looked all around and couldn't find @RangerDutch, so I kept moving forward.
|Looking good at 15k|
I felt amazing coming into Wellesley, and the "scream tunnel" lived-up to it's name this year! Wow! it was AMAZING! I don't remember it being quite so crazy last year, or maybe I was just in a different head space. I was on a true "runner's high" and everything was firing on all cylinders. I was feeling great. I felt like I was running stronger, more effortlessly and more gracefully than ever before. I passed 13.1 in 1:45:02 and was instantly overcome by a sense of impending doom! It took me more than a couple of minutes to get my head around the nearly 5 minute PR for the Half Marathon and to just accept that it was where I wanted to be. My first thought was "oh shit! I probably shouldn't have PR'd the front half of the Boston Marathon." Accompanied by a sinking feeling in my stomach. Once I realized that 1:45 was where I wanted to be, and if I negative split the back half I would be on-track for breaking 3:20 I settled-down a bit.
Splits for miles 11-15 (7:58)(8:18)(8:15)(8:43)(8:53)
I found my girls just after 14 on the right hand side in front of St. Pauls Parish right where Lex said they would be. I gave them all hugs and kisses, grabbed a couple of orange wedges and asked for my Honey Stingers... Lex said they were in her pocketbook... in the car. Ugh. I shook it off and just settled on grabbing a gel from the mile 17 Powerbar Energy Gel station. Lex asked me how I was feeling and I responded "too fast!" And she said "then slow-down!" So I did. I thought that if I slowed my roll for a couple of miles I would conserve some well-needed energy for the Newton Hills. I also knew that I would soon be able to tell EXACTLY how I was doing when I came to the first big downhill at 15 into Newton Lower Falls. I decided to start walking through the aid stations. By the time I got there I was feeling strong again. No issues at all. No cramping, no quad soreness. I was good. I hadn't gone-out too fast and was ready to tackle these hills...