I Heart Boston (and the Boston) Marathon
This (past) weekend was incredible. Anne and I flew into Boston on Friday and checked into the most kick ass hotel I've stayed at in a long time, the Marriott Custom House. The building was built in the 1860's as a Custom's Building for Boston Harbor. In the 19-teens, the feds built a 26 story building on top of the building. So, imagine the Jefferson Memorial with a a 26 story building (similar in style to the Foshay tower in Mpls.) The Feds moved out in the 70's into the awful Pei designed Boston Federal Government Building. Yes, this is the same Pei who designed the Pyramid at the Louvre and JFK Library. I can't speak for the new digs, but the old digs rock. Marriott gutted the tower in 1910 and renovated the Custom House in the late 90's. This hotel was amazing.
Anne and I went out to eat at Sel de la Terre, about a 3 minute walk from our hotel. Amazingly good. So much so, we went back later in the trip.
Saturday, we went to the Expo, and because it was so incredibly beautiful out, walked around alot. We went to lunch at a restaurant on Tremont Street called cafeTeria, in which we had a pretty good Kobe Hamburger. Hmmm--Hamburgers and fries two days before a marathon. That evening we (Mike, Nathan, Emily and some of her friends) drank some beer at the Black Rose (awesome) and then went to Todd English's Kingfish Hall, which was mediocre. (Sel de la Terre was cheaper and 5x as good). So, we walked alot, but enjoyed the day.
Sunday rolled around and we watched the Women's Olympic Trials. Simply amazing, except that we walked around for 5 or 6 hours 1 day before the marathon. No problem, right? That night we went to Trattoria di Monica, an awesome but very small restaurant in the North End of Boston. Off the main drag, but packed due to it's 6 table space, it was great and an opportunity for us to meet a couple we met on diving on Dominica who live in the Boston Greater Area. Great Fun.
Monday came early. Breakfast at the hotel at 5:30, buses to the start at 6:15, and the start at 10 am. It was cool before the start, with temps in the 40's and very damp. Unluckily, the clouds broke at 9:59 and shone on us throughout the marathon. I started in corral 1, and started conservatively. I don't have my splits, but tons of people passed me throughout the first 10 miles. The problem was is that I didn't feel comfortable. I realized that I hadn't run at marathon pace (or faster) for more than 6 miles all spring--and both of those were in very short races. My legs also hurt from walking around the 2 days prior to the marathon. I hit the half in 1:25 and change, exactly what I'd hoped.
By 16, I knew I was toast. My legs were mush, especially the inner quad muscles. I was in trouble. I pushed through the Newton Hills and held myself together with very few people passing me. However, once we hit the downhills after Heartbreak Hill, my quads were on fire. I tried to stay composed, but I was sure that I was going to cramp up for the remainder of the race. Luckily, they didn't and I only slowed a little, finishing in 2:55:08. Losing just under 5 minutes in the second half. Much better than the first time I ran the race when I lost 15 minutes, but still slightly disappointing. But only slightly...
Looking back, I'm very happy with my time. Very. I did no marathon specific training and ran this entirely on base mileage. I walked around a lot the days before and had some great meals and some great times at the Black Rose. I got severly dehydrated (my bad, yeah, but hey--it was the warmest day of the year so far!).
So, in summation, great race, great time and an amazing city.