Well it’s been almost two weeks since the biggest race of my life and I have yet to write any sort of race recap except for a couple comments here and there. Not because I’m disappointed or because I’m having withdrawal. It’s simply because after the race I headed off to Florida for some sun and relaxing and then as soon as I got back I was thrown into work again. So how did my first Boston Marathon go? Well, let me tell you…
The morning started off pretty normal, I tried to stay calm and just do my pre-race/long run routine. Eat, dress, make sure I have everything with me, and all my batteries were charged. After all, nothing new on race day right?
As a side note: who ever said running was a simple sport was wrong. I stressed over, hat or no hat (I decided on no hat because I wanted my race pics to look cute!) and I had to make sure I had my bib, gels, bloks, sunscreen, inhaler etc.
One of my team mates picked my up that morning, so we got to skip taking the shuttles from downtown Boston to the start line. I know it’s a huge part of the Boston experience. But I live in Boston, I’m downtown everyday I’m okay with not experiencing that and getting an hour more of sleep. We drove to the parking lot where family and volunteers park to get to the start line and then took a bus to the start line. We got there early enough so that I got to see waves 2 and 3 take off – I even saw my Coeur teammate Melissa! Then it was our turn.
As we lined up in our corrals I realized it was hot. I mean really hot, especially for someone that had only trained in the cold. I instantly regretted sacrificing the hat for cute pictures. I just knew I had to take it easy and make sure to stay hydrated.
I immediately felt the heat, but I felt good and my teammate Rob and I stuck together, which helped me slow down a bit because my legs had a mind of their own and wanted to take off. At one point he tapped me on my shoulder and was like chill.
I kept my pace despite the heat. I took water and gatorade at every station. Sipping the gatorade and dumping the water over my head. Some kids were handing out ice along side of the course and I took a baggy. Before the race started Rob told me to instantly cool down, dump it down your pants. So I did, as well as down my sports bra lol. But despite my carefulness I started to feel my calves cramp up from dehydration. The Wellsley scream here was awesome. I high fived so many people and I got myself a little winded from sprinting/screaming through it all. It was totally worth it though
I started to hurt, but I managed to do my 2 minutes walk and 1 minute run for awhile. I kept my mind from straying and focusing on just keeping moving. Eventually I just had to talk and every so often break into a run. But mostly I walked.
These were the most exciting miles for me because this is when I knew I was almost home. I know Heartbreak hill has earned its name for a reason, but for me it wasn’t heart breaking. This is when I started to see friends. A coworker at mile 19, my good friend Barry at mile 20. I did have to stop and get the cramp massaged out of my calf at one point though because it hurt to even walk,. But I knew no matter what I couldn’t stop, it wasn’t even a thought that crossed my mind, I had too many people cheering for me, too many people counting on me to find the strength to keep going. I saw some friends around Washington Square and I FINALLY got to Coolidge Corner where my boyfriend Rob was waiting with my friend Chantal. I apologized for being so slow lol.
As soon as I saw that Citgo sign I started crying. Not because I hurt so much, but because I am so proud to call this my home and I knew I was almost there. Here I had to force myself to run to enjoy that last mile no matter so slow my little legs would go and just soak in the experience and it was truly amazing. All the people screaming and cheering, I couldn’t help but break out in the goofiest grin and completely just sobbed as I crossed that finish line.
I may have been about an hour and a half slower than what I wanted, but the heat and inexperience caught up to me. I also wasn’t full prepared, with working 60 hours a week, fundraising and trying to train for a marathon it was hard but I wouldn’t change my experience for anything.
So what’s next? Well, I’m taking on some triathlons in the coming months. A sprint distance in June, Olympic in July and a 70.3 in August! Then it’s focusing on the NYC Marathon in November!!