2:48:45, 6:26/mile, 403 overall, 388 male. 8:46 off my goal.
1351 Meissner, Sean R. 34 M Sisters OR USA
5k 10k 15k 20k Half 25k 30k 35k 40k
0:18:43 0:37:26 0:56:08 1:15:54 1:19:55 1:34:55 1:55:00 2:16:37 2:38:42
So I came to Boston looking to, and believing I could, run a sub-2:40. I'm in just about as good of shape as I've ever been in. My 1:16 1/2 marathon 3 weeks ago convinced me that I not only could break 2:40, but that I should, as well.
During my warm-up, I just didn't have any pep or bounce in my legs like I had at the 1/2. I knew it was going to be tough to get my goal, but what the heck, I went for it anyway. I hit the mile in 6:28 (minus 18 seconds to get to the starting line). Then I just started hitting high 5:50s to 6:05 for many miles in a row. I wasn't in an easy flow, so was fighting for every mile, but felt confident with my consistent pace. Around 12, I took a porto-stop, then stupidly tried to play catch-up with the pack I had been with, instead of just getting back into my 6 min. pace. Although I did get back up to the group, that strategy was, of course, totally lame. In the midst of being lame, I ran through Wellesley, and although the reality of the crowd and noise definitely did not live up to my pre-race expectations, I did get my kiss!
At 25 km, I was right back at 6:06 pace (and I got a big rah-rah from Meghan). Then things started to get bad. By 16, I just wasn't having much fun, and by 17, I knew I was done. I pretty much just shut down my race and tried to enjoy it. My pace immediately went from low-6s to low-7s; no slow transition, just a sudden drop. Brad Mitchell caught and flew by me here (and finished strong in 2:40:11). Next, Scott Wolfe caught me just before 30 km. He slowed for a second to ask if I needed anything. I mumbled "no", then he was off to a strong finish in 2:41:10 (not too shabby after 4th at the Rumble last weekend!). (At right, Scott about ready to put the hammer down on me).
Shortly before Scott passed me, I decided it would be fun to puke on myself. At the top of the last of the hills at 21, right in front of all the Boston College students, I thought it would be fun to puke on myself again. I didn't even try to move my head to the side; I didn't care.
Lots of people passed me the last 9 miles (at least 200, based on Brad's place compared to mine). Although it was humbling, again, I didn't care. I was just on cruise control and trying to enjoy the crowds and just being "in" Boston.
I eventually figured I should at least shoot for a sub-2:50. Passing 1 mile to go in 2:42, I knew that was pretty much a gimme, so I just continued to cruise, still not letting it bother me that lots of guys were still flying by to their own p.r.'s. In fact, I really did try to cheer almost all of them on. It was easy to tell the guys who were having stellar days, and it was fun to root them on to strong finishes.
I eventually trotted across the line in a gun time of 2:49:03, which translated to a 2:48:45 chip time. Then it just took a really long time to walk to the water; I think I started to get a bit cranky, wondering where the heck it was. But I got water, my cool little silver heat blanket, my medal, and finally my drop bag with warm, dry clothes and sandals.
In the Team Competition, the Central Oregon Running Klub (CORK) Men's Open Team that I was part of, with Danny Harris, JJ Howard, and Michael Dennis, placed 38th with a time of 8:54:55 (best 3 times scored). Nope, we didn't win any prizes, but this just made it a little more fun for the four of us.
I met up with Danny, Amy, and Amy's family, and we all went to get some drinks and food. That Coke was about the best ever. I desperately needed those calories. Then I took the t up to Harvard to meet the Maniacs at John Harvard's for some good pub grub. Two hard ciders, a Long Island Ice Tea, an order of bbq wings, and a big plate of greasy cheese fries later (as I'm still on my quest for the best-ever post-race cheese fries), I felt so much better. No longer Mr. Cranky. It was good. And it was just fun to hang out with my Maniac buddies and catch up (including Gayman, who ran in the Women's Trials yesterday!).
So as I reflect back on my race, I would be lieing if I said I wasn't a bit disappointed. I had a goal, and I missed it. I'm not disappointed, though, with the fact that I layed it out there and went for it from the start. To get the time I wanted, I felt that's what I had to do. I really do appreciate all of the support from literally hundreds of friends and family, though. I know that many of you followed my progress on-line, and were sending me good energy the whole race. For that, I thank you all. It really is great to have such a tremendous cheering section, and that will always be more important to me than reaching a time goal. Always.