Then the rain moved out though, and spirits picked up again – Tom Mertz (April 20, 2015)

Can’t believe how my third Boston unfolded for me. Through training, I was targeting a 3:05. We got in to Boston Saturday around lunchtime, and by that night I was starting to feel lousy. I hoped it was just allergies and that I wasn’t getting sick. I didn’t feel that much better through Sunday, and the weather forecast surely didn’t help. I was beginning to think this would be my last Boston for a while, as I wasn’t even sure a 3:15 would be possible, and with NYC in November, the likelihood of me running another BQ race over the summer was slim to none.

When we got in to the Athletes’ Village, we found everyone huddled under the tents, trying to stay positive, and make the best of the situation. Some rain moved in to Hopkinton around 8:15, and that seemed to crush most people’s hopes, including mine. I was beginning to think a 3:30 might be in my future. The rain moved out though, and spirits picked up again.

Wave 1 started at 10:00, and for the first six or so miles, conditions remained dry, and the wind was fairly light. Between mile 6 and the Wellesley scream tunnel around mile 12, we had some sporadic rain, heavy at times. When we were in to the Newton hills around miles 15-16, the rain and wind became steady. By the time I was on the down side of Heartbreak Hill, my hands were like ice and my shoes were waterlogged. However, there were only five miles left, and even on a good day, at that point you’re just gutting it out.

The Citgo sign is the next big landmark, followed by Fenway, within a mile of the finish. There’s nothing better than making the right on Hereford and left on Boylston. From there it’s less than 800m to go.

Tom Mertz medalSomehow I managed to run faster than last year and grab a new PR by 38 seconds, 3:06:21. I’m pretty confident that would have been a sub-3:05 run had the weather been better, but I couldn’t be happier given the conditions and how I felt the last 48 hours before the start.

Thanks to all my friends and family who continue to support and encourage me through this running habit. Of course at the top of the list are Sarah Parrott Mertz, Talan and Tenley. Special thanks to Nick Rouse and Spartan Strength. In 2013, I had to stop to stretch out calves and hamstrings twice. In 2014, I had to slow down because I was close to cramping. This year, I had no indications of cramping at all, and that is mainly due to the cross training I’ve done with Nick over the last few months.

Already looking forward to Boston 2016…

 

Tom Mertz
Urbandale, Iowa

hotel note
A few days before, the hotel sent a mass email to people staying the weekend, asking why they ran. I replied, and thought that would be it. However I got a personal reply from the Director of Guest Services – who not only upgraded our room, but also sent this note after we arrived. Very classy. Thanks Brenda!