Completed marathon #6 in record time. When I ran this race last year, I forgot to ring the PR bell. This time, I remembered just after crossing the finish line. Problem is, I couldn't find the bell. So I started asking. One lady says, "It's back there. Seeing my confusion, she took me against traffic back to the finish line to ring the bell.
I felt good about my run. Although I wanted to qualify for Boston with a 3:40, the race time predictor on this site suggested that I would probably be able to achieve an 3:45 time, which I came close to doing.
Boston qualification was probably a little bit unrealistic, but I met all my other goals. In training I topped out at 70 miles a week with 7 weeks in the 50s and two in the 60s. I lost 10 pounds and I did two-a-days some of the time along with some speed workouts, hill workouts, etc.
I spoke with the 3:40 pacer at the start line who announced his strategy. Since it was downhill at the start with some uphill at miles 8 and 9, he wanted to bank some time at the beginning for the later difficulties. I asked him about my plan to start slowly and speed up at the end and he disagreed, having run over 60 marathons himself.
So I stayed with him for about 8 and it was very easy and crowded. So I moved ahead, thinking to stay just ahead. Soon, I saw the 3:35 pacer. I also stayed behind him for a long time and then decided to pass him. We changed leads a few times and then he left me behind. At about mile 20, the 3:40 pacer caught me and I was able to keep him in sight for a few miles before I lost him too.
Now my Boston qualification was out of reach, but not my PR. As it turns out, Ben was taking the ACT at the same time with a goal of 26, having not exceeded 21 in the past. I told him before the race that I would think of him as I ran and run a mile for each point he got on the test. Mile 22 was especially for him. Mile 24 was my PR mile because my ACT score in high school was 23. After that, it was just everything I could give. Cindy came in and ran along beside me for a while, which helped. I was cramping, but the pain was tolerable, and I even passed a few people at the end, which I've never done before.
Yes, my pace slowed to 9:28/mile for the last 10K, but it was more like 13/mile at the Fargo marathon 3 weeks ago, where I totally fell apart at the end with a finish of 4:12:04.