I need to preface this post by saying that the magic of Boston is not just the race and all the incredible runners that show up after a long winter of training, (or many seasons of training to get a BQ)….it’s the volunteers that pull of a flawless event, it’s the businesses that show up to the expo that get you even more geeked out to run, it’s the million or so people watching as you chip away the 26.2 miles, for me the most memorable was the kindness, generosity, love Bostonians had for the event as well as the people running it…it was magical! my version of Disney World!
Race day nerves weren’t as bad as I anticipated. I resided to the fact that the hard work had been done already; the only thing I had to focus on was not letting my mind get in the way of what I knew my body was capable of handling.
Marathon day started at 4:05 am.
My alarm went off, my stomach wasn’t ready for food, but ate I did anyways. Gluten free Udi’s Granola, blueberries, and almond milk….I also took activated charcoal, (I had acid reflux my last marathon…I didn’t want to risk it with this one..although my diet has improved tons since then).
I stayed across town and I was nervous about making the shuttle bus to Athlete’s Village in time. Ryan, being the amazing husband he is, took a shuttle bus, two subway lines, and countless porta potty trips with me to the bus waiting area at Boston Commons.
I felt like a little kid being dropped off for the first day of school. Ryan made sure to see me off before he headed back to the hotel to help my Mom and her friend Wendy watch our little men.
Another bathroom break, (I have a very overactive bladder when nerves are involved)…making sure to find my fellow Nark runners, and off we went.
I remember riding the bus and still in disbelief that I was about to run a marathon; but, not just any marathon…BOSTON!
The weather forecast called for sun and heat. I changed my original plan of a black singlet to an orange Oiselle tank my Mom got for my birthday, (she knows me oh-so-well!). I had along my huma gels, Oakley glasses Ryan got me for my birthday, pro compression socks, hoka one one clifton 2s, and a whole lotta faith!
Athlete’s village was packed! Thankfully there was more than enough shade, bathrooms, and volunteers handing out water, food, and gatorade. We sat for a long time….it was a lot warmer than anticipated so I shed my double layer of “throw-away” clothing and headed to my coral when it was called.
Waiting for the race is something you can’t describe! you just have to be there amidst all the energy.
What seemed like forever, the gun was shot and we were off!
The Boston course, if you haven’t run it or heard of it, is a lot down hill in the beginning with 4 bouts of uphill conveniently placed at the end….meaning you should conserve your energy in the first half and take it home the second half.
What did I do?
I didn’t pay attention to my watch! I went by feel and thought I was pleasantly running along on schedule. Mile 10 rolled around and I realized I was trying to give my husband and coach a stroke, I was going too FAST!
Stubborn as I am, I told myself that since I committed to starting faster…I was going to hold onto that pace…no matter what! I would push until the very end.
I would and could go through each mile in great detail, but I won’t because I would be writing well into the night!
The crowd was everything it was expected to be and more!
Mat, (my coach) and I had a time planned out…but I also wanted to experience the marathon from a first-timer’s POV. I must have high-fived over 500 people that day! Every little person that had their hand out I made sure they received a high-five from me, (I kept thinking of the joy it would bring Bodhi and Trout). I thanked every person I took water from at the aid stations…those volunteers were the one’s that made race day possible!
Newton and Heart Break hill came and passed….I could have run harder….but I didn’t pace myself well up the hill, (I was preoccupied by the people dropping like flies…I was bummed for them!)
I felt like I fueled well, I know I hydrated well, (I took a drink from every aid station), however, my quads cramped at the final 2 miles…I was going to finish the race as fast as I could…but more importantly, I was going to finish!
Arms raised as I crossed the finish line and I am still in disbelief that I did what I did!
I’m sure I will have more to contribute to race day recap later…but I wanted to make sure I got it down on “paper” before life got crazy again, as it usually does in our world. I cannot thank everyone enough who gave me well wishes, love, support, and sent me those kind words about me doing great at the race…I am beyond humbled and touched by all of your kindness!
I especially want to thank my family for always believing in me, never doubting what I could accomplish, and to Ryan, in particular, who has been nothing but great this whole time! I am really, truly spoiled to have such a supportive husband.
Mat Nark….my coach….thankfully believed in me, was tough on me when I needed it, and stuck to his plan, (if only I could learn to do the same!) He is a great coach who might not be the warm fuzzy you think you need, but that unyielding support that will fight for your success every step of the way!
Sarah and Brittney….you girls are my rock! enough said….anytime you want to marathon train with me…I’m your woman!
One wicked sun burn later!
A celebratory trip to Athleta for my very first in-store purchase, (we don’t do a lot of shopping other than online in ND).
A quick night on the town with this guy, (I owed him fresh seafood!)
I plan on riding this high as long as it’s willing to last! I hope all those who ran Boston walked away feeling as great as I did. I know that no matter what happened getting there is the ultimate journey and in that way…everyone is already super bad ass to me 😉