Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Boston Marathon 2016

I'd been looking forward to the Boston Marathon since the day I BQ'd at Vermont City Marathon the year before. Because of this, I think I put a lot of pressure on myself to do well- as do most people I'm sure! This wasn't a race I thought I could just go and run and have fun with, I needed to do well- a lot of people were following me at home and I didn't want to let anyone down.

Because this was my first (and maybe only!) Boston Marathon, I decided to go all out. We booked a hotel for the entire weekend and did everything you're supposed to - Expo, Finish Line photos, bought too much stuff, etc! It was a whirlwind of a weekend, I'm sure I did way too much stuff the days leading up to the race, but I didn't want to go home and think I missed out on anything.

Finish Line

Fellow Boston 365'ers

Happy to have my ladies in Boston with me!

The day of the race arrived and I was a bundle of nerves, my training over the spring wasn't great- I didn't put in the long runs or the speed workouts I did for my previous marathon so I knew I wouldn't be at quite the level I was the year before. Since I was signed up with Fleet Feet Sports Boston 365 program I had access to a private coach bus to the starting line with my fellow Fleet Feeters. This was key! It kept us out of the sun/heat the morning of the race and allowed us to keep a drop bag with us while we waited the several hours at Athlete's Village to await the start of the marathon (10:00am). Of course, this gave me time to stress out even more about the race.

Sunrise over the Charles River on the way to the starting line

Pre-race bus time!

Athletes Village was crazy!

Finally my time came and I was allowed to start the mile or so walk to the starting line. Just to be apart of the 120th Boston Marathon was incredible! I had never been in a race of this magnitude. Most of my races are less than a few hundred people, so to see several thousands of people lined up on the starting line was incredible- and this was just one of 8 starting waves!!

I will admit I cried a bit during the first few miles because I was so happy to be in the race with so many people like myself. It is such a historic marathon and I was excited to be a part of it. For the first few miles, I tried to stay conservative since I knew how hilly the course got after that point. Around the 5k point, I knew the day was going to be tough. My legs were dead- heavy and tired this early in a race is never good. At around 10k I decided to slow down and realize that I will most likely not BQ here and just to enjoy the race. I loved seeing the crowds out cheering, but it was tough to really enjoy when I wasn't having a good running day.

The heat started to get to me (it was mid 70s and very sunny), and although I was on top of my nutrition and hydration I began to get light headed and dizzy at certain points. I started walking through water stops to pour water on my neck/head and that did help a bit, but it was still tough running through the heat that early in the spring.

Around mile 13 is when I started entering the pain cave- way earlier than anticipated!! Again, I tried to enjoy the crowd support the entire race, but it's tough when you're hurting and aren't in a good place mentally. At this point, I had to walk/jog the race and just wanted to get through the day with a smile on my face.

I was able to see my boyfriend, Thomas, around mile 18 which helped lift my spirits and then saw a few more friendly faces around mile 22 ish. Knowing how many people came out to cheer on the runners was a huge help in getting me to the finish line! Everyone was so supportive and it was an experience like no other.

This race kept me humble- not everyday can be my best day, some days are good, others are bad. But I am so happy to have made it across the finish line and experienced one of the best races in the world. Just to be there was an achievement that I am so proud of. Boston, I will be back!

Happy to be done!!!!

Post race party at Fenway Park

2015 Recap

So it's been a very long time since I've posted. I had a big year last year- I completed my very own "Vermont Grand Slam". This consisted of the Vermont City Marathon, Vermont Tough Mudder, Vermont 100 and Vermont 50. I loved each and every race. They each have their own feel, and I love spending as much time as possible in the beautiful state of Vermont.

Vermont City Marathon -
This was my fourth marathon, and the first one I really trained for. I did speed training for the first time since high school and it paid off. I somehow came out of the race with a BQ (which I'll get to soon). This might be one of my new favorite marathon- the community of Burlington comes out with full support: sprinklers, freezer pops, orange slices and amazing posters. There are professional drummers that help you make your way up an intense hill at mile 15. And to top it all off, after the race there is plenty of local breweries you can stop at on the way home!

Vermont Tough Mudder - 
For the third year in a row my friend, Elizabeth, and I went to Mt. Snow in VT to run the Tough Mudder. Some people may put this race down, that it's not very hard or competitive enough, but if you knew Elizabeth and I you would know we took it seriously and it was a race for us :). 

Vermont 100 - 
This will definitely be a race I will continue to do year after year. This was my second  time at VT 100 and I loved it just as much as I did the first time. Rolling hills, horses, beautiful Vermont views, awesome aid stations, great crew support, meeting cool people, and pushing your body past the limit your mind created makes this race spectacular. This was my 3rd 100 mile finish and even though it is always one of the hardest things I have ever done,  I will continue to sign up for these crazy races :)

Starting line at 4:00 am

A little rain won't bring me down!

Happy and exhausted!

Well deserved beer from Coach B!

Vermont 50 - 

This was a beautiful 50 miler. I was a little nervous at this race because I honestly didn't do too much training after the 100 miler- I needed a mental and physical break! I ran pretty conservatively the entire the race because I wasn't sure what kind of shape I was in! I walked most of the hills- and there were a lot! And tried to run everything else, not super fast, but at a good pace. The views were amazing and I ended up loving this race! It was a different feel from VT 100 since there were mountain bikers instead of horses at this race, but like the 100, I didn't see them very much because they were so far ahead of me for the most part. Some of the 100 mile course was part of the 50- including VT100's start/finish area. I did get a little emotional running through VT100's Finish line since I knew this was the end of my VT Grand Slam and I had accomplished my year long goal. 

Amazing views- pictures never do it justice!

Lovely uphills 

Of course we got to run up and down this mountain at the finish :)