Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Boston Marathon Recap 2013

I’ve been contemplating if I should even write a recap which is why it’s taken me so long to write this.  Obviously I decided to write the recap because you’re reading it now.  So, here it is. 
Sarah and I flew up Saturday morning, dropped our bags off at Steve and Meaghan’s place and then headed over to the expo.  They were sold out of just about everything in a XS and S, and 90% of the M were out too.  So, when you make it to Boston and if you want a souvenir, make sure to get to the expo before the last day.  Neither of us brought a sweater because we were planning on buying one at the expo.  We each ended up getting a zip up sweater from Lululemon that we never would have spent the money on in normal circumstances but were glad for our purchases the next morning. 
We got pizza for dinner from Woody’s with Steve and Meaghan and then headed back to their place to get to bed by 9:30-ish. 
We set our alarms for 5:00 so we could be out the door by 5:25 to catch the bus that would drop us off by Boston Commons.  It was cold, around 40 degrees.  I had a bowl of peanut butter Cheerios and a cup of skim milk before leaving to catch the bus. 
*Brief interruption.  It is so weird writing this because I’m remembering back and never did it cross my mind that anything about the day would be as unordinary and scary as it turned out to be.  It’s weird that we generally wake up every day like that.  And, the truth is that you never know. 
We were super excited and wanted to get out of the cold so we hopped on the bus a little earlier than our scheduled time and headed to Hopkinton.  They had coffee, hot chocolate, and tea along with some bagels and other snacks waiting for everyone there.  The hot drinks were much appreciated!  Although, I think the coffee was a bad idea because I had to pee 5 times before the race and that includes one time 5 minutes before the race.  And, even with that, I still had to pee again 2 miles into the race. 

At 9:00, I had a half a bagel.  At 9:45, I drank my half Gatorade with NO-Xplode pre-workout mix and ate a Honey Stinger Waffle.  I was ready to go.  I stripped all my layers off as we headed to the busses that were going to transport our gear bags to the finish.  I was left with neon pink Brooks arm warmers, a Saucony tank top, Nike Compression sports bra, Nike Compression shorts,  RRS dri-fit socks, and Brooks Pure Flow 2 shoes.  In my race pouch I had 5 gels.  I should have added some body glide on my chest were my ipod was clipped to my shirt, and some extra under my arms were I chafe a lot.  My skin was burning about half way through the race. 
Sarah was in the corral in front of me so we said our good byes and she continued on as I stepped into Corral 5 of Wave 2.  It was really only a few minutes and we were off.  We started walking a little and then once we hit the mat everyone started running. 
I tried to hold back the first few miles but it is so hard because it’s downhill  in the beginning and there are so many people around you.  But, I managed an 8:09 the first mile and then I picked it up maybe a little too much because my quads were already starting to hurt around mile 6. Mile 2 – 14: 7:48, 7:44, 7:46, 8:00, 7:42, 7:48, 7:53, 7:52, 7:50, 7:52, 7:44, 7:49, 7:48.  Like I said, I had to pee at mile2, but I waited until mile 5.  Starting around mile 8 I noticed that every mile was .01 further away from the race mile marker.  I kept arguing with myself whether I should run faster or just give up because I wasn’t going to make my PR with the bathroom break and the .01 discrepancy.  In hindsight, that may have been a mistake.  I didn’t give up until mile 20.  If I could have kept closer to an 8:00 min/mi pace, I probably could have ended slightly under 3:30.  This may have gotten me a PR, but only within seconds.  Mile 15 – 26.47: 8:02, 7:39, 8:08, 7:52, 7:54, 8:20, 9:07, 8:08, 8:09, 8:20, 8:14, 8:13, 8:41 (last .47).  Finish time: 3:32:34 
Oh well.  I still had fun.  And, I found out that the frozen ice pops are freaking awesome during a long run.  They are cold and wet and you can take your time eating them.  I decided to try one that some of the spectators were passing out because I was like “What the heck?  It doesn’t matter if it upsets my stomach”.  This was obviously after I had decided I wasn’t going to make my PR.  But, it didn’t upset my stomach and it was awesome and the extra sugar gave me a little boost of energy too. 
The day was beautiful and warmed up to about 55 with the sun out saying hi to everyone.  After I finished around 2, the sun was starting to be hidden by clouds and the temperature started to drop down again.  I waited for Sarah across the street at the Boston Commons park and shortly after we met up the unfortunate events of the rest of the day started to unfold.
Even though I have a sad heart and tear up every time I think about those killed and those permanently injured I am very grateful that one of my best friends and I made it out unharmed.  It was amazing to see how many people cared.  There were people who didn’t know for sure if I even ran who either texted or sent me a FB message asking if I was ok.  There were even a few texts from numbers I didn’t have in my phone.  It was incredible.    
I ran with a group a week later for the Memorial Run that running groups around the country participated in.  The Memorial run was a 3 mile run with the first mile in silence.  As I was running that first mile, all I could think was that most ‘moments of silence’ are just that, a moment.  But, this was a mile of silence.  So, I ran it a little slower so I could have more than just a moment of silence.  After that first mile, I ran my heart out though.  I ran Boston Strong.  I ran for me.  I ran for those hurt or killed.  I ran for all runners.

A co-worker sent me this: 

with the following letter: 
"This past Sunday, April 21, 2013, the New York Road Runners Club hosted their annual City Parks Foundation Run for the Central Park.  This race marked the first major New York City running events since tragedy struck the Boston Marathon that Monday.  The race came at the end of a surreal, emotionally draining week for Boston and the entire nation.  The New York City running community bonded together in the spirit of solidarity and compassion.  The event began with a moment of silence and a stirring national anthem by a resident of Hopkinton, MA, home of the Boston Marathon starting line.  She choked back tears as the crowd of runners and spectators helped her through the final verse.  Barely a dry eye in the crowd.  As the race began, "Sweet Caroline" played.  Over 6,200 runners participated and everyone work black ribbons and bib's that said "I run for Boston".  Mary wore blue tee shirts with "I run for Boston" print on the front.  I thought you might like to have my bib, so I'm sending it to you".

I called him immediately and thanked him.  I started to tear up, of course, as I read the letter.         

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