Relentless Forward Motion Part 2 (The Ecstasy)

So, I headed back down the hill from the Athlete's Village to my cozy hole at the Masonic Lodge (side note: If I ever run the Boston Marathon again, I will run it as a qualified member of the Miles for Miracles Team, I can't imagine NOT having my cozy hole to retreat to and get ready to run, plus all the other amenities). When I got inside it was just in time for the Coach's speech which is always inspiring! Once the speech was finished, I turned to open my bag and get myself prepared to warm-up and head to my corral. I opened-up my bag only to find that 2 out of my 5 Honey Stingers were opened and had leaked all over my gear and equipment inside of my bag (I cut the tabs so that they are easier to open). I had to get into the private bathroom and wash EVERYTHING off.! My visor, my iPod, the other Stingers, my bag of Endurolytes, my Breathe Right Strips, my Mission Sunblock, all of my clothes, my gloves, you name it, they were covered in honey. Ugh.

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
Splits for miles 6-10 (7:50)(7:45)(8:00)(8:00)(7:58)

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...

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