Thank you all so much for you care and concern. Everyone who put comments on past random blog posts just to ask if I was ok, thank you! That meant a lot. I thought about every single one of you!
I couldn't wait to write this report as I tapered last week. I was so excited. I was healthy and trained for a sub 3 marathon IN BOSTON! However, I had an hour of utter elation post race before the senseless, horrific bombing ripped my heart and soul and forced me to bury my race. I felt guilty even looking at my garmin. But now, as the days pass I see how strong we are as runners, as a nation. It inspires me. I agree with the masses in that I won't let these assholes steal my spirit. My heart will always remain heavy for the victims and proud of the heros.
So here is goes!
I arrived Saturday night. Sunday I did a shake out run in the morning with my coach and training partner. Then I went to the expo via the T. Green/Orange Orange/Green...let's just call it the screeching headache. That took about 5 hours. I was exhausted. A tad freaked because this was not the day of relaxation that it was supposed to be. My friends and I all split up and I went to the hotel to rest. Rest means facebook, email and text everything Boston. I had many friends running and I think we all were stoked!
I went to dinner on Boyleston with my BFF's and had a huge steak and baked potato. As I got up from the table I knew my race pictures would suffer. lol. I went back to the hotel and slept great.
I woke up around 4am. I felt great, calm, excited. More in a tourist sort of way. Like I was going to view this national treasure. I just had to run 26.2 miles to see it. My race thoughts are not your average. I'm not going to tell you the crowd carried me to the finish line with a smile. I hope I don't offend anyone.
The Bus Ride and Athlete's Village
I arrived at about 6:10am for the bus. I waited in line about 30 mins and left for Hopkinton. Super smooth and easy. Athlete's Village was also smooth. Nothing major. I met a few more friends here and we hung out until 9am. Then walked to the corrals. It was massive, yet home town. The corrals seemed very small. There were maybe 3 or 4 girls I could see around me. We did the mandatory look over assessment and the awkward hello.
The gun went off. Nothing happened. Slooooowly, we started shuffling forward. We walked across the start line and then started to slightly jog. By now I was vomiting in my mouth because my split was just wrecked with this shuffling crap! Calm down...Mile one was 7:06. I was torn between running on the edge in the grass and just going with the flow. I picked it up to 6:30 for mile 2. This was probably because I had a boost of adrenaline from THE FIGHT! Sorry, I need dramatic font for this.
So I'm running down a freaking hill in a massive pack of runners also going 6:30 pace. It was scary enough but then a man and a 5 year old child decided to cross through the runners to get to the other side of the street. For real?! Yes! So the guy is dragging his kid and knocking runners over. I was on the other side so I saw it coming. I locked my arms out and pushed the man back and yelled WTF! He goes, "fuck you lady!" I yelled fuck you back. The runners talked about it for a while and then shrugged it off. I figure we are in MASS. Clearly, they walk as bad as they drive. BOOM! (Don't hate mail me for that!)
Total control. I had a Boston pace band and was following the splits to a 1:27 half. I focused on keeping loose and waiting for the real game to begin. Still, I was running in a tight pack. My splits were almost at the mercy of the pack. Occasionally, I'd cut around people but it was almost too risky.
I felt fine through the half. I was actually very calm and felt under-jacked. I sucked down my second cherry chocolate for some pep. Wellesley was everything it was hyped up to be. Exciting but a little distracting. I just wanted to get to the Newton Hills in one piece!
Finally, an uphill!! I was so sick of running downhill. I felt like I was finally starting the race. Now I needed to focus and do my job. The first few hills I charged up and passed most everyone on the hill. But then I'd crest and slow down. This was fun for a while but it wore on me. I still don't know which hill was heart break hill. Nothing really stood out. I remember one significant downhill that hurt. I think Boston College was within these miles. Or some college that was screaming so loudly on the right side of the course. At that point I was like STFU already. I get it, you scream and we're supposed to be happy. It didn't work for me. I was irritated and clung to the left side of the road and the woods. Sorry kiddos.
Side Bar: Water Stops
Or more appropriately, TIME SUCKS. Seriously, wether you get water or not the PACK slows and people jostle. This happens every 6.5 minutes. You trip on cups, get cups thrown at you, rip a volunteers arm off. Every mile. That's why this race felt like 800m repeats with 800 recoveries. Rarely could I pass in the center and keep pace. I ran with a handheld bottle and if I felt it was too dangerous to reach for a cup I'd drink from my bottle. After a while I got water at every stop. I poured water on my head for about 10 miles due to the hot sun. I think I learned a lot and next year I'll be more efficient and less disgruntled.
Miles 22 to 26.2
Okay, I was sick of running. The "fun" hills in Newton had left their mark. I swore I wouldn't do this calculation but I did. You know this one: How slow can I go to the finish and still get my time? Fail! But my calculations told me I could slow significantly and still be okay. But I wasn't about to look like shit at mile 25. So I put on my happy face to cover my "I f'ing hate running" face and marched on.
I saw the Citgo sign. I was happy again. I tried to run faster but I was probably running 7 pace. I turned the corner to the finish. If you've ever walked on the beach towards a pier and noticed that it never gets closer, that is how the finish line was. I don't think I did any turbo moves or anything. I finished though!! 2:58:34!!!
As soon as I crossed the finish line I saw my sister and bff's in prime seating. We hugged and I continued to get my medal and water.
We met at the family meeting area for a little visit and pictures and then I had to leave for a night flight home. Apparently as soon as I stepped on the subway the first bomb went off. I had no connectivity on the subway. I got off and walked to my hotel.
My phone lite up with messages asking if I was ok. I thought people meant my quads. I was like ya, I'm good. Someone said, "turn on the tv and do a FB status to let people know you're ok." It was sickening to see the devastation and to know I was just there. Those people cheered me in.....it was too much.
All of that aside, it was a great race. I will be back next year to use my new mad skills at the water stops and maybe work on quad strength a little more.
I'm already on marathonguide.com. But I'm sure you knew that! Next stop sub 2:55!
It goes without saying that all of this training and certainly the race wouldn't have been possible without my awesome training partner, coach and family and the Chips!!
You guys rock!!
Thanks for reading! I'll do a post Boston post soon. Woah is all I can say! Here are some pics!