Well I finished in 5:02:44. Not one of my best. Not one of my worst. Back to my book of stupid tricks I guess. Just as I thought maybe had things sorted out-bang.
When we arrived in Boston on Friday it was cold and we even saw snow. This prompted visits to the expo to gather more warm running gear. The expo was huge. We even got to hear some of the Boston legends talk. The AMAA meeting was excellent. The first talk was on sudden death and running. We decided no high fives because that seems to happen just before the runner drops. It was great hearing about the running accomplishments of fellow physicians. I was particularly inspired by Dr.Walter Bortz II who was running his 40th marathon at 80. I still have time to get it right.
Boston is a great town with very friendly people. It was especially great to have dear Bostonian friends show us the sights. We kind of ate our way through the town so to speak. We didn't eat bad and had plenty of carbs so that wasn't the problem.
On to the marathon. Great weather. Sunny 44 to 55F. No wind to speak of compared to our training. I ate my timed prerace meal three hours before the presumed start. Plain bagel first mistake. Also a banana and Infinit sports drink. Hindsight: plain bagel with little fat or protein equals gone before the gun. Walking down to the start line I yawned. I was not bored. I was low glucose lethargic. With a gun time of 10:30 am and actual take off time of 10:50am I was missing morning snack and soon to follow lunch. Depleted before I started. I was so afraid to overload that I under loaded. When we took off it was fantastic. Huge crowds were screaming as though we were the elites instead of back of the packers. I wanted to be conservative to start. 10:30 to 10:40 pace was good. Soon I felt as though I had no energy and no motivation. Sluggish. I took a honey stinger gel with no improvement. I repeated it in 40 minutes no better. The next 40minutes I tried a tropical Heed gel. Figured the caffine my boost me. It did. I felt a little better. I just could not push the pace. Stuck in low gear. I then switched to Infinit sports drink. I had concentrated it in my flasks. I took a few swigs every water station and it seemed to be helping but I also started to develope some belly cramping so I backed off. By mile 15 I was falling rapidly. I admitted this was not my day but I was more than capable of finishing at a slow pace. Better to waddle in then go to the woods with "GI issues". I kept taking the Infinit and mixed it with water at the aide stations. I took the PowerGel with 1x caffeine at mile 17 with a boost in my energy. Still slow but ok. I never walked up a hill. My heart rate never got out of control or near threshold. The crowds remained fantastic. As I was going up the hill at 21, I asked "is this heartbreak" to a spectator. They yelled yes you have this. It was the most excited I had been. I felt great going up the hill giving all the BC kids high fives ( it was ok because it was not at the end). I gradually picked my pace up a little and enjoyed the last few miles crazy as it seems.
It is amazing what nutrition can do to you. My training had been good. Not perfect but certainly adequate for a 10 minute pace. The result was disappointing but the straight stretch to the finish was great with all the crowds cheering. I will definitely strive to qualify and return someday. I will be more aware of my prerace fueling with regards to time of day. I will continue to use Infinit sports drink and probably switch back to PowerGels. My hat is off to Boston, its people and the race director and volunteers. A class act. I'll be back.