Boston Marathon 2014

Sorry, I know I said I'd post this Tuesday but the past few days have been pure chaos! Lots of changes in our house, little sleep and adjusting to it all! Like I mentioned Monday the race was not the weekend highlight and before writing this I had no idea on my splits and only knew my finish because others told me.
This winter has been tough for training; brutal cold, lots of snow leading to many indoor treadmill runs plus an injury that made me cut back and slow down. I had a couple great runs that put the thought of a great race in my mind but realistically I had no idea what my body was able to do.
After a bad night of sleep thanks to our hotel neighbor I got up at 4:30 grabbed my coffee, figured out what to wear after rethinking it multiple times and finally ate my bagel and banana before meeting my team bus. 
Ready to go!
And we were off on the way to Hopkinton, ready to run a race with more meaning than most others, many on the bus had run last year, some were stopped short of finishing, some finished seconds before the bombs. There were a lot of thoughts and emotions as we started the journey. As we neared start time I ate my second breakfast: banana and Lara Bar.

Now we look like runners!
As always I had my wave 2 start but the process was much crazier this year, only letting some waves go, then others. We started the walk and made it just as the gun went off. Walking through the neighborhood full of support and security what a strange combination. Last minute fueling with UCAN and it was almost time.

And we were off...I know the course and despite this started faster to take advantage of the downhills. 7:40s (yep I said I run dumb!) I knew I wasn't in perfect racing shape so why not see what I can gain now and lose it later?! You could feel the emotion and support from everyone around; runners, spectators, volunteers. Everyone was there to show that we are strong and can't be stopped. I felt great, let the crowds push me and just ran! 5K: 23:35 (7:37 pace) oops. Those darn downhills! I'm not sure I was even feeling the run, just reading signs and getting caught up in the day. 10K: 48:09 (7:46) that's better, but the legs are tight and why did I run with arm sleeves? I am getting warm!

The next few miles were a blur. I was doing fine and had a thought in my head that maybe all was good with my leg and maybe, just maybe a good race was in the works. But this thought quickly passed! Right leg getting sore and now left foot, what is that about?! 15K 1:14:01 (7:58) still on pace but slowing but now I have Wellesley and Boston College to push me along, thank to the group of DG women I saw. You have no idea how you cheering for me (having no idea I was a DG) made me keep pushing! Half: 1:47:06 (8:11) and a text to Matt "I'm fading my leg hurts don't expect me to keep pace!" His response: "I'm sorry. But you have a picture with the champion!"

As I ran I went through my three options 1) continue to push and likely injure myself worse 2) quit to avoid a time I would be happy about or 3) back off, enjoy the run and hopefully prevent further issue. I usually pick the first and my body rebels and I regret it later, I just can't do the second so the third seemed the smartest. And remembering Meb saying "You are only competing with yourself. When you are struggling so are others, just don't let it get the better of you." So I ran and had fun. I was shocked I actually continued to run most of the race, only walking water stops or when the leg told me I needed to. Soon the crowds were an uproar of cheers and support. Many volunteers thanking us for running to take back the race. I soon turn on Boylston and see the finish line, no walking now! I can feel my emotions hitting full force. I have just finished my 3rd Boston and 25th marathon! Something I never imagined in 2003 when I finished my 1st marathon in a rough 5:20ish! I finished 4:02:32 (9:16 pace) 30+ minutes off my qualifying time but in the end I did not care. I never even looked at my time until writing this. I only knew because others told me.

Proudly wearing our jackets!
Since Boston I have not run...12 days and counting. Have seen a sports medicine doctor and started physical therapy in hopes of coming back stronger. My focus has been cross training: swimming (yes I got in the pool!), biking, pilates, yoga and strength training. I am working on a new mentality and not pushing through just to run, I have big plans for fall marathon training and am done with less than great running!

My scarf and medal!

Comments

  1. Way to go!! That's amazing. Enjoy a little time off because you certainly deserve it now.

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  2. Congratulations Jen! Glad you chose to just enjoy the race and listen to your body. Here's to healing for a great next race season!

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  3. I'm late to comment, but congrats, Jen! Boston is an awesome opportunity no matter what. Although I'm sorry you came away hurting. It's a great time to focus on cross training and getting stronger before the next season!

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  4. Congrats on finishing your 3rd Boston and 25th marathon! Summer is a great time to cross-train before you start training hard for races again.

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