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My 2011 Boston Marathon - after thoughts

posted Apr 21, 2011, 8:59 AM by Justin Davidson   [ updated Apr 28, 2011, 8:28 AM ]

My 2011 Boston Marathon - after thoughts

This was my first marathon and I ran the Boston Marathon in 4 hrs 57 mins to meet my goal of under 5 hrs.  After running 21 miles I had to dig down deep to shave off those 3 mins.  The race was so fun I didn’t want it to end.  The first 6 mi you are giving high-fives to hundreds of people.  Everyone was screaming supportive phrases.  The water stops were congested as expected and slippery.  Since I carried my own water in a small CamelBak backpack I was able to coast past most of them.  People say that there are lots of water stops and bathrooms, but honestly I did not see that many.  The girls at Wellesley College were screaming holding up signs “kiss me” at the ½ way point.  Having friends and family at various checkpoints really made me smile.  It was kinda funny getting passed by the guy in a Tux, the juggler, and the one in the Hotdog uniform along with the 80 yr old grandmothers.  I ran next to Celtics Ray Allen’s mother for a bit until I kicked on the jets.  Haha..kinda.  I burned off almost 3200 calories and lost 4 lbs during the race.

It was perfectly sunny with a tailwind.  At mile 16 the hills started and you could see it on the others faces that they knew something was coming that could make or break their race.  Everyone got pretty quiet.  The first few hills were not that bad until the dreaded heartbreak hill.  It was then, half way up I had to kick into a power walk to stretch out my hips.  They were completely tight.  Most non-elite runners saved their gas until they reach the top of the hills at mile 21.  That’s when I had to make my choice to either finish slightly above 5 hrs or just below.  The lifelong feeling of saying, “I finished in 4 hrs and something” vs. 5 yrs really meant something to me.  I chose the latter and ran down the backside of heartbreak at my best Kenyan speed pushing grandmothers out of the way as fast as I could.  At mile 24 my hips were almost locked-up after taking the beating that my cooked quads that could not support anymore.  Again, I kicked into the silly looking long strided power walk teeth clenched.  At mile 25 I gave it whatever was left in the tank.  We had to go under one last underpass below Mass Ave and that felt like the largest hill coming back out of it.  When I crossed the finish line it was the exact feeling that you could imagine.  I was thrilled that I finished with my family right there at the finish line smiling and cheering.  You could see on my kids faces that a role model was set for their lives.  Once the race was over they handed you a bottle of water, your tin foil coat, and bless you with your medal after a long walk.  It’s then that you realize that you survived.  After 40 weeks of intense training and after years of just sitting on the coach I had run one of the most prestigious marathon on the planet.  Ouch, but I would do it again in a minute!

Lessons learned:
- Wear a black disposable trashbag to retain heat and reduce wind while waiting for the starting lineup (it was very cold at the start)
- Wear sunblock (oops)
2011 Boston Marathon (04/18/11)