Last Train to Boston Marathon 2001

Last Train to Boston Marathon 2001

What was I thinking running a damn marathon in February? I have run more IM Marathons then marathons, so you could tell I us really motivated to get this thing going. Actually with IM Cali coming up in 13 weeks I thought a well-run marathon would boost my confidence level for the IM marathon and more importantly force me to get off the couch and train this winter. The morning was cold (30 to 34 with some wind), I had four layers on, but typical of what I trained in all year. First mile was run at good effort and I thought I was on 6:50 pace, turns out it was 7:18 and the doubts started creeping in. Of course there was a long way to go, but I was already laboring. By mile 2 I broken away with two other guys and went through 3 miles at 20:38 -6:53 pace. ‘Not bad’, I thought to myself, ‘I’m warming up’. I thought back to something Dave Scott said once, “Take a chance and push yourself a little further then you think you can go.” This is what I was doing. I thought these guys were running a little quicker then I was capable of, but I decided to take a chance and run with them. Well I had to pee at 3 miles so I stopped for about 50 seconds. I ran hard for two miles to catch up to the two guys I was running with. I caught them by mile five, which may have been too quick, but once I caught them the pace seemed easy. We kept moving along hitting everything pretty consistently. I had to pee again at 8 miles but I ditched that idea, thinking I would lose these guys for good. I kept getting my Hammergel shot every 2 or 3 miles and this worked out well. At the halfway we were 1:30:50, not easy, not hard, it was just uncomfortable. The course was 4 loops and on the third loop these guys got serious. We went through the third loop in 43:30 or about 6:40 pace. I got dropped by a few yards and just maintained my running. After 20 the pain was there but it was dull ache, not anything too severe. After 22 miles I started to feel my feet, and they were on fire. At 24 miles I absolutely wanted it be over. I kept seeing 3:01 flash in my head if I let up. I knew I was going to break 3:00 by this point if I kept my effort up, and I still had one hill to conquer. The uphill wasn’t too bad but the downhill was murder on my quads. I was a hurting pup at that point. I came around the final corner thinking I would be in the high 2:58 range but the clock read 2:59:41, it would be a serious sprint to the finish if I wanted to break 3:00. I heard the timer counting down,”10 seconds, 9, 8, 7, 6…” BAM! I got it just in time: 2:59:58. I ran the final loop around 45:00 minutes. My average pace was 6:52, and I negative split the race (1:30:50 1st ½, 1:29:08 2nd ½). I look forward to running another marathon sooner rather then later (My last marathon was in 1995) and I hope I can knock few more seconds off and not have such a fight at the end next time. Till next time……

Thanks for reading!
Mike

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