This morning was a little chilly standing at the start line in shorts and a t-shirt, but I knew that as the race started that it would warm up into the mid-50's and I would regret it if I wore long sleeves.
Off we went. I used my experience from last weekend's marathon to guide me and started faster. First mile was in 8:36? That can't be right. I must have started my watch too late.
I just didn't feel like running this morning. I kept the thinking positively for the first few miles -- I can't believe I'm in Boston; it's been a rough year, but I've pulled through.... been here almost 4 months and actually have friends..... boards coming up.... studying ok but need to cram some ECG stuff, thrombolytics, antiarrhythmics, and pharmacology into my head..... look up at the cameras and smile...... where am I going to go when I finish in June....whoops that's not a positive thought, banish that one!
My first six mile splits were anywhere between 9:20 and 9:40. This is faster than what I'd planned... can I keep this up? I feel pretty ok so far.
I couldn't keep it up. Stopped to pee at mile 6.... that mile was slower, 10:45. The next miles were about 10:30 apiece. People were passing me. I felt drained.
At mile 11, I knew I had to pick up the pace if I wanted to finish in 2:10. I was tired, but knew that if I missed 2:10 that I'd regret it. I have it in me. Pushing on.... this mile was 9:57. Picked up the pace even more at mile 12.
1.1 miles to go. Breathing a lot heavier. Louder. Getting funny looks. Instead of my usual "Thanks so much!" to the folks on the side of the road, all I could make out was "Augggggggh!" Great Heather, that's quite articulate. I sounded more like a neanderthal than a physician.
I pushed on. I finished strong in the baseball stadium in about 2:10, my goal time. The announcer called out my name as I crossed the finish line. Whooooooo-hoooo!!!!!!!!!!
For post-race refreshments, there were peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I have never had such a delicious pbj sandwich in my life. Cheered on some more runners, and the first two marathon finishers, hobbled to my car and headed home, sore but content.