The 2006 Boston Marathon was better than I expected. I ran the perfect race.
Riding the bus up to Hopkinton and waiting at the football field there, I grew agitated and really did not want to be running a marathon that day. From these thoughts I would have thought I was going to have a rough day.
Having run Boston the previous year I had a better idea of the course and the crowds and how to control my emotions, and although I wanted to keep all those in check, I still wanted to just have fun. Boston is a "bonus" marathon.
I started the race pretty conservatively. I forced myself to hold back on the downhills and let people pass me. I followed my race plan and before I knew it 10 miles had passed and soon it would be Wellsley. And it did not disappoint. Screaming girls! It was deafening. I kept my emotions in check and ran on, quickly approaching the 14 mile mark.
At 14 miles the previous year is when things started to unravel. This year at 14, however, I felt great. Knowing that I only had 12 miles to go, which had become almost a daily run for me, left me feeling like the rest of the race would be easy.
The miles and kilometers passed by, and I was amazed at how good I felt. I reached the 25K mark and started to climb the hills in Newton. Last time I walked the hills; this time I took them one step at a time and ran up each one. I reached 16 miles, then 17, and I was still running. I told myself to make it to the 30K mark, around 18-1/2 miles. I knew people back home were tracking me and I did not want to disappoint. I reached 30K and I was still running. I reached Heartbreak Hill and kept running. This was my slowest mile of the race, but I was still moving. I crested the hill and started my decent into Boston.
I reached mile 22 and I was still running. I had never run this far before without stopping. I was entering new territory. I got to mile 23 and could see the Citgo sign. I kept my eyes on that sign which pulled me closer to the finish line, which is one mile to go from there. Mile 24, still running. Mile 25, still running. I pass under Massachusetts Avenue and I see my husband and parents on the right. I yell at them, point to my watch, and say "I'm going to qualify."
I turn right onto Hereford, power up the hill as best I could, turn left onto Boylston and look at the finish line. I move as fast as my little legs can take me. I cross the line with 3:40 and change.
I ran the whole thing -- all 26 miles. I did not even walk a water stop. I ran even splits the whole way. It was the perfect race.
Advanced Marathoning by Pete Pfitzinger
Great resource for marathon training programs and information.
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