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After my usual Nike Vapormax Plus Tiger
I knew the course was pretty flat and that there was a real possibility that I could qualify for Boston, but still was amazed when I crossed the finish line not only within the qualifying time for my age group, but three minutes under that time and 15 minutes faster than my last marathon personal record.
I started out the first few miles staying conservative and felt great. I have a habit of really working the middle part of the race, and thanks to a strong rap and rock infused iTunes play list (with a healthy amount of peppy pop) and some energy gel laced with caffeine, I really started to cruise and pick up the pace a bit somewhere around mile eight or nine. A great sprinkling of supportive spectators, often with humorous signs, also didn't hurt. I glanced at my watch and became a little nervous about if I would be able to keep up that pace, but felt too good to slow down. The half point came up and I passed it just a minute slower than my best half marathon finishing time, which also scared me a bit, but I kept chugging along, regardless. Right around mile 17, I started to feel a little tired and became worried that I was about to hit "the wall," the point in the marathon when it really becomes a struggle.
Breaking through 'the wall'
18 weeks of training, my hard work had more than paid off. I am already planning for another marathon this fall, likely Kansas City, and to take on Boston next spring, of course. My only worry is now that I have hit the ultimate distance runners' goal of qualifying for Boston, what's next?.
With the paces I have held in shorter races, I knew that I was physically capable Nike Vapormax Plus Rainbow
The day before the marathon, I printed out two pace bands, one to finish in 3 hours and 35 minutes (the Boston qualifying time for my age group) and another for 3 hours and 40 minutes, in case I fell off the 3:35 pace and still could beat my last best of 3:47. I never expected to finish in 3 hours and 32 minutes.
of hitting that required finishing time, but mentally I wasn't sure of when or if I would make it there.
the clock well under the Boston qualifying time I was in shock. I knew I was on pace to finish much faster than I expected, but somehow seeing my finishing time projected on the big clock really made it official. I was even able to sprint to the finish and surprisingly didn't feel nearly as awful after I finished as I have at marathons in the past.
The last few miles, which are usually such a chore dragging my tired legs and aching joints to the finish weren't nearly as physically or mentally draining as in previous marathons. Although, it was certainly not a walk in the park either.
As I turned the corner to finish and Nike Vapormax Og heard my name being announced while I looked at Nike Vapormax Plus Obsidian
You never know what you are physically capable of until you learn how to push yourself mentally, past the barriers that hold you back.
But something miraculous happened. For the first time, I never really hit "the wall." My speed declined slightly from mile 17 21, mainly due to wind and some twists and turns, but at about mile 22, when I usually hit the ultimate wall, I was able to pick up the pace again and pass other runners who were likely hitting their own respective walls.
Throughout all of my training over the past four marathons I have done prior, qualifying for Boston had been in the back of my mind. I figured I would get there sometime, but wasn't about to push myself too hard. It was sort of a short term bucket list item, something I knew I was likely capable of at some point, but wasn't really in a hurry to get there. My dad and I have been doing marathons each spring and fall in different states over the past few years, and I figured I would likely qualify at some point in our quest to join the 50 State Marathon Club.
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