In about 14 hours from now I’ll be crossing the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
A few hours after that, and I’ll be crossing the starting line.
If all goes well, I’ll be crossing the finish line again (for the last time) in a few more hours.
I’m calling this: Plan “B” a.k.a. notsoB<->Boston
I know it’s a strange rationalization, but I’m injured – therefore I’ll be running twice as far.
This achilles/bursitis/heel spur/whateverthehellitis has been dogging me for 16 long months now. It was mostly under control through the winter, but has flared up again in a big way in the last couple of weeks. No small coincidence that it lines up with when I started throwing in some faster efforts into my training. Now it’s to the point that to run fast on it is pretty much impossible. My goal was to come to Boston and try to run as fast as I can – that goal is long gone. I didn’t want to come here to jog the marathon. Instead, I’m going to do the “double Boston”. That’s 52.4 miles of getting my money’s worth.
I can still run, and I’m in very good shape and feeling strong. Just a bit limited in the speed department. The motion of rolling forward and springing off my forefoot while pulling my heel off the ground is excruciating. But I can jog. Somewhat. There is still plenty of discomfort, and it sucks to have to dial it back, but I’m going to make the best of it and bag a cool adventure in the process.
I’ll start in downtown at the finish line 05:00 tomorrow morning. I’ll run the course in reverse out to Hopkington and then join up with the other 26,000 runners for the trip back to Boston. Should be fun! I’m just going to take it easy, soak up the atmosphere (500,000 screaming spectators!), shoot some photos, and slap some fives. The soggy weather is clearing up and things are looking good.
If you’re interested in checking my progress, here are a few details:
There are two official starting waves in Hopkington. One goes at 10:00, the other at 10:30. Though my qualifying time put me in the first wave, I’m going to sit that one out and head back to Boston with the 10:30 group. Their pace will be more to my liking under the circumstances. I’m aiming to make the return trip in under 4 hours if things go ok, but that’s a VERY BIG IF…
Starting at 5:00 Eastern time (that’s 7:00 Monday morning for the bulk of my family and friends), you can track me via my phone’s GPS signal here: Instamapper
Assuming my phone battery holds up. I’ve set it to transmit my location every 5 minutes so just hit refresh on your browser to see where I’m at if it’s been a while since you last checked. I just sent my coordinates to the site from my hotel, so you can see where I’m staying today about 20 miles north of town. Also, don’t worry if there’s no movement between 9:30 and 10:30 (EDT) tomorrow as I’ll hopefully be hanging out at the start getting refueled for the return. Check out the satellite imagery via the dropdown list as well, should be pretty nice unlike the images for where I live that haven’t been updated for 10+ years. You can even see the start line painted on the road.
My bib number is 7078. You can use that to track me on the official website (for the ‘real’ race only) here.
If you check either of those sites today, you won’t see much going on. The Boston Marathon site is supposed to change tomorrow morning and have a way to track people from the home page. The Instamapper site won’t update again until I’m off and running.
Here is a course map so you can see where I’ll be headed. Starting on the right side, running to the left, and then back to the right.
I survived shopping at the expo today, and driving around downtown Boston. In the process, I turned a 25 minute drive into 90. Ouch. At one point I counted TEN streets in one intersection!!
Tomorrow should be a piece of cake.