Kirk’s Boston Marathon Report

Friday

Weather report says mid to upper 40s during the race.  Wind but no rain. I don't need to pack my cold weather running gear.  

Saturday

Now that we are in Boston, looks like chance of rain, but most likely starting when I am nearly finished. 20 mile an hour winds.  Temps in the low to mid 40s. I’ll buy an undershirt and warming sleeves just in case.  And a headband for my ears.

Monday

Karen sits near me on the bus to the start line.  She is 74 years old.  She needed to run a marathon in under 4 hours and 55 minutes to qualify for Boston.  I wonder if I will still be running at 74.  That would be cool.

Start Line

Running the Boston Marathon is amazing. No rain at the moment.  Let’s go for a 3 hour 30 minute finish – 8:00 minutes per mile pace.

Mile 1 Clothing feels perfect.  Feels a little cool now, but I will warm up by mile 2. Pace - 8:01.

Mile 2 Rain. That’s okay. 7:54

Mile 3 Rain. Watch that pace; not too fast. 7:51

Mile 4 Rain. Slow down. Save legs for finish. 7:50

Mile 5 SLOW DOWN! You know what happens when you go out too fast. 7:59

Mile 6 Rain stopped. Cool. 7:53

Mile 7 More than 1/4 done. 7:53

Mile 8 See that guys shirt? It says, “In 1970 I was picked last for track.” Been there, done that! 7:59

Mile 9 Last downhill for a while. Coast. 7:56

Mile 10 Uphill. Maintain the pace. 7:56

Mile 11 I love getting to double digit miles. Uphill again. Rain. Wind picking up. Get behind that big guy for some protection. 8:00

Mile 12 Woohoo!! Nearly to the half and slightly ahead of pace. 7:54

Mile 13 Conserve strength for the hills. Crowds are great even with the rain. Smile for a good picture at the halfway point. - 7:51

Mile 14 Good thing we are running. It would be really cold otherwise. 7:57

Mile 15 Last flat mile. Enjoy. 8:03

Mile 16 Big downhill to the fire station. I love running. 7:48

Mile 17 1st of the Newton Hills (and maybe the worst). Bring it on! 8:19

Mile 18 2nd hill. - 8:28. That’s okay. Still ahead of pace.

Mile 19 Good recovery mile. Flat. 8:11

Mile 20 3rd hill is history. No problem. Wait, that’s not my knee acting up? It hasn’t done that in the last 20 marathons. Please not now. I will not give in. I will not give in! I WILL NOT GIVE IN!!! Run through it. Feel the weakness leaving my body. Only Heartbreak Hill left to go, then downhill to the finish. I can do it. Wait, there’s a medical tent. Maybe they have Advil. They do! And a wrap for my knee!! Boy it was sure nice and warm in that tent. Let’s do this!! 10:00

Mile 21 Heartbreak Hill, your breaking my heart. Come on knee, let me run for more than 5 steps before I need to walk. I have the energy; I just need mobility. If one more spectator tells me to “dig deep” it may not end pretty. I remember now why I don’t like Boston. I am not sure I even like running. Man it’s windy. And wet. And cold. Keep moving. Work through it. Suck it up. I hate Boston. And no, spectator, I am not almost there. Can I make it to that medical tent at the top of the hill? 20 more steps, 15, 10, 5, 0. “What do you need sir? How can we help?” Knee. Can’t walk. Cold. “Here, let’s help you inside.” 18:30

Mile 22 “Your core temperature is 91 degrees. Hypothermia. Do you want to take the bus back?” NO WAY!! This is Boston. It won’t beat me. I will finish. Good thing my face has water on it from the rain. “All right. You can finish, but you can’t leave the tent until your temperature is 98 degrees. Let’s take off your shirts, dry you, give you some warm broth, and wrap you up. Don’t fight the shivers. The friction warms you up.” “Alright. 98 degrees. You can’t put your wet things back on, so let’s make you a poncho and a hat. We’ll put your wet things in a bag for you to carry and rewrap your knee.” 52:14

Mile 23 Rain has stopped. This poncho is pretty warm. Why are all those people smiling at me? Darn knee still won’t work, but at least I can move a little faster. 14:22

Mile 24 Hey, look, she’s offering orange wedges. Hmmmm. That tastes wonderful. How about some high fives? Sure can hit a lot of hands when hobbling along. Boston really isn’t such a bad place, but I will never run it again. 14:30

Mile 25 There’s that Citgo sign. When I get there, there is only one mile left. My right hand hurts from all the high fives. Hey, that policeman even gave me five. Jelly beans? I would love some. A handful would be great! Swedish fish? You bet. This Boston course kind of grows on you. 13:59

Mile 26 There really is no greater last mile than the last mile at Boston. The crowd has thinned, but even so they are loud and encouraging. In just a moment I will turn onto Boylston Street, maybe for the last time. Hey, there’s Jacque. She looks great. Sorry to keep her waiting for so long. I’ll stop and say hello. Hi, there. “Hi, Honey. How’s it going?” Fine. It’s been rough, but fun. Can you hold my bag of wet clothes? “Sure. Go finish.” [Smooch!] 11:42

boston24

Mile 26 Let’s fly down Boylston like a Kenyan! Hey, my knee feels better. Come on, faster, faster, faster. It’s not everyday you finish the Boston Marathon. Running is great!! 7:00

Epilogue

Finish time: 4:54:45. If I were a 74 year old woman, I would have just qualified for my 7th Boston. I wonder what the qualifying time is for a 60 year old male?