Friday, April 19, 2013

Boston Marathon Race Recap

I got up at the early hour of 4 AM to get ready for the Boston Marathon.  After getting lots of glorious sleep on Friday and Saturday night, I didn't sleep much at all Sunday night.  All kinds of negative thoughts kept swirling around in my head, like how I wasn't in shape, would have to walk the final 3 miles to the finish, tripping during the race....Not the best thoughts pre-race, but especially pre-marathon.

Outfit I decided to wear.  I started the race with 2 pink gloves and not 1... I don't think I'm Michael Jackson.  

I decided what to wear that morning, got everything together, and got into a cab with my parents so we could go to the hotel to catch the CARA charter bus.  A friend that does track with me sat by me and in back of us was my friend that I would be running the race with and her boyfriend.  The bus left a few minutes late, but we made it to Hopkinton in plenty of time.

I was supposed to start the race in 2/4, but moved back to 2/7 to run with my friend.  We decided a few months ago that we were going to run the race for fun, and not race it.  Getting to Boston was the challenging part, so our goal was to enjoy every moment of the 26.2 miles.

My brother, who ran Boston 3 times, told me what to expect: 13 miles of gently rolling hills followed by 3 heartbreak hills and 5 miles of downhills.  This helped a lot, as most people say the first half is all downhill.  Really, the first hill is at mile 1.75.

We started running and I shed my throw-away gloves at mile 3 because I started to get warm.  By mile 6, I was hot.  I took off my arm warmers and my friend weaved them through my tank top.  They stayed there until mile 17, when we saw my parents.  We briefly stopped to talk to them.  I gave them my arm warmers and my mom gave me some GU packets.  We continued on our way, and then mile 19 happened.  I was already incredibly hot by this point, and went was taking a cup of water and pouring it down my back in the hope that it would cool me off.  However, that didn't work.  At mile 19 I got cramps in my legs, and it sucked.  My friend listed to me complain about them, especially knowing that THE Heartbreak Hill was rapidly approaching, knowing I wanted to walk.  "You'll regret it for the rest of your life, so I won't let you," she told me.

I listed to her, and I followed her up it, at a rather slow pace.  For the next few miles, my cramps would come and go.  By mile 21, I had to use the bathroom.  My friend and I did 99% of our long runs together, and as most runners know, talking about poop is not odd.  And although I really needed to use the bathroom, there was no way that my will would let me stop, nor would I poop my pants.  We talked about other things instead.  Rather, my friend did most of the talking this part of the race.

When we saw the 40k sign, I knew the end was close.  The crowds had been awesome the entire time, and although I was in pain, I didn't really want it to be done.  We concluded the marathon by running a 6:59 pace for the last 0.4 miles.  And just like that, 3 hours and 46 minutes after we started the journey in Hopkinton, the Boston Marathon was over.

This may have been my slowest marathon, but it is the one that I am the proudest of.  The course was the toughest.  My legs were just not feeling it.  But sharing the experience with one of my best friends will be something I will never forget.  Running by thousands of fans was amazing.  Boston definitely does live up to what everyone says about it.  I don't know when, but I'll be back to make another 26.2 mile journey here again.  

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