The weather reports predicted mid 60s with partly cloudy skies. HA! Race day not a cloud to be seen and temperatures in the 70s. Still not as bad as last year with temps in the 80s. I didn't let the weather concern me, however, since I had already planned long ago to take it easy and 'enjoy' the marathon. And since I hadn't trained specifically for it (longest run to-date 16 miles) I really didn't have much choice.
I started the race running approx 8 min/mile pace. It's easy to get carried away with the excitement and the sharp decent during the early miles of Boston. So, I was proud of myself for maintaining some restraint. From experience I've learned that going out too fast on this course will destroy you come the final 10K. Around mile four I met someone from CA who wanted to keep the same pace. We keep each other honest through mile twenty-two. For the first time I was able to navigate the Newton Hills (including Heartbreak) without having to walk or having my quads cramp up! Once I reached twenty-two miles it was time to pick up the pace a little to make up for the time lost on the 'Hills'. Again, for the first time I actually had something left so that I could at least 'look good' down the final stretch. Because we all know how important it is to look good regardless of how well you do. Anyway I was cruising along feeling good (relatively speaking) and began to really open up my stride down the final miles; especially on Boylston street. Streets were packed ten to fifteen people deep, I was waving and lookin' good then not fifteen yards from the finish line I got the worst hamstring cramp of my life and jerked to a complete stop! It was so bad I couldn't even hop across the line. For a second I thought about crawling but was able to eventually loosening up with stretching, just enough to hobble to the line. So much for looking good during your finish :)
Still, there isnít a marathon anywhere quite like the Boston Marathon. Regardless of how well or poor you do the experience is worth it.
Got plenty of 'Go Maryland Tri' shouts wearing my new club singlet.