Saturday, April 21, 2012

Boston Marathon 2012 Recap

My wife and I after finishing the 2012 Boston Marathon.
This year I was lucky - Boston had a very mild winter. Sure, I was running in the dark and cold every night, but there were very few runs in the snow this year, especially compared to last year. In addition to having clean roads to train on, I managed to stay healthy and was ready to try and break 3 hours on the Boston Marathon course.

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.

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