Boston Marathon 2014: The lessons of the day.

Before the race yesterday: walking to the start.
Before the race yesterday: walking to the start.

Greetings from a Cambridge, Mass. hotel where I am currently nursing a very sore pair of legs. There is exactly one thing standing between me and my epsom salt bath. This post. So without further ado, here’s a first cut of my top 10 takeaways from the 118th Boston Marathon:

1. Law enforcement officers can smile. There were thousands of them out there yesterday – but they were clapping for us almost as much as they were maintaining a peaceful atmosphere.

2. People are awesome. Especially the people who  handed me a cold slice of orange at a moment when I really needed it, and handfuls of ice several times in the last five miles or so of the race. It got seriously hot out there.

3. The Boston Athletic Association knows race logistics like no other organization. Bar none, top to bottom, start to finish, there is only one thing I can suggest to improve on the events of the day yesterday: a bit more TP for the porta-potties in the Boston Common.

4. Running for a cause really rocks. I spent time last night with good buddies from Seattle and the Boston area. One runner, an official qualifier, ran this year for Team in Training in honor of family members who had passed away from cancer, and you could tell it meant so much more to her to run and raise funds in their honor than to simply run the race for herself. I love running for Mass General Hospital, even though I can’t train with the group during the winter since I live on the opposite coast.

5. Whoa, that was some exclamation point of a career achievement by Meb Keflegizhi. First American to win Boston since 1983. And he led at all the checkpoints, too. That is no easy feat on this hilly, tactical course.

6. I am capable of running a respectable marathon in warm conditions. Not a great race. But a respectable one.

7. NFL quarterbacks, pop stars, Olympic swimmers, and a whole range of celebrities run marathons. And when you run alongside them on the course, they’re not larger than life. They’re just fellow marathoners, trudging alongside you on the same path.

8. The answer to the question you’re probably asking after reading #7: Doug Flutie. Ran into him on the course at around 14 miles.

9. Boylston Street is still the best stretch of road in the marathon world. What a crowd yesterday. Nutty good. Just awesome and loud and proud and joyous.

10. Is there a better post-race recovery food in the world than potato-laden New England clam chowder with oyster crackers? No. There is not.

More thoughts on race day in the posts to follow later this week – as well as thoughts on how to handle the letdown after a big event and how to plan out the rest of your workout year.

Whatever you did yesterday – run, cheer, volunteer, hand out those orange slices, or just cheer virtually alongside us, wherever you were – we thank you. The support made it all worthwhile.

Recent #every48 workouts: Well, there was that marathon yesterday. And the easy 5K workout I ran in Watertown on Saturday morning at the super-duper Watertown Police Department race. Today is a day of rest and stretching. And yes, that epsom salt bath.

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