Yesterday morning I got up at 6am, showered quickly and left the hotel by 6:20.
I hopped on the subway and 10 minutes later was at the Back Bay area where the bus pickup was.
Even though I was there at 6:30am (and the race started at 10), I still had to wait 30 minutes to get on a bus. There’s just so many people trying to get on busses.
By 7am, the entire Boston Commons was one long line of runners waiting in line. Compared to the NYC Marathon, it seemed a little more chaotic but maybe that’s because there’s really only one mode of transportation out to Hopkinton?
Our bus driver got a little lost so it took us about 70 minutes to get to the start and the Athlete’s Village, but it worked out fine since we had plenty of time.
It was already in the high 60’s – perfect weather to hang out in the grassy areas.
I ate 2/3 of a free chocolate chip bagel and was just sitting around when reader Amy came up and said hello. She lives near my parents in Oregon. It’s so nice talking to someone because the time flies by. Before I knew it, I needed to go get in line for the porta potties (a 30 minute wait) and then head to the start.
The start line is .7 mile down the hill from the village so everyone starts walking towards their corrals early to get ready. When I was in corral 8 of wave 1, I met another reader standing right next to me but didn’t catch her name, sorry!
The race started right on time and about 6 minutes later I crossed the start line already sweating.
Like I said yesterday, I decided to run in only a sports bra and no compression socks; this ended up being a good idea since it only got hotter and hotter as the race went on.
The first mile is a fast downhill and I ran it in 7:59, my only mile of the day in the 7’s.
Since there were high heat advisories and people were being encouraged to defer their entries, I went into the race with a completely non-racing mindset. I’ve never run in such hot weather (Maui was close to 80’s at the finish but it started at 5:30am!) and my whole goal was to finish and not get heat sick. no time goals.
Most of the beginning miles were low 8’s and I ran the first 7.5 miles right around an hour.
Because of the warm weather, I tried to drink a gulp of water more often than usual. I didn’t want to drink a full cup, drink too much and get sick so I’d take a drink or two all the time. There’s so many people out cheering and handing out food and beverage that it was really easy to hydrate.
One thing that didn’t sound appealing at all was Gatorade and gels so I didn’t take either all day. Instead I drank a lot of water and ate all sorts of things handed to me: Twizzlers, oranges, half a banana, and lots of popsicles. It worked out since nothing upset my stomach and I felt like I fueled well enough.
I passed the halfway point and the cheering Wesleyan girls asking for kisses in 1:46. Since I was a giant ball of sweat, I didn’t think any of the girls would want a smacker from me.
I didn’t bring my ipod and instead just enjoyed all the energy of the crowds. I high fived a ton of kids, thanked volunteers and smiled at everyone. I was having a no-pressure, good time.
That lasted until about mile 15 when I first really started feeling the heat. I was running about 8:15s and started noticing my core temperature getting hotter and everything taking a little more effort.
I started trying to conserve more energy and withdrew a little but still tried to take in the atmosphere. Boston is so unique in that the entire town seems to turn out for the race and everyone is soo friendly and excited for you. It’s contagious and exciting even in 85* weather.
I continued grabbing water, coconut water, orange slices and popsicles and made my way slowly up Heartbreak Hill. Miles 17 and 19 were 8:35s, but I didn’t walk at all and at that point, I was happy with that.
There was a ton of people walking on the hills and especially near the end. It sorta seemed weird because this is Boston, but it also seemed smart because of the heat.
The last 5 miles were tough – not pushing yourself to exertion/PR tough but more like how I imagine an ultramarathon would be tough. Your body is just exhausted and tired and sometimes running slower makes it seem so much longer.
The last couple miles toward the finish are fun because the streets are lined two or three deep with people cheering, and turning onto Boylston is the best feeling.
I didn’t kick at all. at all, at all. I was looking for my parents (they saw me but I never saw them) and I was pretty tired so I just tried to enjoy the finish before it was over too quickly.
I finished in 3:36:49, 671th woman and 4003 overall. For the conditions, I’m happy with it.
I’m proud that with the heat advisory, I readjusted my goals (originally I wanted to run both Gansett and Boston at or below 3:20) started cautiously enough, listened to my body and finished healthy and happy.
Like how foggy my camera got by the end?
Even though it was really tough running conditions, I really enjoyed this year’s race, more so than last year’s. The race was a lot of fun: there was no pressure to perform and because of that, I think I soaked it up and enjoyed the experience more completely.