I have run Heartbreak Hill as part of a half marathon before, just once. It lives up to its name. I also know that although the hill is relatively moderate compared to where I live and train, more than half the problem is that it comes after 17 miles of running already, much of those downhill. I won't be running Boston for time.
The hard part of marathon are the miles in preparation. I did ten of those today (11 if you count the run back to the T), and I crushed them. I was so happy to reach the top of the sequence of hills comprising Heartbreak, I made some new friends on a group training run, but you should have been my heart as we came up Beacon Street into Kenmore Square - Back Bay buildings rising over the skyline, such campus as BU musters, and hey - that's Fenway over there, where on Marathon Monday the Red Sox play early so that the game will be over by the time I lumber in next April.
Now I can orient myself to the field - if you are looking at the Coca Cola sign from inside the park, you're looking towards the Pike and points slightly southwest, if I have that correct.
We ran past the spot on Comm Ave where the Samaritans Boston office will set up their cheering station (coordinate with me if you'd like to join them - or tell me where'll you'll be set up so I can look for you along the route). Cheering station?! They're going to cheer for me!?! And Samaritans staffer Erin already promised that she'd be handing out goody bags, as well. Goody bag? During a marathon?!? How cool is this!
I felt like such a tourist. And so blessed to be able to run.