First I was like this:
And then I was like this:
But I still managed to do this:
I’m not one for play-by-play recaps, so a few key points:
The weather. It ended up being much nicer than anticipated–no rain, temperatures steady around 60 degrees, and overcast. The wind, however, was brutal, especially during the long stretch along the river (miles 7 to 13).
The race. Great course, great spectator support, and it wasn’t nearly as congested as I feared it would be. I teared up every time I saw someone running in remembrance of a fallen serviceperson.
The hill at the end. Everyone warned me about it, but it was worse than I ever imagined. It was probably only a tenth of a mile long, but it sucked everything that was left out of my legs and left me barely able to ambulate the last tenth of a mile across the finish line. The face I’m making in the second photo? That is my “my legs don’t work anymore” face.
What I’m proudest of. Sure, I ran a pretty big PR. Sure, my GPS watch said I completed 26.2 miles in a Boston-qualifying 3:34-something. (Rats! If only I’d run the tangents!) But my greatest accomplishment was not quitting.
I went out faster than was ideal, and was on my way to falling apart around mile 19 or 20. I felt a lot like I did in New York in 2010. I wanted to walk, and I knew if I did that, I’d feel like a quitter and consider dropping out.
I devoted all my mental energy to moving forward. “You’ve been through worse before,” I thought. “Do something you’ll be proud of later. Relax and keep moving, and you’ll run a PR.”
It was the first time I really felt I was able to take something I’d learned in a previous marathon and apply it to the one I was running. Good. After nine of these things, it’s nice to know I’m learning from them.
What’s next. I’m not sure. I may run Rehoboth Beach in December, but I doubt I’ll be mentally ready to shoot for another PR that soon. It’d be a great training run, and another state for my collection. (I’m up to a whopping six. Forty-four more to go!) I’m hoping to run Disney for work, which would be better timing-wise, but that’s still up in the air.