Thursday, May 18, 2017

Boston Marathon 2017

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It's not the course that makes the Boston Marathon special. Although if it were an overcast day, about 45 degrees, with a stiff tailwind it would be the fastest course possible. But Patriot's Day rarely has that forecast in Boston. • • It's not the history. Although running with greats like Katherine Switzer, Amby Burfoot, Meb, and team Hoyt was a huge honor, and the prestige of the Boston Marathon is unparalleled, it wasn't what will bring me back. • • It's not running with a bunch of fast people. Although even in the hardest moments when I felt like we were crawling, we were actually keeping an 8:00ish pace, which is still decently fast, but that's not the best part. • • It's Boston. See this photo? There are people hanging out of a window to watch the finish line. For finishes of regular people like me. People were lined up along the 26.2 mile course for HOURS. Cheering constantly. They weren't out there to see their cousin, scanning the crowds of runners for a lone person to cheer for. They were cheering for ME and HER and HIM --Random strangers whom they'd never met and they just kept cheering. There were crowds three deep for the last few miles. I smiled and laughed so much through Wellesley my cheeks and abs hurt. I took water and wet towels from spectators and thanked a man who had his water hose out front for us to run through. There were elderly people in lawn chairs and babies - TONS of babies and kids - slapping high fives as we passed. Running through each town I thought, "There's no way it'll be like this the whole race" but it WAS. The people of Boston OWN this race - it's THEIRS and they do it RIGHT. Drivers yield to pedestrians, even when we jaywalk while sightseeing in the days leading up to the race. Drug store cashiers are over-the-top helpful, and our hotel had employees lined up with streamers and cow bells cheering for us as we arrived post-race. • • That's just the tip of the iceberg. The Boston Marathon is awesome because of the people of Boston and the towns along the course. They carry the runners through, and even though we were probably quieter than usual Monday, I can guarantee we are all grateful. • • Boston, I 💙💛 you.• •

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Race Recap: I trained to run a 7:30 pace, but planned to start at 7:45 and cut down every five miles based on feel. Even as the temps for the forecast crept up, my plan stayed the same. As per my custom, 🙄I got to the start line just a few minutes before the gun went off for our wave and ended up at the back of corral 1. That resulted in the first lucky break: I started slower than planned. From the start the heat was a factor, and I made a decision to drink water at every single stop. (2nd lucky break) As the 5 miles clicked away, I stuck to the plan and increase speed, just not as fast as my original goal. Still, up to mile 15 I was cruising and repeating my mantra: "Feeling good, looking strong, I could do this all day long."• • Then my watch died. It dropped GPS signal in Newton. Then the Newton hills hit. They were TOUGH and I had no idea how much I'd slowed. My watch would work for a bit, but it would drop again. I held on as tight as I could and knew I must be slowing, but because my watch didn't have cumulative time, I had NO IDEA where I stood. (3rd lucky break)• • So I smiled. And soaked it all in. And enjoyed the crowds. And slapped hands and thanked spectators. And encouraged other runners. And blew kisses to Wellesley girls. Not knowing my time forced me to be present in a way I'd never have been otherwise.• • I didn't know my finish time until a local running buddy texted me after the finish. It was the sweetest celebration text about my race execution, along with a photo snapped of my splits. My time was 4 minutes slower than my PR, but the 1st half was 1:45:36 and the 2nd half was 1:47:27, pretty close to an even split. • • It was a tough day, and so many people were literally doubled over and brought to their knees. My results weren't because I trained any harder or drank any more - in true marathon fashion, we can't predict when it'll be our day and when it won't. I'm grateful to have had a relatively good race.• • So, lessons learned: a) My nutrition has worked in two races, so I'll stick to it. (Gu opened at mile 7 and nursed through mile 9. Another Gu at mile 13 and nursed through mile 15. Gu at mile 18 and nursed through mile 21. cont'd👇

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Right on Hereford, left on Boylston. The most beautiful sight for marathoners lies ahead - the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Along with that image, I'll remember looking over and seeing Ryan standing on a metal barricade, leaning over and yelling "MARTINI!!!!!" and waving his free arm. 😍 So. Much. Joy in those finishing moments.💙💛 • • So, what's next? A sprint tri and some 5ks will be fun. There will be another marathon this fall and I'm saving up for another round of coaching for it with @mattebersole. But first, more rest! My quads are still tender and my middle left toe resembles raw hamburger meat. 😬• • Thank you all SO MUCH for following along and the encouragement. I'm so very grateful! ❤️• • #bostonmarathon2017 #BeBoston #womensrunningcommunity #inspiringwomenrunners #ihavearunnersbody #womenrunning #motherrunner #keepittight

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