They weren't joking when they said Boston was wicked hard. Although I estimate I pr'd by about 30 minutes, this race felt impossibly hard. Every moved so fast at the start it was terribly difficult to follow my pacing guide. Even checking the Garmin every 30 seconds and slowing myself down, my splits for the first half were way too fast...some even 90 seconds faster than they should have been, and that was after slowing down. Had I done a better job with my splits, I may have finished under 5 hours. My next race WILL be sub 5!!!
Good things: the support on the course and from the communities is wonderful. It overwhelms you with joy. People are so kind, strangers cheer you like you are family. The volunteers are top notch and the race is run like a well organized machine. It really is a first class race. This is one of my favorite towns in America. It is so easy to navigate, great dining and a ton of fun.
Bad things: this is the course from hell. The first half is down hill and it is really hard to run conservatively with such an elite crowd. Boston is an expensive town so this is a very expensive race to run. I am in an insane amount of pain and for a minute I considered quitting running altogether (like that would really happen).
Someday, when I earn a BQ, I will come back give this course a swift kick in butt. I think I am going to look for a flat marathon to boost my confidence and looking into doing half marathons to improve my time and pacing. I am pretty sure that if I can conjure up some discipline, I could make huge gains in no time at all. Which, let's face it, I might be slow but I did shave a HUGE amount of time off my pr while running a notoriously difficult course. It that doesn't scream potential, I don't know what does!
More pictures and details to come once I am back on the best coast. Thanks for all your support!