The Boston Marathon Recap
So the work was done and I was on my way to Boston to run my first Boston Marathon with my husband, Zach and two friends, Kelsey and Sherica. My energy was typical for the day before a marathon -- I become extremely quiet and hyper-focused.
When we arrived in Boston our first stop was the expo to grab my bib, followed by dinner with my family where we celebrated my dad’s 60th birthday. It means the world to me having my family present at my races. They make me feel calm, cool and collected!
Ok, now race day!
Zach drove me as close as he could get to Runner’s Village, where I hopped out of the car and had to walk over 2 miles in the rain to get there. This usually would have stressed me out, however I was at ease with the situation knowing I couldn’t do anything about it. I repeated over and over, “I am ready for this - it's go time” in my head during this 2 mile walk alone.
I arrived at the Runner’s Village, soaking wet, and anxious to get to the start line. Luckily, team AKTIV was able to snag me a spot in the VIP area. This allowed me to change into my dry clothes and sneakers before heading to the start line.
Wave 1 was called and I was on my way to my corral. As I entered the corral, I quickly glanced around and noticed very few women around me. This made me feel extremely proud of the hard work I had already accomplished. A few of the guys around me asked my goals, where I replied, “run strong and cross that finish line”.
The gun went off and I was officially running the Boston Marathon -- ahh, what a feeling!
I looked down at my watch only to see a time I wasn’t hoping for. I knew the pace was slower due to the masses of people, who were all trying to settle into their pace as well. This is when I decided I wasn’t going to look at my watch for the rest of the race.
I knew my coach wanted me to run my comfortable pace of 6:25/6:30, so I went off of feeling. I settled in with a pack of guys who were running at a comfortable pace for me. I stayed with this group for the first 18 miles and was feeling great!
Then, we hit the hills leading up to Heartbreak Hill. My legs felt fine, however my stomach was starting to turn. I believe the back and forth of sun to shade messed with my body temperature, and eating my electrolyte chews wasn’t helping.
I kept my pace, but was working through a terrible stomach cramp right up to Heartbreak Hill. The cramp magically disappeared as I started to make the “final” climb. I started shouting, “I AM A HILL RUNNER”, which made people around me laugh and helped me reach the top of the final hill.
Now the plan from here was to crush the final 5 miles.
Well, my stomach had a different plan…
TMI, but I fought off throwing up for the past 5 miles. I allowed my body to slow down to get to the finish line. I was a bit sad at this point, because I knew I was prepared to crush these last few miles to give me that sub 2:50. My legs wanted it, but my stomach said absolutely not (haha).
I turned the final corner and could see the finish line! I started to pick it up knowing that I could deal with everything else once I crossed the finish line.
Once I crossed, a few guys that were in my original “pack” gave me hugs and told me that my bright little outfit helped them keep their pace and remain positive. From the start, we knew we were in it together, and throughout the grueling race, we pushed, passed & energized each other all so we could all enjoy the intense energy at the finish line, together.
At this point, I was feeling very ill and was very pleased to see the gang plus a surprise addition to the crew, our friend, Lindsay, to remind me that “I did it” and was going to be just fine.
After finishing my third marathon, my biggest takeaway is:
- On race day, you can prepare, but ultimately cannot control how your body feels, both inside and out.
Thankfully, this was the first race that I had no thoughts on giving up. This is huge for me since marathons are very mental and I was in it to win it.
It was a whirlwind 24 hours, but after a few sour beers at Jack’s Abby we were on our way back to NYC, where I was already thinking about my next marathon.
So what is next for me? Well, I am signed up for the Chicago and NYC Marathons this fall. I hope to get one step closer to the ultimate goal to qualify for the Olympic Trials.
Stay tuned for updates on my summer training!