I've cramped up on this hill in the past, but not today.
Today was different. I still had something left in the tank to get me over the hump.
I've rehearsed this stretch of the run at least seven times over the past four months, mostly on my Wednesday night BU Death Runs. I always made it a point to detour my BU run to make sure I get this part down pat.
Cut the tangent on the turn, look out for that pothole, don't turn too wide.
Also on my BU run two weeks prior, I walked off the distance from the corner of Hereford/Boylston to the finish line, and my Garmin told me that this stretch was .35 miles. That's pretty short considering that this stretch becomes the longest stretch of road on Marathon Monday.
.35 miles, huh? I should be able to do that within 1:40 with fresh legs.
My Garmin now read 2:48:15 as I powered my way around the final turn for the home stretch.
I couldn't believe how close this was actually going to be.
.35 miles to go.
I thought back to all of the track workouts over the winter at the Rat Dome in Lexington. All of the 200's, 400's, and 800's that Coach Run Faster made us do. What was the point of all that?
Now I know.
2:49:00 with less than 400 meters to go.
I barely recall much of this part on Boylston other than the fact that I looked for a clear path to the finish, closed my eyes, gritted my teeth, and went for broke.
365 Days, New Year's Run, Track Workouts, Catamount Hill, Park Ave, Wollaston, Eastern Ave, RT2, BU Death Runs, Fudgcicle Series, Super 5K, New Bedford Half, Good Times #1.
Training runs and races with and against Reno Stirrat, Joe Donnelly, Dima Feinhaus, Jim Rhoades, Ephraim Ezekiel, Chris Spinney, Joe Navas, Gary Allen, Lawrence Allen, Jim St. Pierre, Jim Garcia, Blaine Moore, Gary McNamee, John Rheaume, Dan Verrington, Mike Shanahan, Ken Skier, Keith O'Brien, David Penn, Paul Kelly, Michael Brodeur, Matt Germaine, Jonathan Morris, Eric Beauchesne, EJ, Fil, Frank, John, Jeff, James, Andy, Jill, Glenn, Cody, Titus, Festus, Scooter, Teddy, and on and on and on.
I opened my eyes at the very last possible second of my dead sprint....
All of that work over four months for this one literal second of pure joy.
I had nothing left on Boylston, but a smile on my face.