So-I wonder if I can compile all this junk into one single race report! We'll see!
Got to Boston on Friday! Raining, cold, and not exactly cheery! Basically checked into our hotel and headed over to the mall by the Convention center. We were too late for the expo but not too late to check out the Lululemon store that I was dying to go to. Awesome store, spent WAY too much money there. Good thing there isn't one around here although I've already been stalking their internet site!!
Saturday we went to the expo, picked up my packet and my husband picked up his for the 5K. We did a little walking around but it was pretty cool and windy and not the greatest weather for sightseeing. I managed to get a nap in and a short run! I don't know if it was just inspiration from the Expo but I wanted to run SO fast on Saturday! My legs felt great and I was praying they would feel like this on Monday!
In front of Legal Seafoods-Good food!!
Sunday morning-up early because Joe was running the 5K. I LOVE being a spectator. I was scanning the crowds for other bloggers that I knew were running but no luck! So many people! After the race we stuck around to watch the mile races which were AWESOME! Watching Sara Hall was definitely a highlight of the weekend for me! I just really think she needs to lose some weight and get in shape though..lol!!! What a cute girl! I also had a friend running a half marathon this morning way up in Canada and I was super pumped to be cheering for her from afar as well! She KILLED IT and this was practically as exciting as my own race for me!!
Seriously, get in shape Sara!
Sunday night we went out to dinner with my sister and her husband (My sister was also running (finished in 3:24) and shoved down some bread and pasta! I managed to get to bed by 9:30 and for someone who hardly ever sleeps more than 3 hours straight I was OUT COLD!!!
Race morning! Sunny-WTH! I thought it was supposed to be rainy and windy. Anyway, this totally brightened my mood and although I was beyond nervous, excitement was also settling in. I got ready for the race and tried to conceal the monster crater that was appearing on my chin (I'm attributing this to stress..not the junkfood I'd been eating for the past few days!) Joe walked me down to the buses and as we said goodbye I had my first of several meltdowns over the weekend! Yes, I need therapy.
In the hotel room stretching out a bit before the race!
Before leaving the hotel to walk to the buses!
The busride to Hopkinton was great. I was actually excited to get on the bus because it was pretty cold just standing around. Great running weather but a little cool for just standing. I sat next to a guy who had run 40 marathons and had a great conversation the whole way. When we arrived at athlete's village I hopped off the bus and got in line for the bathroom. When I came out, I got right back in line. Checked my bag and headed to the start corral! It was super sunny and absolutely PERFECT running weather!
So-I did have a goal- 3:20 -and I decided to follow a paceband and use my watch to try to acheive it. I also wore my Garmin because I love having the data afterwards. I had custom made my paceband online because the Nike one wanted me to run a 7:23 first mile and I am more of an 8 minute starter! Anyway, started the race completely void of all my previous nerves. I was just SO excited to finally be running. The first mile was downhill and I clocked a 7:52. I was aiming around 8 minutes so I was under but I also wondered if I could hold 7:37 for 25 more miles which weren't all downhill. Quickly got into a groove and was able to stay on pace comfortably through 15K. Somewhere between here and the half I started to really warmup and wanted to pick up the pace. I've learned a few lessons in the past and knew I had a special treat coming from mile 16-21 so I held back!
The towns we passed through were awesome! Great spectators! I was totally soaking in every part of this race and felt fantastic. Crossed the half in 1:38:59 so in great shape to meet my goal except for the fact that the second half of the race is OBVIOUSLY more difficult than the first half. I think mile 15 or so was entirely downhill. Downhills are good for me and this was the best part of the race. Totally let me rest and get ready for Newton. The first of the Newton hills was a breeze and for a moment I thought the hype was a bunch of bull. The second one however was a bit nastier. Somewhere in here fatigue started setting in a bit and I got the first glimpse of what was ahead. I also knew I had only single digits left and that I could certainly finish. Heartbreak hill was definitely there and no piece of cake but the spectators were awesome and I knew my husband was waiting at the top so I just kept pushing forward. I felt a huge sense of relief to get over this hump!! I saw my husband at the top and he was so busy trying to take my picture that I darn near had to attack him to get my handheld water bottle he was supposed to hand me!!
Mile 22-I really hate race pics of myself because I always look like I'm in labor but my husband worked his *ss off to get this picture practically trampling spectators in the process. Just a little saturated from mostly sweat but also water I kept pouring down the front of myself!
OK-not trying to be mean but someone please tell me why the lady spectating is wearing a fuel belt, a Garmin and standing on her tiptoes..lol!!
The worst part of the race for me actually set in around mile 23. I have NEVER hit a wall in a race and I usually finish much stronger than I start. Anyway, about mile 23 with a 5K to go I seriously considered not trying for 3:20 and just getting a PR (sub 3:25) I don't think I entertained this thought too long but in retrospect I know I was tired or it wouldn't have crossed my mind. I walked through a water stop somewhere around here which was the first time I stopped running in the race. I think it was probably less than 5 seconds but it gave me enough of a mental breather to start up again. Coming into Boston down Commonwealth was awesome! The spectators were unbelievable!! At the one mile to go marker I looked down and knew I would be under 3:20. This was a huge relief and the most exhilarating feeling! I also decided since I would reach my goal I didn't need to have any semblence of a finish kick and just cross the damn line. We had watched the mile races the day before and after coming around the corner onto Boylston the finish was just up ahead. I thought this was the case in the marathon and when I saw I still had to run a long way down Boylston I was a bit deflated. Anyway, crossed the finish line and really felt a sense of accomplishment that I'm not sure I'll ever feel again. A flood of tears erupted when they gave me my medal!
Wet, Gross, but HAPPY!!
Overall, the Boston experience-UNBELIEVABLE! So great to meet up with people at Jill's B-day party and if anyone has pics please send them to my email!!!
I will probably do a follow up post in the next day or so with some of my reflections from the week but since this is already a marathon post in itself I'll sign off for now. Thankyou so much for all the well-wishes and super congrats to all those who completed this amazing race!!!!