Warning: Very long. Like beyond normal long. Haha. But I’m trying to type a lot of this up Monday night. My eyes are bleary (so sorry for any typing / grammatical stuff — although correct it as it’s going as a race report link!), 24 is almost on but I want to get lots of this out while it’s still fresh. And clearly I have a lot to say. Like always 🙂
BUT thanks for all your support. I really feel like you guys have my back, have felt my pain and felt my good times too. Y’all are awesome! It was so amazing reading your comments here, FB messages, RWOL comments and emails. Granted I read all of them post race but I felt so loved and cared for!
So many emotions going through me right now.
And somewhat surprisingly disappointment isn’t the first.
Sheer happiness and exuberance is. I don’t think I’ve smiled or had as much fun as I did today. Seriously. I was smiling the whole damn 26.2 miles. No joke.
But let me back up and make you read my report before you see how I did. Although I know many of you from other networking sites so you likely already know. Especially since there were many who decided to let it out how I did before me. Jerks. Can’t be too mad though because it just means everyone was excited 😉
And sorry for the lack of pictures. I think I set the bar too high after my expo post.
Last night was pure hell. Mentally I was playing games with myself. Not that I didn’t train hard enough (obviously that wasn’t the case given my monster monthS) but that I trained too hard. My doctor and I have concluded that I am WAY overtrained and that along with the culmination of my shin splints (an obvious overuse thing given how late they cropped up) made me worry. And I’m not going to lie, as I was packing my stuff and laying out my race outfit I was thinking that I really shouldn’t even run. For real. Those thoughts crossed my mind.
But they were just fears and there was no way I was NOT going to run. So I set my alarm for 0514, ate some saltines, hopped into a hot shower to shave then hopped into bed at 2200. Later than I would have liked (I wanted time off my feet), but even then I had to read for 45 minutes or so before I was anywhere near ready to nod off.
The 6 or so hours that I was asleep passed uneventfully. A good thing unlike a week ago when I had a dream that the ax was coming down from my doctor and I had to pull out.
I pretty much jumped out of bed and set about getting stuff 100% ready to leave. And I also committed a racing sin: I tried something new on race day. Actually a few things food-wise but this was number one: I ate a *slightly* different breakfast. I wasn’t worried though because, although my stomach is finicky, it’s mostly annoyed with timing rather than the type of food. So as long as I finished eating ~2 hours before the start I knew I was good. Plus my bowels have been wicked regular lately thanks to a hefty dose of antibiotics. Oops if TMI there.
Unlike many runners I was lucky to get mi madre to drive me to Hopkington. I live ~40 minutes away from it so it made more sense than traveling into the city only to travel out of it. We needed to leave by 0615 in order to make sure she got out of the town before the roads got shut down.
Oh and I made a pre-Boston mix. I made it a bit on the long side but these are the songs that I listened to on the drive:
- Walk This Way. Aerosmith
- I Got A Feeling. Black Eyed Peas
- Mr. Policeman. Brad Paisely
- Crazy Bitch. Buckeye Cherry
- Crazy Dreams. Carrie Underwood
- Rocky Road to Dublin. Dropkick Murphys
- Crazy Town. Jason Aldean
- Tik Tok. Ke$ha
- Bad Romance. Lady Gaga
- Electric Feel. MGMT
And as I left the comfort of my mom’s car I was signing that last one. Which I am obsessed with at the moment so it was a good thing.
I didn’t bring my camera with me (too paranoid about me losing it) so I don’t have any pictures of the Athlete’s village. Nor did I think to bring any magazines seeing as how I got there so early. But it was okay. Time actually passed pretty quickly. Surprising given how cold I was. I was very happy I layered up! Note on the weather: ~42* at the start. ~58* at the finish. Slight tail-wind. Partly cloudy. Couldn’t have asked for better weather.
Around 0930 Alison and Donna, whom I know from RW, showed up and we hung out (mostly in the bathroom lines ha!) until race time. It was awesome to meet them after so much chatting on RW!
Around 1015 we headed to the start (I was in wave 2 with the 1030 start). I decided to jump back a corral to hang with Alison. It’s chip timing so I wasn’t worried about my time and both of us were nursing injuries and planned to start out conservatively. And I remember joking around how the elite women were likely halfway by then HA.
The first mile was 8:45 which is faster than I went out last year in Providence. But no pain from the shins and I was feeling good. Mile 2 was about 8:10 which felt good but I knew that it was downhill. At this point Alison and I parted ways and I tried to soak up the experience. I still wasn’t sure what I could expect from myself but I knew that I needed to actually race like I wrote yesterday.
Miles 1-10 were about the same. Just trying to lock in a solid pace that would put me in a good position to stay strong throughout. There were the typical early mile doubts of whether I could do it. Nothing to make me seriously consider pulling out or anything. But knowing you have so much left isn’t comforting. At all. I don’t have the splits but I did check my watch after every mile which isn’t something I normally do. I know I passed mile 10 in 1:23.xx. Right on tap to BQ again. Which was a pleasant thought.
Around the halfway point I passed through Wellesley. And man, everything they say about those girls is right. It was AWESOME to have them SCREAMING at you. And to read some of their signs was hilarious. All variations on the same theme “Kiss Me I’m…” My favorite? “Kiss me I’m not going to tell your wife”
So they gave me a boost. And knowing you’re halfway there is a boost in and of itself. My split at the half? Roughly 1:48. Slightly under BQ pace. Excellent.
