Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Boston Marathon Smackdown... a year later

About a year ago, I was making fun of the Boston Marathon's reputation as a "hard" course, even though I had not even qualified for it, let alone run it. So I got this anonymous comment:
You're foolish to blow off Boston like you did, which is why it turns "tough" course runners into mints meat EVERY year-don't be fooled by it's profle! Even Ryan Hall who ran it in practice, trained for it after, still said aftward, "It's much harder a course than I thought." It's harder on your legs to run down hill than up, especially at the marathon distance
The anonymity of the Internet makes people ignorant jerks, and I am no exception. So in my response, I made several boastful predictions. That in the following year, I would:

  1. Qualify for Boston
  2. Run a PR in Boston
  3. Feel great at the finish
  4. Run up and down 12 flights of stairs screaming "Ryan Hall is a weenie!".
The bragging was really just a joke, because I am not confident of anything. Hell, just trying to open a can of soup fills me with self doubt. But I did have an unfounded belief that I could run down-hills relatively well, so I thought the Boston course wouldn't be that hard.

So how did my predictions pan out?

1. Qualify
Success. I had tried in 2008 to qualify in the local City Of Oaks, but that was a colossal failure. But I am lucky enough to have the time and money to travel to nice flat and easy marathons. So I ran the Bayshore marathon in Michigan, and managed to eek out a qualifying time. I improved on it a little in Detroit in the fall.

2. Run a PR
Success, by a mere 43 seconds. I will provide details in a race report tomorrow, but it was so improbable that I still cannot believe it.

3. Feel great
FAIL. I have to eat my words here. Mr. Anonymous was right, Boston did in fact turn my legs into "mints meat". More accurately, the muscles in my legs have the consistency of overripe bananas that have been pummeled with a wooden mallet.

4.Run up and down stairs
FAIL. Right now stairs require both hands on the railing, and the way I am waddling around, I can't call anyone a weenie. My next run is in the distant future.

I guess the "Smack down" was on me.

A full race report and Shannon's pictures coming up next...

Shannon took this picture of a pummeled banana as we waited
for the start, foreshadowing what was to come...