On Not Qualifying for Boston (Again)

Yesterday was my 4th marathon - the Bob Potts Marathon in York, PA. In no particular order, here are notes, quotes and revelations:

1) I finished in 3:26:41, 43rd out of 332ish finishers.
2) I was 5th in my AG out of 27.
3) Out of my 4 marathons, this was my 3rd slowest. However, it was 7 minutes faster than my last marathon, which thrilled me to no end. The very fact that I ran a marathon and didn't get slower than my last is something I've never experienced until now.
4) Though I missed Boston by 5:41, nit-pickers should note that because I've gotten older, it was my second closest call to missing Boston to 2007, when I missed it by 2:57. This is another reason to feel good.
5) Unlike the previous 2 marathons, I had a great day w/ blood sugars. I took a page from the Kris Freeman playbook and boosted my basal rates to compensate for race day adrenaline. This is a gamble move - one that's pretty impossible to practice because when you're in practice, you don't have adrenaline. But it worked, and though I was in danger at 1 point of going low, I pretty much held it steady around 130 for most of the race.
6) Why didn't I make it? It's hard to say... I went out slow and was on pace for a 3:18 at the midpoint. The next five miles went pretty well, too, but after that I found myself getting tired and flat. The last 10k of a marathon is always a special ring of hell, but I honestly didn't feel as bad as usual... I just couldn't find the gear I needed to finish strong.
7) I can't say enough good about the course or the race organizers. This is the first time I've finished a marathon saying I want to do that one again.
8) What's next? I'm not 100% sure and I'm going to give myself a little time to decide. I am very beat up, right now, and my first instinct after the race was to tell some people that I aimed to take off the fall, concentrate on breaking 1:30 in the half-marathon, and returning to this same marathon next spring. And I might. But on the other hand, I'm pretty pleased with the build I did and hate to waste the massive base I have currently.
9) Blog-lebrity sightings. I was fortunate enough to recognize Elizabeth on the trail and say hello, but missed saying hi to Laura, MCM Mama or Dana, all of whom finished strong. Way to go!
10) I should mention that my co-worker, Mallory qualified for Boston in her second attempt yesterday. I take pride in that, too, as I'm not sure she would've had I not taught her how to properly program her Garmin. ;)
11) Thank you's.... While the final time wasn't what I wanted, I really feel this build, courtesy of coach Missy, has me back on the right track. The other big thank you goes to my super-wife, who drove me to the course at 5am and then came home to pick up the kiddos so they could see the finish. In addition, when the training became a bit too intense, I moved most of my 5:30am cross-training workouts to evening hours, which cut into family time a bit. I try not to do that because there's a lot about running that makes it a selfish hobby, but uberwife took it all in stride.

And that's that... a 4th marathon in the books. A lot learned and much to be grateful for.

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