I have never run negative splits in a marathon, and especially nothing as hard as the Boston Marathon. There is no exact science to this I don’t believe but what you have likely heard in the past is true:
“You run the first third with your head, the middle third with your personality and the last third with your heart.” ~Mike Fanelli
Run the first third smart: The lady I was running with had made an awesome pace bracelet that was adjusted for the course and to give an even effort with elevation accounted for without negative splits. You could set these parameters online for even pace, even effort, negative splits, for your specific course, etc to let yourself know right where you needed to be. I stuck with her for the first 14-15 miles and I REFUSED to let myself get more than 5 seconds ahead of any given mile pace. This is especially difficult in Boston with so much down hill at the start and more adrenaline pumping through your veins than you have ever felt in your whole life.
Run the middle third sassy: This is where I played hard ball. I knew to cruise until mile 16 knowing the hills were coming and really sticking to my first third mentality. When it came to miles 16-20 I just ran with a fierceness. I wanted to show those four hills, heart break especially, that they had nothing on me. I taped into all the runs that nearly killed me in Atlanta when I first got here and said, “I am bigger than this hill.” And I was!
Run the final third with heart: For this, I not only had my own heart but the heart of a million people cheering me on. I pushed myself for them, for the ones that couldn’t run, for the ones who lost their lives. I pushed myself for this country and for what we stand for. In this race, I had a lot more heart than I ever have had and probably will have again.
In my future races, I won’t have as much to fight for. There won’t be as much emotion behind it, but I will still be the same girl behind the effort and hopefully that will be enough. But when it’s not, I will remember what I ran for on the 21st of April, 2014 and hopefully I will be able to dig a little deeper, push a little harder and finish a little stronger.