Post-Wellesley I don’t remember much until Newton. Until mile 17. And the only reason that sticks out is because Powerbar was giving out gels. I don’t do gels but it was a reminder to take a small Larabar for fuel. I wasn’t sure if I needed it but it was late in the game and figured an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The flavor I had was Lemon Zest. And it tasted pretty good.
And yes, this was food mistake two. I trained pretty improperly but never taking in fuel or water during any of my training runs. But granola-like substances have always been good to my stomach so when I packed them I wasn’t worried.
Then came Newton. Apparently there are 4 of them that start at mile 18 and culminate with Heartbreak at mile 21. I honestly didn’t notice the first one until the guy next to me said “One down 3 to go”. The next one wasn’t really a hill in my eyes, at least the uphill. The downhill was rough. I blame it on the lack of hills in my area and relying on the TM for ’em. No downhills on that sucker. The third was a bit tougher but it was the Comm Ave hill that I ran with Lacey back in January. Which was cool that I’d already done it. Even Heartbreak wasn’t that bad. There was a guy with a mike up at the top celebrating all of us for getting to the top which was cool. (And Lacey: bummer you missed me! And that I missed you! I was so looking forward from miles 15-20 to seeing you and having you help pace me.)
And he telling us that the rest (~5.2) was all downhill from there. Lies. Because any slight incline was agony to me. Not any type of sharp pain but the aches that come with running 21 miles and running them hard. I don’t have mile splits for these guys but glancing at the mile clocks was telling me that I was around 8:00-8:30 pace. And I know that at mile 20 my time was 2:45.xx. Which made me happy. Sure I pretty much knew that my “A” goal was unattainable but I was fairly confident that if I could hold pace or slightly increase then a PR was possible.
But those last 5.2 miles were agony. I took a Peanut Butter Cookie LaraBar around mile 23 and just gutted it out. I have no idea if I slowed down / by how much but the effort to keep going was so great. My hips were starting to get really sore and it became a mental game of “just get to the next mile” and “only X left. You’ve done this before and it was only a fraction of a typical run”.
I don’t really know what mile you see the Citgo sign but anyone who tells you that it’s a sign from God is lying. Maybe it’s because I’m not familiar with the Boston course but it was like it was taunting me. But the crowd support in Boston rocks (for the entire course too) and that was a boost. I definitely received a bunch of high-5s. And I could tell that the party had definitely been going on for awhile with some of those college students ha!
Eventually there was a marker that said one mile left and I tried to turn up the heat. Although I didn’t increase my speed much (if at all) I definitely didn’t lose any. I just went for it. At this point a PR was a legit possibility even though 3:29.59 was out of the question.
As I turned onto Boylston Street (and could actually see the finish at this point!!) my dad (whom I hadn’t seen) starts BELLOWING my name. LOVE IT. Although I didn’t love the fact I almost took a spill trying to turn my head and wave. But it was awesome to see him and have that lift to gut out the last few hundred meters.
Because my friends (the 3 out of a billion who said they were going to show up) and my mom and sibs missed me. They were all standing on Boylston near the end and MISSED me. Haha. My mom was really worried that my shins were acting up and when I called them after getting my bag my sister was like “uhhhhh you’re done?” hahaha.
But the finish! I pushed so. freaking. hard. I didn’t look at my watch. Just focused on the crossing that line and throwing my hands up for the camera. Hopefully a good ass picture comes out of it because my mom sure as heck didn’t get one 😉
I knew based on the clock time that I BQ’d again. And according to my watch I PR’d. But I didn’t know by how much until I got home. And the result is
Holler atcha girl 🙂
And from the website here are the 5k splits if you’re into that
- 5k 26.17
- 10k 52.21
- 15k 1:17.53
- 20k 1:43.40
- Half 1:49.11
- 25k 2:08.45
- 30k 2:34.20
- 35k 2:59.52
- 40k 3:24.48
- DONE 3:35.53
Overall place: 8512 (no idea out of how many)
I haven’t run the 5k splits all the way but it looks like negative splits. My MO. And I like it 🙂
Post race my legs were shaky. I found the medic tent and got both shins wrapped in ice. Down a full water bottle (food/fuel mistake 3: no water all 26.2 miles. Going to have a WICKED dehydration hangover tomorrow!). Got wrapped in a mylar blanket. Grabbed my post-race goodies. And headed to the buses to get my checked back.
I so needed to keep moving. Standing still was not an option as much as it sounded to attractive. Unfortunately I had to stand still in the bus line. And I started to get woozy. Luckily I was able to avoid hitting the pavement but I was seeing starts for a minute. Totally rectified after I got some carbs into me.
I found my mom and sibs and chowed down a bit. We needed to catch a train back home so we couldn’t stay long and I almost missed seeing some of my friends who were looking for me. They were troopers and walked us to the T so we could chat and they made me a wicked cool picture:
We made it back to the house really easily although I did NOT want to sit down on the train. But the conductor made me. Blah. Once we got home my mom made my favorite meal and then we all went out for ice cream. When I walked into the house though I saw this:
Plus I decided to skip my 0830 class tomorrow so I could sleep in Tuesday / not have to drive back to school Monday night. I emailed both the TA (who teaches Tuesdays) and she was cool with it as long as I checked with my professor who was also cool with it saying it was a “special exception”. So yay 🙂
AND I’m getting a short blurb in my local newspaper 🙂
So a pretty freaking awesome day. And as I type this it’s late Monday night and I have yet to take off my medal OR the jacket.
And I’ll leave you with the one picture that my mom did take post race