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

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