Monday, May 26, 2014

Boston Run to Remember race recap

Well - the race has come and gone. And it wasn't my finest race. That being said, it wasn't my worst race either. But, let me start at the beginning.

We left for Boston on Saturday morning and drove right to packet pick up. We picked up our bibs, our T-shirts, and then we wandered around the expo and we all purchased some Boston shirts. We then meandered up to the overpass, and had a major discussion about where we would meet after the race. After formulating a Plan A, and then back up plans B, C, we all felt comfortable with where we would meet.

At the expo - me, Caitlin, Elisa, Janis, Kara, and Felice

Elisa and me standing on the overpass that we ran under to finish the race.
After that, we headed over to the hotel and checked in. It turned out to be a nice day, so we took a walk through beautiful Beacon Hill, and headed to Boston Common and sat and people watched.

 Beautiful Beacon Hill
After our walk, we headed back to the hotel and got ready for dinner. We went to a place called 75 Chestnut. When we were finished with dinner, we came out of the restaurant and it was pouring. We had a ten-minute walk back to the hotel, and we were soaked by the time we got back.

Trying to stay dry under the awnings - and NOT succeeding. But - we had a whole lot of fun!
When we got back to the hotel, we formulated our plan for race morning. We decided to wake up at 5 AM, and leave the hotel in a cab at 6 AM for the 7 AM race start.

Race morning seemed nice enough with no rain and a temperature of 55 degrees. We left the hotel at 6 AM and arrived at the seaport. It was easy enough to get through security. We went to the bathroom, and then it was time to line up. There were 8,000 runners - so it was a big race. The horn went off, and we were off.

Or not. The problem with a big race is that it is congested. My first mile was at a 10:20 pace because it was so congested. I also had trouble passing a group of law enforcement men who were all running in a big group. They were carrying a flag and they were chanting - so it was amusing for a while. But, then it became less amusing when I couldn't get by them. I finally was able to pass them at mile 2, and then I finally found my pace. I also quickly found out that it was humid. Really humid. I was dripping with sweat.  I knew it was going to be a tough race, when I hit the 3 mile mark and thought, "Oh my gosh. I am only at mile 3?"

I had long lost Caitlin, Elisa, and Janis. I had no idea if they were ahead of me or behind me. I felt like I was trudging along, so I felt sure that they were all most definitely way ahead of me. I finally put on my headphones and got my mo-jo.  I crossed over a bridge and realized that I was on the Charles. It was so scenic and beautiful. I tried to enjoy the scenery and just take in the moments. It worked for a while.  I was enjoying myself and just running in the moment.

But then, I hit mile 8, and I felt like I was going to die. I was running a stretch by Boston University and it felt like it was going on, and on, and on. And I kept wondering when the turn around was coming. And then my stomach felt kind of weird. Every time I saw a porta-potty, I thought about stopping. But there was always a line. So, I ignored my whiny stomach, and kept on. Around mile 9, I took a hit off my inhaler. And then my watch lost its signal. I got mad. I turned my watch off and tried not to think about how annoying it would be to not know all my race splits at the end. I knew the humidity was screwing with my breathing. I kept going, and when I finally hit mile 10, I honestly felt like I was running a marathon instead of just a half. I could not believe that I had still had three more miles to go.  I did not know how I was going to get through the last 3 miles of this race. It seriously felt like I hit the wall. How was this possible?

I kept going somehow, and I took a few walk breaks. I ate some sports beans, and told myself to keep going. After what felt like an excruciating long time, I hit mile 11. Two more to go. I could do anything for 2 miles. Right? Then I hit mile 12. Thank God. One more to go. I kept trucking on. There were a lot of twists and turns during the last mile. I finally turned onto Seaport Blvd. which was the last 1/3 mile of the race. And all of a sudden I had excruciating knee pain. Remember the pain I had well over one year ago? The knee pain that has been long gone. Yeah. Well, in that instant, it was back. And it came back full force. I thought my leg might fall off if I ran another second. The crowd kept me going, and I finally got to the finish. I had never been so glad to cross a finish line in my life.

My stats:
Time: 2:06:56 - making me hit somewhere between my B and C goal.
9:41 pace
I was 3,954 out of 7,169 finishers
I was 356 out of 827 in my age group.

Not my best race. Not my worst. If anything, this race taught me not to be cocky. I was beginning to feel like running a half was no big deal. This race put it in perspective that running a half is still very challenging. I was trained to run the distance. But I wasn't properly trained to feel strong. I have a lot of work to do this summer to get in better shape for the Hudson Mohawk Half in October.

The best part of the weekend was seeing Kara and Caitlin finish their first half.  Caitlin rocked it by finishing in 2:03. And Kara finished it in 2:30. And she has a six-month old at home, and managed to put in the training time. We were so proud of them! Janis, Elisa and I all finished within a minute of each other. And Felice rocked it out with a 1:51 finish!

And of course it's always good to get away with the girls. It was a great weekend, and it was amazing to see Boston on foot. In true fashion, we are already talking about what our next destination half will be. We might go all out and fly somewhere. Like Nashville. Or Vegas. We are crazy like that.

Post-race. Rocking out in our Boston shirts and our medals!

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