Boston Marathon 2013 Recap
More Rest 🙂
Woke up under the weather again, sigh. I did venture out with Todd and Ry again for nice long walk. Todd took this whole week off, so it has been nice having him home to relax and spend some quality time together.
I’m not sure if there will ever be a good time to write about my Boston Marathon race experience. It is a bittersweet event for me. The days leading up to the race, and even the race itself, for me, was awesome. I am grateful for being able to cross the finish line and experience the true Boston Marathon. I do not want to come across as insensitive, rather highlight the Boston Marathon, it’s runners, volunteers, supporters and the city itself. So here my friends, is my Boston Marathon race recap…
Monday, April 15th, I got up at 4:45AM. I got ready, took my fierce photo…
…grabbed my already packed bag and headed down to the hotel shuttle to take me to the subway. Todd, being the awesome husband he is, accompanied me along for the ride to catch the bus to athletes village. Once we got to the buses he dropped me off and I waited in line.
It seemed like forever before they called for Wave 1 runners to head to the start. I hit the porta poty up quite a few times since I had the time. Once I got to the start, I ditched my pants and sweatshirt (discarded clothes were donated) and was ready to rock and roll! The gun went off and I crossed the starting line in about 4 minutes. My “goal” for this race was just to re-qualify. Since I hadn’t done much training, I wanted to enjoy the race and take in all the amazingness that Boston offers. I haven’t not raced a race in a loooooong time, so I knew this would be hard for me. The fact that a) the start is downhill and b) I was also starting the race with fast people, only made keeping the pace slow that much harder. My plan was to keep the pace around 7:45/mile. After mile 2 I looked at my Garmin and I was at a 7:30 pace. I knew I needed to slow down. I needed to save my energy for later in the race when the hills would surely take their toll. Once the group broke up a bit I was able to back off and got into a steady rhythm.
The crowds, or as I like to refer to them as fans, were outstanding! There were SOOOO many people out to support us crazy marathon runners! and “SOOOO many” doesn’t even cover half the people out there. Families, businesses, colleges, you name it, they were out there screaming and yelling, encouraging us along the way. People were handing out popsicles, tissues, oranges, bananas, water, beer (haha) among other things. A lot of people held up signs to keep us entertained. My favorite was, “If a Marathon was easy they’d call it your mother!” HAHA The cheering got so loud at times that I almost wanted to just run in silence for a bit… almost 😉 The people from Hopkinton to Boston were beyond amazing. They are such a big part of what makes this race so special and memorable.
I knew about the hills, but were told they aren’t as bad as they’re made out to be… as long as you’ve trained for them. We all know I did not do hill training because of my knee, so by mile 13 or so I could feel my quads. The uphills weren’t the issue. It was running downhill. I dreaded every downhill, knowing I was tearing up my quads even more. All in all though, the hills were not even close to as bad as I thought they would be. I honestly didn’t even know I was going up Heart Brake Hill until I noticed a chalk drawing of a broken heart at the top of a hill, haha.
As for fueling, I took 4 Power Gels with me. Depending on the race provided water stops, I usually take gels at miles 10, 14, 18, and 22. Boston had water and Gatorade every mile starting from 2 to 24. Unless it is really hot out, I usually only take water. I will touch base on my race fueling strategies in a later post. I ended up only using 3 gels and felt great. The water/Gatorade stations were well maned and I never had to wait to grab a cup. I loved hearing them call out, “WATAH! get ya WATAH HE-AR!” Their accents made me smile.
Other than my quads hating me, I was feeling great the entire time. I decided with 3 miles to go to pick it up a bit and test my legs. I don’t know if I really picked it up or it just felt like it, haha, but I was passing people left and right. All the advice I had been given to take it easy in the beginning paid off! Todd found me around mile 24.5… looks like I’m out for a little jog, but I swear I picked up the pace!
And there I go! Off to the finish! The last few miles were pure bliss. The screaming got louder, I pushed harder. I’m still amazed at how good I felt. My breathing was fine. Guess that’s why a lot of people don’t race marathons, haha. As I turned the corner onto Boylston Street the crowds roared and I couldn’t stop smiling. I crossed the finish line with my hands over my head, which never happens because I usually have no energy left. I finished in 3:22:37, a 7:44 pace. I was very happy with that 🙂 Both goals of re-qualifying and enjoying the race were accomplished! As I made my way through the the finishers area I soaked in the greatness that is the Boston Marathon and proudly received my medal! I pretty much recapped my post race HERE. Todd and I headed to our hotel and I enjoyed some NUUN and a Need for Seed Picky Bar on the subway ride! It was delish!
My heart goes out to all those injured or killed in the bombings. I will never forget my Boston Marathon 2013 experience, both the good and bad…
What is your best race experience?