Friday, April 20, 2012

Boston Marathon 2012- My unlikely marathon

I pretty much summed up my feelings and plans for marathon day in my last post and based on everything against me I decided to enjoy my weekend and do everything "wrong" before running. This meant wine, food I don't tolerate well (tiramisu from North End, yum!) and a lot of walking around. By the time Monday morning rolled around I was more then accepting of the fact that this race was just for fun, I had nothing to prove to myself (or anyone) and I didn't care about my finish time (okay maybe a little still). My goals were to run pain free, enjoy the course atmosphere and finish feeling good and upright!

Anyone who's run Boston knows the race morning logistics are at best interesting. A long bus ride to the start area hours before race start followed by hours of sitting outside in any weather unless you have access to a team bus :) Instead of a school bus I enjoyed my race morning ride on a coach bus complete with bathrooms and best yet it stayed around until everyone decided to head to the start.

The biggest issue for me with race day is eating right when you wake up at 5am and the race doesn't start until 10:20, how do you manage to eat enough, but not too much in those 5+ hours?! This year I decided to do the opposite of last year and grabbed a quick Lara Bar and coffee when I woke up then a few hours later it was a bagel and banana. I mixed in plenty of water and Nuun drink (which I have only used once before). Then headed off to meet a friend before running.
Pre-race

Much more crowded then last year and even with extra time we snuck into our start corral with only seconds to spare. My strategy was one that goes against everything I know about racing, but I decided since it was already 73F at the start and only getting hotter I would bank some time early on and go out faster then I knew I would be finishing. This also works since the first 10 miles are the easiest of the course. Having only run about 10 miles in the past month I knew this could be interesting. I started out with hopes of running with a friend but with every intention of taking it easy and soon lost her after the 5K point - 25:22 Not bad! The biggest question here was why am I passing walkers already? The start is set by qualifying time and everyone ahead f me should have run a 3:30 or faster marathon and not to stereotype but some looked like they had never run before! 10K - 52:11 just telling myself to keep running since the leg feels good. I can walk later if I need to.

 
We are now passing through Framingham and all I keep thinking about is a lecture I heard a couple years ago at a sports conference on a heart study that had something to do with Framingham, I must have been really paying attention! Almost half and Wellesley is coming, this year I planned to read the signs and take in the energy of all the spectators cheering to give me the next push! 13.1 mile - 1:57:07 Thank you Wellesey women for keeping me going! I was still on pace for a sub 4, in a race without a time goal this was my hope. It was getting hot, and was now about 12:30 and temps reaching 90+ with little shade. I was being smart and taking in electrolytes (Honey Stinger) and water at every stop and still doing good. The effects of my lack of running are appearing as my legs are feeling tired, but still no pain!






The leaders at Mile 26


Next up Newton hills and yes, despite knowing the exact location of the John Kelley statue I still missed it! Those hills are much tougher in 90F heat, but I still say Heartbreak isn't too bad. I was so happy to see Boston College! Thank you drunk college boys for cheering me on and your enthusiasm! Only 5 more miles to go and it is filled with plenty of walking to recover, then a burst of energy and some running. I was so impressed with the amount of support from the spectators, extra water, fruit, pretzels, hoses, etc. I started the day covered in sunscreen but with all the sweat and water I managed a lovely sunburn that I could feel by this point but no where to go and hide so I kept moving. Mile 23 and time to hit the port-a-potties, this is the sign I truly don't care about time. I never stop during a race! By this point I am happy to say I am still doing more running then walking but it isn't fast at all and I am actually running more then many around me.

The best sight...Boylston! I am running with a guy who just asked "where is that turn" Here we are the finish line in sight and now at Mile 26, I am doing it, finishing the toughest marathon ever! 87F at the finish, yikes! And done...4:26:49 (I say 4:24 if you don't the potty stop!)

Despite all the factors against me I finished pain free although tired and hot! I finished about 1 hour slower then last year and am much less disappointed with my time this year. It is amazing how much of a difference 30 degrees makes! Had a fun weekend and ate some wonderful food: pumpkin pie pancakes, pumpkin ravioli, seafood and probably too much tiramisu! I doubt I will be back for next year, but know there will be another Boston Marathon in my future! Next up Med City and I feel ready, sub 3:30 here I come...




14 comments:

  1. Such a great attitude! Sounds like you had a great experience and a lot of fun and got a good run in to kick off training for your A race.

    Are you in the Lifetime race team? I was just asked to join.

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    1. Yes I am, I ran Human Race in March as my first USATF race :) I heard we just got a few new members, see you at a race soon!

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  2. Great job and even better attitude. You rock!

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    1. Thanks, I was just happy and enjoying that I was running again :)

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  3. Great job! It's awesome that you got there, and finished in that heat! You have such a great attitude too! And I won't count the potty stop if you don't!!

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    1. Thanks! Forgot all about the potty stop ;)

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  4. I was waiting for this report! You did awesome- I can't imagine running a marathon in that heat. I was struggling in my 5k last weekend in the low 70's! Glad you were able to finish strong. Sounds like you were able to run pain free?! Yay!

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    1. Pain free was the best part, I really needed that! I've been waiting for this report to, for some reason I just couldn't get started to write, bloggers blog I guess! :)

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  5. You're amazing! Just qualifying is such an accomplishment and an inspiration. Happy to have found your blog.

    Thanks for linking up with FF!

    [Fitness, Health and Happiness]

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    1. Thanks! Glad I found your blog too :)

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  6. Hi, Sorry, late reply. Just wanted to say that I think your attitude is amazing. It sounds like you had a ton of fun. If ever there was a marathon to use to just drink in the experience, Boston is it. You can run another fast one on a day when the stars line up for you but given the givens this year, I think your approach was dead on! Congratulations for having such wisdom!

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  7. Nice job! :) From the looks of it, it was tough on everyone. I was watching at mile 18 (Woodland Country Club) and I couldn't believe how trashed everyone looked. The heat makes a huge difference when you're not expecting it!

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