|My wife and I after finishing the 2012 Boston Marathon.|
Then the heat wave came.
As race day neared, the 10 day forecast went from 65 and cloudy to rain to a high of 88 degrees. And that's where it stayed. On race morning, as I made my way to the starting line, I pored some water on my head, realizing that it was only going to get hotter (it was about 75 degrees at the start of the race). I went out just slightly slower then usual - a 7:00 mile. I continued at that pace until about mile 16, when my pace started dropping as I went uphill. By the time I was at mile 21, the heat and a cramp in ht calf had gotten to me, and I ended up just focusing on getting to the finish line without hurting myself. I ended up crossing in 3 hours and 16 minutes - slower then I wanted, but decent considering the conditions.
The race itself was still a blast. While running by Wellesley College I gave high fives to every student lined up at the fence, and did the same as I ran by Boston College. The entire course was filled with people cheering us on, wondering why/how we were running 26.2 miles when many of them were feeling the heat just standing there. I also showered myself with water every single chance I got. Two cups over the head at every waterstop, every hose I saw, and the amazing water tunnel at the fire stations. It was really nice of everyone to help us out in that way, and it certainly kept us a tad cooler.
It was also nice seeing so many friends and family out on the course - the most of any year I've run. Some of those people made their way to the park where I was stretching at the end, and it was great to see them and have their support.
The downside of his year's race was that I did not re-qualify for the 2013 Boston Marathon. Now, before the race began, I was set on not running next year anyway, but I kind of like the option. So, unless the BAA suddenly decided to make a 12 minute exception for 2012 Boston Marathon runners, I'll be entering my first spring in 6 years that doesn't have Patriot's Day circled. I may try a marathon in Toronto or Big Sur, or I may take the spring off and focus on half marathons instead - it's still a little early to decide. But I think it will be exciting to try something new.