So what went wrong? I think it was the lack of running over the previous 10days and I probably went off ,without a warm up ,too fast on a long downhill stretch over the first 6 miles . I wish I'd had a warning twinge but that was not to be. Allowing for the time in the medic tent and sitting in the street I wasn't running for about 23 mins of my time so the actual run time was under 3.30 . Who knows how much time the pain of injury cost me in addition when I did get back out there. So I shouldn't be too disheartened as there were a lot of positives in that run and more importantly I'm glad I had the privilege of being part of it .It was a very special occasion.As it said everywhere 'Boston Strong' . Ps my Garmin measured the distance at 26.5 miles and I can't begin to say how tough it was knowing I had that extra distance to go. Here are my Garmin splits which make some curious reading-- 1-7.06, 2-6.58, 3-6.55, 4-6.51, 5-6.58, 6-6.52, 7-6.56, 8-10.29, 9-26.06, 10-7.37, 11-7.24, 12-7.23, 13-7.24, 14-7.26, 15-9.36, 16-7.15, 17-7.43, 18-7.42, 19-7.50, 20-8.21, 21-8.19, 22-7.43, 23-8.22, 24-8.28, 25-7.49, 26-8.44, last 0.54-3.39. That's marathon no 9 done ,I'm wondering if I'll get 10 done ! My body is conspiring against me.
I still had 18 miles to go and I was now running mixed with a sort of hop and limp.Every step was painful. I'd forgotten about my back and Achilles which had plagued me in training . I don't remember much of the next 8 miles though sometimes I saw that my pace was surprisingly around 7.30mm. I stayed well away from the girls at Wellesley ...I didn't need any temptation to stop . Mile15 saw me need a toilet stop..the sun was now taking its toll on my stomach too. 11-14c? It was going on20c and there was no shade to be found.Where was that tail wind? Split for that mile 9.36! From then on I kept looking for my family and the hills kept coming. As a matter of pride I ran up them all even though my calf was now screaming at me. Heartbreak Hill came and went..not a fun experience .The noise of the spectators was deafening . No family in sight ,so I couldn't quit but I really needed to see them. ( they were actually on a trolley car there and saw me and photographed me).That was 20 miles done and 6 more seemed a distance too far but I wanted that medal . My pace seemed to keep slowing. I stopped at each water station and walk ran - that provided a bit of relief from the pain in my calf. I could see that I might get home in under 4 hours but I had doubts. Passed Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox which shares the same owner as Liverpool FC and now into the City. I could see the Prudential Building in the distance- the finish. More run limp walking. Only 2 miles...the longest 2 miles ever and why was the road so undulating? At last ,around a corner onto Boylston Street and the finish line in sight.What a noise !..anyone would think I was about to win the race . I looked at my watch and realised that with a sprint and a limp or two more I might get home under 3.45. Finished 3.44.08. My second worst marathon but I didn't care ,I'd finished and savoured the moment I was given my medal and gave a thought to those who weren't so
Monday -Race Day .My bus was at six fifteen even though my wave started at ten ..a yellow school bus straight from the movies. An hour later I ,together with thousands of others ,were deposited in a traditional New England country town called Hopkinton . I chatted to the guy sat next to me who had the same qualifying time and the time soon passed . The forecast was for it to be cool 11-14c with a tail wind - perfect. Instead the sun was already beating down with no trace of wind At last I was at the start line,the usual fly past took place and after the anthem we were off .I waved at a camera as I went over the line and happily my family back in the hotel saw me . I soon got into a comfortable pace just under 7mm and carried on that way . 5k in about 22 mins. I felt fine. 10k in just over 43mins. I was thinking about my target time allowing for the hills and fatigue-3.12 possibly? Near Mile 8 and all going well then bang ,without warning ,the right side of my left calf tightened up so painfully I had to stop . I couldn't walk or massage it out out. I sat on the kerb watching people stream by. A child gave me some water. I tried to run again ,no better. I had no option but to walk to mile 8 to the next medical tent. My Garmin showed splits for miles 8and nine of 10.29 and wait for it 26.06 When I got there the medics massaged my calf and told me they could feel a golf ball sized lump . They kept working on it and the calf filled with fluid so the ice pack went on. They gave me salt pills. I had a choice to make -get the 'injured 'bus back to the hotel or try running again. My family were going to see me at mile 16 so I had to go on. I didn't have my phone to tell them .My leg was strapped and I was back in the race. This last 5k had taken me 45mins. My plan was meet the family and go home with them if I wasn't up to finishing. A,B and C targets were irrelevant now.
Ok so here is my self indulgent ,self pitying report from Boston. Apologies in advance-
Boston Marathon After months of training this was it ,Boston. I flew out on the Thursday before the race to let my old body recover fully from the flight ...that was the plan anyway . As DD said the city was gripped with marathon fever and this became more and more intense with every day. On the Friday ,after a bit of retail therapy ,we went to the Boston Library and saw the art work put together in memory of those affected by the bombing last year. It was very moving ,many people cried whilst looking at the exhibits. Later that day I did a very satisfying 6+mile run along the Charles River with Harvard in the background ,my first run for four days after back trouble and one where I easily knocked out a mile at HM pace ,one at MP and one a bit slower .I decided to go for it on Monday...probably my undoing. Saturday was my registration day and in true Boston marathon tradition I wore my jacket from 2009 . So many others wore theirs but it was the 2013 jacket that carried most significance . Sunday was a day off my feet but I still managed to watch some ice hockey and meet DD and Chick. Chick and I were obviously nervous but DD was pretty laid back -In fact he was horizontal .Then it was off for a pasta in the Italian district and bed
What's up here? Is this bikers world ? See what happens when I go away a few days
KFC- I limped a lot
Red-you continue to add to list of woes. Are you sure a bike is a good idea
Simon- hope you get that bike