In late 2007, when I found PRof on the web because I set out to qualify for Boston – I thought I’d run Boston once, get my fill and then move onto other marathons or maybe even be done running marathons. I really didn’t realize, especially after #2, how The Boston Marathon would capture my heart and leave me, this morning after, excited for next year. I will say that during both of my Boston trainings, during the cold, dark winter runs at the height of the training, I said, “I’m not doing this again”. I thought that both 2009 and 2010 would be enough to make me feel that I had conquered Boston but somehow, it’s left me thinking that I’ll likely be back in 2011.
Boston was the first marathon I did without my Brewski – running is our thing together so it was different experience for me getting up marathon morning to get dressed (sporting my new skull and cross bone headband), gather my necessities while the Brew got up last minute, ½ slept on the couch while I put the final things together, and drove Spanky and I to theGate City Strider bus out of Nashua that would take us to Hopkinton. Hillman told me he wasn’t sure if it was Brewski or a little old lady dropping us off.
Spanky and I sat on the bus and on came Doctor Death, Aqua Lung, Hillman, Cougar, and Cougar’s boy toy and many other enthusiastic marathoners from the Gate City Striders. Thanks to that group for permitting a bunch of Goons to take the bus to the start. The ride to Hopkinton was pretty smooth and I sat reflecting on what I was about to do for the 5th time. I had talked to the PRofthe night before about what my strategy should be – very aware and concerned for going out too fast and the Newton Hills, we agreed that I’d keep it around an 8 minute pace until I was up over Heartbreak and then let go whatever I had left to give to the course. The day was gorgeous and the bus got warm quick – we stepped out to see what the temp was – chilly but perfect. At that point, we were fortunate to run into Mamacita, Punisher, and Enforcer before the race- all of them full of great energy – it was great to have so manyGoons both on and off the course today.
I made my way down to the corrals (that road seemed longer this year?) with both Doctor Death and Hillman. I gave them both a good luck hug and we separated first Doc and then Hillman and I. I made my way into the back of the 10K corral and prepared for the start of the race. After about a 9 minute shuffle to the starting mat – I took it to a run and we were off on the journey to Boston. Soon after I heard someone yell my name – it was Lightning Chick who cruised on by. I got into a nice rhythm staying within the pace I had planned on. I just really took in the course and the surroundings which I didn’t do my first time around. This was my first marathon free of headphones and a water belt – happy to be rid of both as it was a positive change! People had told me I didn’t need them but I spent this marathon training learning to run longer without the headphones – it really made a difference in the experience for me for sure.
At about mile 4, I saw a Goon singlet ahead of me – I thought it might be Mad Dog but I wasn’t sure. Soon enough I saw that singlet again and realized it was in fact Mad Dog. We chatted briefly about our plans for the day – they were the same and before we knew it – we were keeping each other in check from about Mile 5 to right after the turn @ the Newton Firehouse (he took off for the hills literally at that point and I kept it right where I had it). Mad Dog was an entertaining person to run with to say the least – I appreciated the companionship on the course – Thank you Mad Dog!
Along the course I saw other Goons cheering us on – Brewski with Mrs. Spanky and some friends, Showtime and Smokin Ivy, Yetiand Gumby who I missed (thank you for being out there cheering!), Pusher with his awesome flag who yelled ‘OCG’ @ Mile 20 when I needed it, and all other Goons who were following on line. The Goon vibes close and far were felt on the course!
Going into the hills I had kept reserves in the tank as planned but the hills did not fail to challenge – that is for sure. I was overcome with emotion coming down Heartbreak with the BC tower in my sight and being SO happy to have reached this point. I let go whatever I had left just wanting to get to the finish at this point. The crowds were amazing the entire way especially at this point until the finish where I needed it most!
I crossed the finish @ 3:26:43, an 11 minute Boston course PR from last year, and my 4th Boston Qualifier- I couldn’t be happier. My plan is to come back and do it again next year! Thanks to the Goons and PRof for another great marathon training – this marathon game is way more fun with all of you ☺ Congratulations to all 21 Goons who completed Boston Marathon 2010!