Boston Marathon 2017
I had a great training cycle building up to Boston this year. I was injury free, put in good mileage each week, and tapered well. I headed to Boston feeling fit and confident that I would run a 3:10 or better. The day before the race I went to the expo and picked up my bib but didn't spend any time on my feet walking around the expo. Doone and I relaxed for a few hours under a tree at the Boston Commons Park which was right next to our hotel. We had a great dinner with Blake and his wife Kirstyn that night. I retired at a good time and slept really well. Everything was going well and I had no reason to believe it wasn't going to be a great race day.
On race morning I awoke feeling good, had breakfast with Blake. He wanted to catch an earlier bus to the athlete village, so I bid him goodbye after breakfast and went back to my room to get ready. Around 7:0 I headed out of my hotel and less than a block away to the busses. I boared and a nice lady named Bridget from San Jose, CA sat next to me. We had a nice conversation the whole way to the athletes village where I was supposed to meet Blake and Teena and Shelbe there. Bridget decided to stay with me since she didn't have anyone to hang out with. We searched for Blake but never found him. Turns out he went to the wrong tent. Teena and Shelbe found me and as always it was good to catch up with Teena. They called for our wave and we had to part ways and head to our corrals. It's probably a 3/4 mile walk from the village to the corrals.
I lined up in my corral still feeling pretty good even though it was a warm morning, low 70's but still thinking I had a good shot at a decent time. The gun sounded and it didn't take too long for my group to get to the starting line. We were off. I just ran with the pack and it felt nice and easy. After 4 miles I was averaging in the upper 6:50's which didn't feel fast, but I could already tell I was getting hot and something just didn't feel righ. I couldn't believe that that early in the race I was already pulling the plug on my goal time but I figured if I backed way down to about 8:00 miles I'd be able to run easy the rest of the way into Boston. I was wrong.
Even at that slow pace my body did not want to run. I finished the first half at 1:40, not terrible since I had decided to take it easy, but I felt terrible even at that slow pace. Usually I hit the halfway point and can't believe I've already run half a marathon. On Monday I hit that point and felt like I'd been running for hours. I was done! Fortunately I knew DRun was going to be at mile 19 and I wanted to meed him in person. I just kept telling myself to keep going till I got there. I finally made it to DRun and was not moving fast, but was still running. I said hi to him and gave him a fist bump. I think if he would have offered me a coke and some chips, I would have stopped and stayed a while.
Soon after passing DRun the walking began. I walked a lot of the final 6 miles. I just couldn't bring myself it run. It was weird. In January I averaged a faster pace on a difficult hilly 50 mile race than I did in Boston this year. As I walked I tried to take in all the sights and sounds of Boston. I high fived little kids and tried to keep a smile on my face the whole time. It was long and painful, but somehow I still enjoyed the experience. I finally made the right hand turn onto Hereford St. and then the left onto Boylston. I was looking for my wife. She always cheers in the same area. I stayed on the right side of the street and was high fiving everyone along the way looking for her. I never found her though. She says I fived the person right before her and like 2 people righ after her but skipped her. Not sure why I didn't see her, but I was a bit delirious.
I finally finished my painful slog in 4 hour 7 minutes. I still can't believe how long it took me and have no idea why I felt so terrible from just a few miles into the race. If that becomes normal, I will hang up my racing shoes and just run the trails for fun.
I walked back to my hotel which was just a couple blocks, showered up and got ready for dinner. While waiting with my wife for Blake and Kirstyn in the lobby I started not feeling well. I told them to go to dinner without me. After they left I started feeling really bad and laid down on the lobby floor and propped my feet up. A couple of other runners down there who were both MDs were worried and called the EMTs. We were only a block from the med tent, so they came over from the med tent and picked me up in a golf cart and took my back to the med tent. The problem was, my blood pressure was normal but when I stood up it dropped to like 70/50 and I would get crazy dizzy and almost pass out before I could lay back down. After a good hour plus in the med tent getting fluids in me I was feeling much better and made it back to my hotel without assistance. I kept drinking a lot of fluids and felt good enough to go to the post race party a Fenway park with everyone. That was fun. They let us down on the field which was cool.
Tuesday was a fun filled day with my wife seeing Boston. We even went to the Celtics playoff game that night and sat in the Club Box seats. That was nice!
Returned home Wednesday and back to work Thursday.
Now to try and figure out what went wrong. I never want to do that again,