Another sure sign of spring is the Boston marathon, now less than two weeks away. The taper is truly here, along with the aches and creaks and little bits of nagging training guilt that come along with it. Did I work hard enough? Maybe I should have strength trained. Done more tempo runs? More speed work? Surely that last long run could have been longer. And I could have eaten better....and on and on....
Doesn't matter. Not much can be done now except rest and recover for race day.
The 114th running of the Boston Marathon on April 19th, 2010 will be my fourth 26.2 mile journey from Hopkinton to Boston. I'd like to believe that I am a bit wiser to the hallowed race course, with its crowded start, sharp opening descent, sneaky hills and vivacious spectators. In 2006, my goal was just to enjoy the experience, relish it, and not expect too much. In 2008, I fought stomach problems from 10k onwards and just hung in to finish at 3:36-something....my first BQ at Boston but all in all, not a great marathon for me. And in 2009, I attempted to use what I had learned in my previous two outings to benefit me, ended up running a solid race against a headwind and finished in the slimmest of margins under 3:30....3:29:59. Can't forget that time!
The thing about being an admitted type-A marathon runner, however, is that we are never just happy with a good performance. Seriously. What other kind of person would just keep coming back for more? My mental notes on what I could have done better are extensive and with any luck, one or two of those mental notes will help me this year. I have a race plan (and Plan B too), and yet so much is dependent on the next 10 days, with every day closer to the race being more crucial than the day before.
At the same time, all seriousness aside, I am totally looking forward to a week in Boston! It is such a great city to visit, and we are lucky enough to have a little pied a terre booked in Beacon Hill to live like local Bostonians...um...minus the accent. I can't wait to putter down Charles Street, savor wonderful pre-race Italian fare in the North End and relax on a park bench in the Boston Common. Spring is here!