What a difference a year can make! I took a look back at my logs for what my goal was for last year’s Boston…I wanted to pull a 3:30. How ironic that it happened this year, and in terrible weather conditions! I like running in the rain…I say it all the time. But, I think after yesterday, it will be a little while before I head to run out on a cold, wet, rainy day.
Boston is a hard day for me (I know its hard for everyone for different reasons, I’m not trying to steal the “hard” from anybody here). Its hard to get up at 5 and not start running until 10. It’s hard to be in a car for an hour and wait for a few more until I start. My body doesn’t like waiting one bit. I find myself getting really stiff and way too in my own head. The waiting game really takes a toll on you!! Last year, I left my house at 5 am and didn’t start until 11:20…that was a LOT of waiting around!!!
This year I fared better-I started at 10:25, and left the house at 6:15. My father in law ( SHOUT TO YOU FIL, you ROCK!) has driven me into the city every year for the past 4 or so years. My husband used to take me, but my FIL is a limo driver and knows the ins and outs of the city. My husband DOES NOT, and our day used to start with me crying and getting dropped off far away from the bus I needed to be on and nearly having a panic attack that I wasn’t going to get to Hopkinton. Not exactly my preferred way to start the day…This year, with SIL along for the ride, I felt confident that we could find our way to Hopkinton–>this meant a little extra time to sleep in..that helped A LOT. Last year i got up at 4 am to leave by 5!! AH!!!!! THATS JUST SO EARLY!!!
I seriously have on about 4 layers in this pic because I was so cold!!
We made it to Hopkinton by 7 am..sooo early! I hadn’t planned on being there until 7:45-8, but oh well. We were bused by shuttle from an exit off of 495 to athlete’s village. From there we were able to navigate ourselves to the areas inside that we would be waiting at. It was soooooo hard to leave SIL and I cried when we parted ways!!!
With three hours to kill until I started, there wasn’t much to do..I played on my phone….responded to some well wishes….and watched the starts of the elite women and Wave 1. The time did move quickly (but still not quick enough!)
Suddenly, I found myself in my corral and about to start. It was all really, really surreal. You spend so much time prepping for the race that sometimes the actual race doesn’t feel “real.” At least for me it really didn’t! I was VERY VERY COLD at the beginning of the race. So cold that I didn’t take off my shirt until mile 3, and even then I tied it around my waist because I didn’t want to regret tossing it(but i did by mile 7ish because its wet-ness was annoying me).
I stayed at an extremely conservative pace for the first few miles. The rain didn’t start until maybe mile 4? 5? I began to pick up my speed & I felt really, really strong. I thought I could still PR even with the wind & the driving rain. Every single mile went by SO FAST. I realize that this was my fastest Boston, but still, the way the miles were ticking on by was pretty great. I wasn’t cold until probably mile 17…this was when I also started to slow down a little bit. From a mile to mile standpoint, I really don’t remember a heck of a lot of the race- it’s really weird. I’m going to bullet point some of the things that happened (in no particular order, sorry folks):
- I took GU at miles 7, 12, and 17. At 17 my hands were so cold that they wouldn’t function very well. I couldn’t even rip the tab to open my GU & had to suck it out of a little bitty hole. I slowly sipped that one until mile 24. I typically will take 4 GU during a race- If I had a 4th GU yesterday, I would have puked.
- I didn’t do any Gatorade. I didn’t train with it and I never felt like I needed the extra sugar to boost me up so I did just water. I didn’t stop at a single stop. I have to give myself some major credit for not stopping and managing to actually swallow the water (instead of the usual snorting it up my nose)
- I treated Boston like I always do-high fived and hugged as many kiddos as possible. After all, I was wearing a Children’s singlet….you’ve gotta represent the shirt in a classy manner! And I love seeing the kids out there. They were incredible!
- It wasn’t that windy until I hit Heartbreak. Man i got cold on those hills. I wanted a blankie. Or a heater. Or to jump in a hot shower. Cold, Cold, Cold.
- It helped to be in a faster corral. It helped a lot. My start time was earlier, and I had a lot of people around me running my paces. It was really good.
- I didn’t stop at all…even though my stomach was rumbling and i FELT like I could GO to the bathroom…I did not. I just wanted to finish and get the hell out of the rain!
- I will be forever impressed that there were as many spectators out there as there were yesterday. I saw Soooooooooooooo many people that I knew, it was GREAT!!! Special shoutouts to one of my blogging friends that I saw out there : Courtney!! I got to see her & got a high five from her right before I climbed the hills! And I saw my cute coach Lauren at mile 24..that was awesome to see her and hear her screaming my name!!!
