I hope I am able to do justice to the amazing weekend I had. I have dreamed for years of being able to run this amazing marathon and my dreams finally were able to come true.
The weekend started off a little shaky. Saturday morning around midnight my psoas muscle cramped up and I couldn’t move my leg. After lots of stretching, hot baths, and massage I was finally able to loosen it but up until mid-day Sunday it was still affecting how I walked. I was still nervous at the start line that it would cramp up on me again. Thankfully I ended up being 100% by Monday morning.
We spent a good part of the morning Saturday just looking around the expo and enjoying the time together.
The expo was AMAZING. I’ve been there many times before but never as a runner. There is just something about finally getting to pick up my bib # that made it feel real. I think this was the first time that it really hit me that I was finally getting my chance to run Boston.
Of course I had to get the obligatory picture of Wes picking up his Bib # as well!
Sunday was pretty bland for us. We don’t do a whole lot and stay off our feat. Food is also pretty bland in fact the only things I ate on Sunday was plain pasta, plain white bread, and saltines. Simple foods that I know will not mess with my stomach.
We spent some time just relaxing together Sunday and took some Easter pictures. I just wanted to throw these in here because I think our little bunny is absolutely adorable!
And a quick family photo!
After dinner I got busy laying out all my gear for the marathon. I don’t leave anything to chance and since I knew we would still be getting up early I wanted to make sure I didn’t forget anything.
After that I took in a few more calories, got E to bed, and headed to bed early myself. I wanted to try and get as much sleep as possible.
Monday – Race Day!
We woke up on race morning around 5:00 AM. We had opted to take the 6:40 AM bus from our hotel so we wanted time to eat something, get dressed, get E ready to go be with my parents for the day, and make sure we didn’t forget anything.
I got in one last picture with E before heading down to the bus (sorry for the horrible lighting it was early).
And one quick family photo in our throw away clothes. This won’t make the Christmas Card!
After we handed E off Wes and I got on the bus to head to athletes village. The bus wasn’t crowded so I was expecting no one to be at the village when we got there, but to my surprise it was pretty busy already. However, getting there early gave us time to go ahead and use the bathroom and find a nice bench to sit on until the first wave was called.
Around 7:45 AM I went to the medical tent and pumped. I spent about 30 minutes in there and then spoke to the medical staff to find out where I would check my pump before heading to the starting corals. I pumped one last time around 8:45 AM and then went and turned it into the medical supply tent.
Wes said several times that it was really nice having me there this year at the athletes village. We talked the whole time while waiting and it made the time pass by quickly. It also help to calm my nerves and he is always so great about knowing what to say to calm me down.
My husband was in the first wave so they began loading up his corral at 9:05 AM. We said our goodbyes and he was off to get ready! I waited for another 30 minutes before the second wave was called. We loaded up and started the walk to the start line. It wasn’t a SUPER long walk, but I was surprised by how far it seemed.
We stood in the corrals for what seemed like only 10-15 minutes, I was so nervous at this point I don’t really remember. Then before I knew it they announced the start of wave 2 and we started slowly making our way to the start line.
It took me a little over 3 minutes to cross the start line and I just focused on getting in the groove.
My goal for the first 10 miles was to take it easy, get into a rhythm, and not focus on the distance remaining. I had made the decision before the race to turn of the auto lap feature on my Garmin. This meant that I wouldn’t get notified of my pace with each mile. I turned my Garmin on the watch face so I couldn’t stare at it as well and I just started running.
My husband and several others had made sure to tell me to take the first half easy. It will be tempting to go out fast but take it slow, stay light on my feet, and ease into the run. I tried to settle into a groove once the nerves went away and focus on taking it one mile at a time. I knew my watch wouldn’t notify me of each mile so I just focused on getting from one mile sign to the next.
I was already blown away by the amount of crowd support. They were absolutely amazing the entire course and I was so happy I had made the decision to leave my music at the hotel and just take in the sounds of the race itself. It was phenomenal!
Around mile 6 was when I first began to notice that it was hot. I didn’t feel awful but I knew that between the pumping before the race and the heat itself I needed to be extra diligent to take in fluids throughout. There seemed to be a water/gatorade stop roughly every 2-2.5 miles. I alternated gatorade and water and on the water stops I poured water down the back of my neck. This helped to cool me down.
I was relieved when I finally saw mile 10 because I began to really feel like I was in the race. There is something about finally hitting the double digits that makes me feel like I’m finally getting into it.
I have to say Wellesley lives up to the hype! I could hear the screams from half a mile a way and it really is a great way to lift your spirits! It was at this point that I reminded myself to loosen up and ENJOY the moment!
The first time I checked my watch was at the halfway point. I didn’t have a plan to speed up or slow down, but I wanted to see where I was at. I remember coming through the half in roughly 1:56 so I knew that I was on track to break 4 hours. I didn’t want to really focus on that but it was nice to know where I was.
I was still feeling good at 13 and even though I knew I could have probably picked my pace up a bit, I’d been told by several people to not go off how you feel halfway, that it can give you a false sense of confidence. My plan going into it was at 21 if I felt good THEN I could start picking it up but I knew I was still a long way away.
I cruised through miles 13, 14, and 15 and then braced myself for the beginning of the hills. You always hear about the Newton Hills but the hill at mile 16 can take a lot out of you if you aren’t careful.
My goal for all the hills was to maintain a consistent effort not pace. That means however I felt running normally I wanted to keep that effort for the hills. I think I did a good job of this at the mile 16 hill and didn’t feel like I had over done it when I reached the top.
The next 5 miles were a bit of a blur to be honest. I still was feeling pretty good but I remember at this point my quads began to ache. I knew that the downhills in Boston can really beat your legs up and this was the first time I really remember feeling it.
I just focused on getting through the 3 Newton Hills and I can tell you it feels so good to see the sign letting you know you’ve reached the top of heartbreak hill!
The final miles are mostly downhill. There are a few rolling hills but nothing really big. I could tell my legs were starting to slow down and that I didn’t have enough left to try pick up the pace at this point so I just decided to keep up my effort and see where it left me.
Each mile got me closer and closer to that famous left turn onto Boylston. My legs were burning bad at this point and that is what kept me going. I knew for sure if I stopped they wouldn’t be able to start back up again.
The crowds kept getting bigger and bigger – once again it was absolutely amazing! I made that final left turn and put my hands in the air. It was such a surreal feeling that this was coming to an end. It was one time where I really wish I could have kept going during a marathon just for the fact that it was that special of a moment.
I checked my Garmin one fine time and realized if I just kept my pace then I would break 4 hours. I gritted my teeth and made the most of that final stretch. I crossed the finish line in 3 hours and 58 minutes.
Taken afterwards obviously because I didn’t run with my phone.
After I finished I made the long walk to the family meet up area to find my husband. It actually was easier to find him then I had expected. We made our way to the closest metro station to get back home. Unfortunately, my parents weren’t able to make it downtown so we had plans to meet up with them at the station near our hotel.
The Boston Marathon was amazing. Finishing was amazing, but NOTHING and I mean NOTHING compares to being reunited with this sweet boy post race. He is the best thing to ever happen to us hands down!
I have waited a long time to run this race and it was worth it. Every single second. Every workout it took to get to my BQ, every early morning, every sacrifice was worth those 3 hours and 58 minutes out on the streets of Boston!
I don’t know when I will be back to Boston. My husband is taking some time away from Boston to really focus on cutting the least 5 minutes off his PR to get his Olympic Trials Qualifier. We will both be back one day and I’m so glad that we finally got the experience this race together!
Until we meet again Boston. You were AMAZING!