I woke up around 5 AM to get ready for the day. Did my usually pre-day ritual of drinking a glass of hot water. Pre-race breakfast @ 5:30 was two rice cakes, a little almond butter on each with one banana. I ate this very slow to make sure it would not upset my stomach at all.
Once on the bus – I sipped my water which had NUUN in it. Waiting was not bad at all – My friend from home, Allison Conner was also racing so it was nice to have her there with me. It was funny to think back at what we talked about because you could tell it was just nervous/excited babble talk. My feet did start to go numb while waiting because it was chilly but I had brought a garbage bag to sit on and used that to wrap around my feet while in socks and they warmed up just before the race. Around 9 I started to eat bites of a KIND bar until it was gone. I tried to get coffee when we arrived thinking I may need to go to the bathroom again and that would help get things moving but they ran out which at the time I said must not be meant to be to have coffee. SO GLAD I didn’t. I didn’t have any stomach issues!
Miles 1 – 5: Holy cow – they weren’t kidding about it being downhill! I had a race plan to stay conservative…nothing above 7:30s in the beginning. Once I saw the downhill – it was almost impossible to hold that. I could have easily gone 6:40s at the start so I knew that holding around 7:20s would be ok. I knew that the down hills were going to hurt my quads no matter what – if I was going 7:20s or 7:30s so my form felt good and I felt in control at the 7:20 pace. I was on top of this world and felt great! (I should point out that my run on Sunday was amazing and I knew I was going to feel good for the race).
Miles 6 – 11: I welcomed the change up with some short little hills to break up the downhill’s. At this point – I noticed my feet were burning a little bit which I contribute to the downhill madness but just kept going. I still felt very comfortable in the pace I was running and was not breathing hard in the slightest. I did notice that I would speed up anytime the crowds would come which wasn’t a big deal then but I am glad I realized it and just made a point to be careful about it. Best tasting things on the course were freeze pops being handed out by little kids! I had half of two of them during the race.
Miles 11 – 14: Girls everywhere! Still feeling strong at the halfway point. My legs were feeling the down hills but not in a way where I was worried about the finish. I was more than ready for some flat and hills though.
Miles: 15 – 16: This is where my quads started to feel a bit “shredded” and my water was completely gone. I started to grab Gatorade and water at the aid stations. I need to work on getting them in my mouth haha. It started to warm up on the course at this point too. The thought of a 3:15 marathon came in to my head. I just reminded myself to do the best you can – you may not have a 20 mile run in you but you have the fight!
Miles 17 – 21: This is where the hills started. They were very welcomed. It was a break for my quads. I did not think the hills were much at all. The only one that was difficult was the last one because it being at mile 20 but I remember just keeping it steady and being strong going up it. At this point though – I am feeling my quads quite a bit. My boss was at mile 20 and ran with me up one of the hills and gave me a water bottle to drink. I remember him saying you shouldn’t look this strong at this point in the marathon. I told him I felt great besides my quads. He said I had one more hill then it was home free. I knew my pace dropped a bit but knew I had time in the bank from the beginning of the course.
Mile 21-23: This is where it finally got to me: the downhill at mile 22. OUCH!! It was painful having to go down that hill. My quads were not happy about it. But I continued to motor on just a bit slower than I would have liked.
Mile 24 – 26: This is where I felt my calf cramp up a little bit. I stopped and stretched it out and stopped at every aid station to make sure I got some fluids in me. My body was tired and it knew it hadn’t been at this distance or on my feet for this amount of time in awhile. I had a little cramp in my side too in Mile 25. I remember I saw a sign that said, “You are at mile 25, you can’t stop now.” It kept me moving as I would take small 10 sec walking breaks to keep things going. Once I turned the corner and headed home, all the cramps and pain went away as I ran to the finish in the last .2. It was an incredible feeling running that final mile of the Boston Marathon The sense of accomplishment you feel and rush is indescribable.
I was so happy to be finished and so proud of my accomplishment. I thought I executed this race very well. I was amazed at how strong I felt on the hills. The challenge of this course is not the hills, it is the down hills for sure. The crowds were incredible! This is a PR course for sure. I am trying to keep it out of my mind that I want to do it again to see if I could 😉