- Heartbreak was not hard at all this year. I’ve never worried about Heartbreak & I’ve always said that it isn’t a hard hill-its positioning in the course is the only difficult thing. I don’t mind hills, but I also don’t seek them out, either. At one point I forgot that I was even on Heartbreak and it wasn’t until I saw the “Heartbreak is over” balloon at BC that i realized it was all done. I do a decent amount of hills in my regular running, so I’m pleased that they were quite simple. The only reason I slowed on the hills was because I was F-R-O-Z-E-N. It was so weird- my skin hurt and it felt like someone was giving me one of those stupid Indian Sunburns that kids used to do when I was little. FREEZING.
- I never hit a wall. My last Marathon (Baystate 2014) I think I felt defeated pretty quickly…Maybe by Mile 15-16? I never felt that yesterday. YES, I was cold, YES, I was soaking wet on every single part of my body…But I felt really, really good. My spirit never broke. There were times when I wanted it all to just slooooow down because it was flying by all too fast. (but then I would get a reality check in the form of a gust of wind and realize that this ISH needed to END) I know that I could have pushed it alot harder if I wasn’t also so cold. I’m NOT a cold weather running gal…Give me heat & sunshine any day of the week!! At my last Marathon, I NEEDED my friend Erin to jump in with me and help me finish. Yesterday, I felt really good all by myself. It was weird and awesome to feel that.
Before I knew it-The whole race was over! It took me a little while to find my friends and by then, I was frozen and visibly shaking. I guess I could’ve gone into the medical tent, but it really didn’t even cross my mind. I knew my girls had a bag of warm, dry clothes for me, fresh compression socks, and new sneakers. OMG. Wet socks are the WORST THING EVER. I changed at the Westin at the Children’s Hospital area…It was lovely to do this! Normally, i don’t change. I just thrown on a sweatshirt & pants and carry on with my day. This year was the first year that I’ve ever been SOOO COLD afterwards that i NEEDED to be out of ALL of my clothes ASAP.
When I turned on my phone post race- I couldn’t believe how many text messages, facebook posts, and emails that i had! I loved the hard core stalking and it was just as fun for me to hear about as i’m sure it was to be doing the stalking!!!
I’m really, really happy with this time. It’s not a PR & its not the goal i wanted/that my coach thought I would hit, but I never walk into Boston without expecting to be knocked down a peg or two from all the things that happen during the day. This was a fantastic “course PR” for me. 48 freaking minutes! (Previous PR- 2013, projected finishing time 4:08.) Pretty great! With the downpouring rain, wind whipping in my face, and being really cold for about 9-10 miles—> I’m pretty darn happy about this.
And, like I said in Tuesdays post : BQ’ing at Boston FOR Boston is pretty freaking amazing! 🙂 One item down off the bucket list!
One thing is for sure-I felt SOOOO STRONG yesterday that I have zero doubts in my mind on whether I can accomplish a sub 3:10 marathon (and someday, a sub 3:00). I know I have a lot of potential left to tap. If the weather had been better yesterday, I think I would have had a PR day for sure! It was a terrific day and I have zero regrets about anything that happened.
Sadly, I didn’t get to see SIL finish. 😦 I’m still pretty sad about that. I’ll spare you the really long story and just tell you that my original plan was to stay and wait for her to come through. There was a little confusion between my brother in law and I after I finished, and it turns out that I wouldn’t be able to get to the finish line to see her because the finish line areas were all blocked off, and SIL’s family had special bleacher seats that you needed an ID to get into & had passes with their names on them. I would have had to wait in the family meeting area alone (my friends couldn’t stay because one of them was catching a plane this morning to warm, sunny Florida!!!) So i ended up by going home with my girlfriends and stalking her hardcore on the app to see where she was! She is doing FANTASTIC today and I’m SO PROUD of her finish! You can read her recap here…its amazing! In hindsight, its probably a good thing for my body that I didn’t stay. Even in warm dry clothes – I continued to shake until I got into the shower, & woke up with a ridiculously sore throat and head cold Tuesday morning.
Here are some great shots of SIL!!!!
I said this on my facebook but it is really worth mentioning again too: it takes alot of people to train for a marathon. It isn’t just the runner. It’s my husband who puts up with all of my races and doesn’t blink an eye because he knows it makes his wife happy. It’s my family & friends who go to all of my marathoning stuff so that i feel supported. It’s my friends who are willing to wait outside in the rain for HOURS so that they can see me finish. It my in-laws who drove me & SIL into the start of the race. It’s my MIL who takes the kids for my SIL every year so that she can go into the city to see me finish. It’s the constant support from well wishers on facebook ,twitter, IG & here on this little blog! It’s so, so many people who help you along your journey. And for THAT I’m truly blessed and grateful. It takes a community to train for a marathon, that is for sure. So thank you to all of YOU who are always coming along this big, beautiful journey of mine!
Congratulations to all who completed the 119th running of the Boston Marathon: You did so on an absolutely terrible day! I’m proud of you all!!!