Salty Running readers it is that time of year again, the Boston Marathon is next Monday. For the 7th time in 8 years I am making the annual trek to Boston. Last year I was fortunate to be selected for the Elite Women’s Start and I toed this line with some amazing female runners. This year I am opting to race some men too. I am hopeful that in the future I will be fit enough to toe an elite women’s start, but this year I will have fun with the masses!
Barring any random last minute colds or “tweaky” type injuries I can confidently say I am the fittest and healthiest I have ever been leading into this race. Unfortunately for me that is a precarious position to be for Boston. Given my history at Boston it is clear I have not come anywhere close to mastering this downhill course. My quads are typically shot by mile 12 and I find myself in a sufferfest to the end usually.
I literally have thought all of the following things to myself on the back half of that course:
“If pregnancy is tougher than marathons I am never having babies, because this is the worst pain I have ever been in.”
“It takes a really sick type of person to keep coming back to this same race and enduring this kind of pain year after year.”
“If there were no fans lining the street here I would walk to the finish.”
To say Boston doesn’t bring out the best marathoner in me would be pretty accurate. You know you’re in for an uphill battle when your dad, basically your biggest fan, tells you that you really should have chosen a different race for going fast.
One major positive that can be said is that I have gotten faster at Boston every year, and on a few occasions I did run a PR here. I will say getting 16 minutes faster on the first half of the course and keeping the back half the same whether running 3:16, 3:06, or 3:00 is probably not the best way to improve here. This year I hope to keep those two halves a lot closer!
So it is with trepidation that I prepare for my 24th marathon. If I was racing any other marathon I would for sure be thinking, PR time, but this is Boston, and it is the marathon. You just never know what you will get on the day at any marathon and I have certainly learned that.
I’m excited to race a strong marathon and it is fun going into this year’s race with no pressure to really perform, I have a feeling that will play into my hand. Since I turned down the elite start this year, I am hopeful I will behave in the first half and run my own race, checking the ego at the door. Hopefully then I can run the last 10k faster than I have ever run that 10k before!
I’m not sure I am mentally ready to race this marathon, I wasn’t anticipating a high level of fitness yet and was planning to treat this like a hard training run. But ready or not I am clearly fit enough that I should give this a serious go. It would be great to finally have the race at Boston that reflects my hard work. At some point last year I was inspired by a few articles and a post by Camille Herron to stop worrying about a goal time and instead to make it my goal each race to race the best I can on the given day. So it is my goal to race the best marathon I can at Boston next Monday and have fun along the way!
I wasn’t planning to make a big deal out of this year’s race online but Salty assures me that I need the hype 😉 So much for my no pressure approach! By turning down the elite start I got “demoted” to coral 2 and am bib 1993. Feel free to follow along virtually as I make my way for the 7th time from Hopkinton to Boston! Ready or not 10 am on Monday I will be racing my 24th marathon and I am hopeful it will be a memorable and fast one!