Seebo's Run

A running commentary on my training and whatever else emerges from that.

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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Back from Boston

I'm back. Got into town just in time to teach my Sociology of Medicine class.

I hope to write (and post) more on the past weekend, especially because the weekend was so much more than just the race. In fact, the marathon itself was so much more than just the running. But in the meantime I'll reaffirm my position in the center of my universe with this abbreviated account of only the run (that I also posted on the Philly Runners message board).

Thanks to everyone who followed me online. I've heard from some of you and I felt everyones presence each time I crossed one of those mats that were laid out on the course at 5 kilometer intervals.

I leave for business to Houston tomorrow, and won't be running for a few days, so I won't post again until the end of the week.


Temp was 70 degrees at high noon in Hopkinton, with a blazing sun and a headwind. Newscasts would later say that the humidity was under 10%. Combined with that wind, you would not know you were dehydrated until your skin started turning to powder.

In other words, not a day to pr.

IC and I started in the corrals together but after the gun sounded he left me in the dust to head down the Hopkinton hills. Painful past lessons with heat and headwind taught me to hold back.

First 5 miles went at about a 6:10 clip, on the slow side of my target pace. Then the splits drifted into the 6:20s and I didn't fight it. My throat was starting to dry up so I broke with tradition and drank at almost every water stop. I took additional cups of water from kids and poured them over my head.

I promised God I would not lust after the Wellesley girls if I were spared a death march today.

On the other side of Wellesley my splits dipped into the 6:30s. My slowest point in the race (6:45 split at mile 17) was about where I caught up with IC - a stretch called "Hell's Alley," an understated uphill stretch just before the Newton firehouse that softens you up for the upcoming hills. We commiserated and then I turned right to face the hills.

This was more than a literal turning point. I was able to maintain pace through the first two Newton hills and suddenly dropped the loose group I was running with. This energized me enough to pass more people, and suddenly I had momentum where I least expected to find it. Seeing Cindy and the Bryn Mawr folks at Mile 19 kept me pumped, and I took Heartbreak Hill in a 6:28.

After Heartbreak comes the Haunted Mile, which featured a steady stream of walking or barely jogging runners as the course passed by an actual graveyard. All the adrenaline from Newton was gone, but I realized I'd be okay. I wouldn't PR but I'd beat my two previous Boston times, so I settled down and focused on reeling people in.

I passed three people in a final sprint down Boyleston Street. With the finish line in sight I suddenly wanted the race to go on forever. And as soon as it was over I almost collapsed.

2:47:05. Not my fastest race but definitely my smartest. Age has its advantages.


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