Since I was pumped about my success at the Mayors Marathon, I was ready to tackle another marathon soon. What better than the grand daddy of them all? BOSTON. I signed up for the Boston Marathon and bought my plane ticket that October. A good six months before the race. I was going to put more effort into this marathon than I have for any race in my life. I have had a good year of running up to this point. I got a PR for the 5K (16:48), Marathon (2:53:16), and 10K (34:49). I was pretty comfortable running 40-50 miles a week, but I knew I could step it up and do some higher mileage. I also made a huge investment that fall. I bought a precor treadmill (best purchase of my life). I knew if I wanted to get serious about training I would need a treadmill. Especially in Alaska where the elements can be too much outside. Or you just need a break and want to run with shorts and a t-shirt on. It was a higher end treadmill. I bought it on sale for $3,500. Some people said I was crazy. I could've bought a nice snowmachine, etc... I just knew I would come out of the winter fit, which is better than sitting on a machine riding around the snow anyways. I also didn't want to have to go to the athletic club to use one. Most clubs only let you go for 30-60 minutes at a time plus I didn't want my sweat flying all over the people next to me. I put my treadmill upstairs next to the window. I have music set up and I can stare out my window to keep me busy. I would like to eventually get a tv set up in their to watch sporting events or movies to pass the time on an easy run.
I had a lot of help for this marathon. The people who helped me the most were Jerry Ross, John Clark, Monica Tibbetts, and Kris & Kristi Waythomas. I went into Skinnyraven one day to ask Jerry and JC to set me up a plan to get ready for Boston. Jerry pointed me to a book called "Advanced Marathoning" by Pete Pfitzinger and Scott Douglas. In this book I found and 18 week-more than 70 miles a week plan. Jerry used this book a lot when he was preparing for Boston the year before. So, I trusted him and bought it. I followed the 18 week plan perfectly. I didn't miss one workout and I completed every single workout too. I guess you can say that I got lucky. I didn't get injured. I did get sick a couple times, but I just lowered the intensity a little but still did the workout. I have always been pretty good to follow plans I have set out for me. At least in my athletic life. Having followed this plan to the T, I had a lot of confidence going into Boston. I had some family running Boston as well. My cousin Michelle from Kansas City Missouri, my uncle jim and aunt Lamae Ritchie from Bemidji, and my dad also came from Fairbanks for support. It was sure nice having everyone their. I also met a new friend named Kurt Fiene who is a visually impaired runner. He is legally blind and still gets after it. He is quite good too. He ran right around 2:52 I believe at this years Boston. I got to know him through my cousin Michelle. They met when she still lived in Omaha, Nebraska. Since my relatives knew Kurt and were on the "Team with a Vision" we all got a rock star start. I didn't have to take a bus to Hopinkton and wait 4 hrs. until the race started. We hoped in a van around 8:30 that drove us right to the start basically. I changed my shoes, went to the bathroom, and slow jogged to the starting line and only had to wait 15-20 min. before the start. The conditions for the race were awesome. The temp at the start was in the mid 50's and may have gotten into the low 60's during the race. Their was also a very small cool breeze which helped. Their wasn't a cloud in the sky and the sun was out. I actually got a sun burn on the right side of my face and body during the race. The race starts with a downhill the first few miles and if I didn't watch it I could've started out way too fast. I purposely ran slow the first 5K. It ended up being the slowest 5K of the entire race. I ran it in 20min. flat. I knew I was a little behind my sub 2:45 goal, but I didn't panic. I was able to pass Lance Armstrong around the 3 mile mark. It was pretty cool to see him. Shorter than I would've of thought. I was feeling great just about the entire race. Going past Wellesley college was awesome. You could actually hear them about 1/2 mile away. I couldn't believe how loud the screaming and cheering was. I felt like kicking it down to sub 6min. pace but I knew better. I was just feeling good. I checked my splits every mile and I was getting a little faster than my goal time. I took a gu every 5 miles and drank gatorade and water at every water stop. I still remember pushing it pretty hard up Heartbreak Hill while people were dying and feeling great. Once you get to the top its pretty much downhill into boston. I stayed on pace even though the last 2-3 miles were pretty tough mentally. My last mile split was 6:08 and I finished with a time of 2:44:01 good for 252nd place overall. It was another great feeling that's hard to explain. I had finished the race and was greatful it was over. I started to reflect on all the hours I put into this race. To make a plan and stick with it. Then to actually achieve your goal that I set forth. It was quite overwhelming. It is a great feeling. It also left me with a taste to run even more. I knew I would be back for another Boston soon.