The word of the day is “ow”. You’d think that it would be my muscles that would be hurting the most, but no, it’s actually my toenails. They hurt so much it was hard to sleep last night.
As SO many of you know from tracking me all day yesterday, I finished the Boston Marathon in what was my slowest ever marathon time on one of the hottest Marathon Mondays in recent history. THANK YOU for all of your support.
I spent all day Sunday agonizing on whether or not to defer, an option put out by the Boston Athletic Association because of the extreme heat. On Sunday afternoon I was fairly certain I was going to skip the marathon until 2013.
But after heading into town for a Sam Adams 26.2 and The ALLY Foundation pasta party, seeing the finish line set up, and remembering that I did train for this, I got up bright and early Monday morning. It was already hot when I left the house at 5:55 am. I was scared.
Over the next few hours my fears started to melt away. I was lucky to be given VIP access for the buses and athlete’s village which got me on the bus with past Boston Marathon winners, plus a nice comfy spot inside in Hopkinton while most runners had to hang outside in the rising temperatures. It was very nice. In the VIP tent I also got to meet a few new people who were fun to chat with and made the time pass. Everyone was a little nervous and planning on being smart.
One of the worst parts of the day was walking to the starting corrals and waiting; they were in direct sunlight, and the walk to the start is uphill. Once that gun went off, we crossed the start, and I just started to run, my goal being to drink and walk at each water stop. At each stop, I grabbed a cup of Gatorade and two cups of water, one for drinking and one for dumping over my head. Along the way, the amazing people who live or were cheering along the route sprayed us with hoses, handed out ice, water, and snacks, and made the run almost pleasant. I never let myself feel thirsty or hot because of the support that was available.
All along, my legs felt great. I had taken almost three weeks off of running due to knee pain, but my knees never hurt. I was actually a little frustrated at points because I felt as though I could push myself harder; I was breathing fine and feeling good. But I promised my mom I wouldn’t end up in the medical tent, or worse, and I practiced restraint. I also saw several people laying on the sidewalk or being taken off the course on stretchers. Every time I saw that I took a short walking break. I hope everyone is ultimately okay.
It only started to get tough in the last few miles as Brookline and Boston definitely had fewer garden hoses than the suburbs! But the college students along the way were absolutely amazing. I have to say that if it was a competition, Boston College and other students in Brookline/Boston definitely beat the Wellesley women, who seemed much quieter this year!
The last two miles of the marathon flew by. I walked a little more in this time because I was feeling hotter and drier and did not want to have to stop with two miles to go. When I rounded the turn at Hereford and Boylston, I saw my husband and friends waving and threw them the hat I had been wearing. I didn’t want it on in my official photos. I also almost got knocked down by a man who decided to run across my path waving a giant flag, hence the face in the below photo.
I was all about finishing.
Lots of people were walking the last .2 miles, and I can’t blame them. Boylston Street was a scorcher; the tall buildings did not offer as much shade as I had hoped. It felt like an eternity, but I made it.
With all of the water stop walking, plus a quick stop in Newton, I finished in 4:45. I was roughly trying to add 1-2 minutes per mile to my pace to make sure I didn’t get too hot, and it worked well. Overall it’s not my best time, but I felt great and stayed safe which were my goals for the day. There will be other days to run faster.
The BAA volunteers and staff were incredibly kind, helpful, supportive, and well-prepared. My family showed so much love and concern leading up to and after the race, and I am grateful (and sorry for making them worry so much!) The spectators, including my friends and family, were godsends. They made me love Boston so much yesterday. All of the runners slogging along together on a scary-hot day made me feel part of something bigger than myself; we were truly all in it together.
If you were on the course, sent me an email, text, Facebook message, tweet, or any other form of encouragement, thank you. I took each and every message and put them toward toughing it out. And I am very glad I did not defer.
Back to regularly scheduled food blogging tomorrow!