Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Boston Redemption

‎[In a letter from the BAA] Dear Kenny, if you're reading this, you've finally qualified. And if you've come this far, maybe you're willing to come a little further. You remember the name of the town, don't you? [Kenny] Hopkinton! I had a dream last night that I was running the Boston Marathon. It varied from dreams I'd had in the past because this time, I'm actually registered to run Boston where in past I dreamed of what it would be like to run it. I got up this morning and despite running a fever (pun intended), I trotted over to Teddy Roosevelt High School, got in my speed work at the track (8x400 with 2:1 rest:speed). The first one was slow at 82 seconds, but the rest were right in range at 77-79 seconds. I saw Mary at the track as I was leaving - she had taken a hiatus to recover from her last marathon. I'm cautiously optimistic because I feel decent and if things stay as they are and the weather is good, Boston could be the day I've dreamed it to be. I did a half in Flushing, NY, this weekend. Stayed with Adam. The course was a bunch of loops of the tennis center and the world fair area and while it was flat with some hills on bridges, I was sore as there was no taper at all except to take Friday off and my speed was Wednesday instead of Thursday. I did manage to PR in 1:27:14, a 31 second PR over my Gar Williams time from December, but it took a solid last mile and a sprint at the end. Mile 12 was my slowest - nearly 7 minutes - and I only got my motivation back when someone tried to make a move to pass with a mile to go. That stirred my competitive juices and I kicked it up a notch, holding him off and also catching two guys in the finishing chute. One tried to beat me, but I held such a furious sprint, he stopped giving pursuit. I do get competitive! The rest of my training is rather focused as I taper on just staying healthy. I have 18-20 Saturday, a tempo run Tuesday, my last track run Thursday, then a final long run with high end work on next Saturday. Then it is some sharpening and healing. I think about running Boston all the time. I find I'm so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it's the excitement only a distance runner can feel, a runner at the start of that long 26.2 mile journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the finish line in under three hours. I hope to see my friends, and family, and fellow runners at the end and shake their hands. I hope the finishing line is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.

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