My plan was to meet up with a friend at the start and run with him while he tried to keep his string of running every Grandma’s intact. Since I couldn’t find him, I decided to run with Jared for as long as possible. That lasted until about mile 11 when I had to stop and go to the bathroom for the third time. The first two were quick pee breaks alongside the road and I was able to catch back up within a mile or two. This time it was a full on stop with sitting involved. There was no catching up after that.
During that stop the 3:20 group went by and I decided to hang a little ways back from them. I went through the half in 1:40:43 and was pretty confident that I would not be negative splitting. About 3 miles later I could already feel the pounding in my legs. I have 3 reasons for this; 1) lack of mileage, 2) long runs being on dirt, and 3) wearing too light of a shoe. I thought about wearing a heavier trainer, but all my non-trail trainers have 500+ miles on them. I didn’t think it’d be smart to wear them in a marathon.
Grandma’s is far and away my favorite marathon. I especially like the section from just after mile 18. From that point there’s a long gradual downhill and then there seem to be plenty of key points to look forward to; London Road, mile 20, the college kids with their beer, Lemon Drop Hill, Superior Street, Fitger’s, Lake Street, and mile 25 before making that final turn towards the DECC, William Irvin and the finish line. During this stretch I told myself to keep things under 8:00 pace for as long as possible. This lasted through mile 22, before Lemon Drop resulted in an 8:05. I think 24 and 25 were slightly over 8s too. At mile 25 I was pretty confident I could sneak under 3:25. I seriously couldn’t remember if my BQ was 3:20 or 3:25 (it’s 3:20), so I thought I’d at least try to get under 3:25. Yes, I know Boston gives you an extra 59 seconds. I hung on and crossed the line in 3:24:43.
If you haven’t heard, conditions were nearly perfect. Temps never got much over 50 degrees and it was cloudy with a nice tailwind. As you can imagine it was a regular PR-fest. Congrats to Matt on his 4-minute PR (2:13:28) that earned him 7th place, Jennifer who dropped dropping roughly 90 seconds to lower her PR to 2:33:01, Jenna on her 2-minute PR (2:40:45), her fiancé Chris who PR’d by 6 minutes (2:38:27), Nichole who’s dropped her PR from 3:03:08 to 2:44:46 in the last 2.5 years and earned a spot in the Oly Trials, and all the other runners that had great races.
I will say, while I’m more sore than I’ve ever been after any marathon, for some reason I’m feeling more fired up than I have in a long time. Maybe it’s due to the fact that so many people ran so well on a day when I didn’t. Whatever the reason, I’m going to see if I can feed off of it and get back into the swing of things – after I recover, of course.
Finally, as promised, here’s my latest interview.
Quote of the Day;
“As luck would have it, the year when I don't feel like I'm in the best shape is the year with the best conditions you could hope to find.” – Chris Lundstrom