Oh jeez, where do I even begin? Let’s start out by saying the Boston Marathon far exceeded my expectations. I had the time of my life and loved every (hot) second of it.
To be honest, I was terrified of the heat. Each day I tracked the weather, the hotter and hotter it became. I was fearful of a DNF (even though I never DNF’d before). The heat is sneaky. It creeps up on you and before you know it, you’re in the medical tent and getting a ride to the finish line.
I wasn’t about to DNF in Boston. I wanted to run a smart race, enjoy myself, and finish!
I hate lengthy race recaps so here are the highlights:
- I was sweating before the race even started! The sun was brutal and the course offered no shade.
- I decided to run by feel and started out at 8:45-9:00 pace, knowing I would slow down pretty soon. I was feeling good, enjoying the crowds in Hopkinton, and taking it all in.
- My stomach started to feel a little queasy around mile 4. I knew it was from the heat (I had a similar experience last summer). I just tried to ignore it.
- The spectators were AMAZING! They doused us with water and handed out ice cubes. I would not have survived the race without their support.
- After mile 10, I slowed down significantly. I happily walked through every single water stop, filling up my water bottle. A few miles later, I allowed myself to walk when I needed to.
- It’s funny to see so many runners walking so early on during a marathon. This is going to sound cheesy but I felt a kinship, like we’re all in this together.
- The Wellesley girls did not disappoint. I heard them cheering at mile 12. Since all the runners were enjoying the “experience” (the B.A.A. refused to call it a race but instead used the term “experience”), I think they got many kisses on Monday. Sweaty kisses, that is.
- When we entered Newton, I remember thinking “OK, here come the hills”. I didn’t think they were that bad, although I was running so slow. If I was trying to maintain MP up them, I’m sure my tune would be different.
- Heartbreak Hill is not that bad. It’s just a long climb at the worst time (between mile 20-21).
- The Boston College kids were great. So drunk, but so encouraging.
- After mile 21, I felt like I was going downhill all the time. Again, my perception of the course is a little skewed because of my slow pace.
- Best sign? “Honey badger don’t care about the heat”. Hysterical.
- Other than being hot (obviously) I felt OK around mile 22. My stomach settled down, my legs felt good, and all the ice and frequent douses with water were keeping me somewhat cool. I was having fun!
- I knew I’d see my family and friends around Mile 25, so I started to count down the miles until then.
- Surprisingly, I wasn’t too emotional when I saw them (dehydration = no tears?). I stopped, chatted, got some last words of encouragement, and moved along.
Oh, hey there
- The next 1.2 miles were incredible. I think I had a smile plastered on my face the entire time. The crowds got even deeper and louder.
- Making a right onto Hereford and a left onto Boylston was the best part of the race. I felt like I was on the red carpet.
- I just tried to soak up every last bit of it during the final stretch on Boylston. Before I knew it, I crossed the finish line and became a Boston Marathoner!
My official time was 4:33:50. That’s my 4th slowest marathon ever but I have never been prouder. I walked a lot (more than my first marathon!) and I was just so happy to finish strong (and not visit the medical tent).
I have so many people to thank. My family and friends that made the trip up to Boston to see me – Matt, my parents, Karyn, Aidan, Michelle, Paul, Charlotte, Neil, Mr. and Mrs. G – it means the world to me that you were there.
For everyone who sent congrats and words of encouragement via Twitter, FB, text, and email – I read each and every message and it meant so much to me. Thank you.
I definitely want to do Boston again. Get another shot at the course on a much cooler day and race it. But for now, I’m just so happy and plan on riding this out for awhile!
If you’re interested, I posted all my Boston pics on FB.