|Packed my lucky shoes and headed up to Boston on Saturday morning|
|Checked into our hotel and headed to the expo.|
|After picking up my bib and race packet, |
I met up with my family at the Convention Center
|Then walked around Boston for a bit|
|Walked down Bolyston with my family to check out the finish line|
On Sunday, I had a lovely brunch with my family and then headed out to Hopkinton to check out the start line before checking into our hotel in Milford.
After dinner, my family dropped me and Brittany off at our hotel, where we met up with Caren and Jennifer. I stayed at the same hotel last year; it's really convenient to getting to the start but less so for spectators trying to get to the finish, so we had a room for runners while our families stayed in Boston. The only problem was, with the elimination of bag check and no plans to return to Milford following the race, we had to take only things we needed for the race or were willing to part with. It was a little more work logistically, as we had to sleep in the throwaway clothes that we were planning to leave at the start, pack an extra set of travel size toiletries, etc, but it was worth the hassle to eliminate any unnecessary race day stress.
|All decked out in our fancy pajamas aka pre-race throwaway clothes|
At that point, my only pre-race concerns were (1) peeing and (2) finding Ellen. Since we were late to our designated meeting spot and only Jennifer had her phone, I figured the latter wasn't going to happen, but as we made a beeline for the porta-pottys, one of the first people we ran into was Ellen. Hurray! We were all together. My happiness was short-lived, because when I saw the porta-potty lines I was pretty sure either my bladder was going to rupture or I was going to get a ticket for public urination (clearly I had done a good job of hydrating). Thankfully Caren went to the front and 'encouraged' everyone to be more aggressive in moving our particular line forward, so I have her to thank for the fact that I didn't pee on myself or end up in the hospital. Yes, I just wrote an entire paragraph about peeing.
As we finally left the bathroom area, they were calling for wave 2 corrals 7-9 to depart Athlete's Village. My listed corral was 6, but Caren and Britt were in 8 and we wanted to start together, so since you can move back but not up, we all headed over to the big corral 8 sign.
|In the corrals and ready for the start|
Much of the first half of the race is downhill, so we tried to be cautious and start slowly. The first couple miles clocked of in the 7:50s and then we settled into a pace in the high 7:30s-low 7:40s. It was a little faster than I'd planned, but I made the decision that I wanted to stick with my friends through Wellesley and would back off the pace after that. In hindsight, the faster pace most likely played a role in my later struggles, but sharing that experience with my friends was 100% worth it and if I had it to do over, I wouldn't have changed that at all.
The first few miles went by pretty quickly, filled with chatting, dancing, high-fiving spectators, and reading some of the great signs along the course. Caren, Jenn, and I were all wearing our Bull City Track Club singlets, so countless people shouted, "Go Bull City!" and we thanked every one of them with a woot, fist pump, or wave. There were so many people! Despite having a great experience, around mile 10 I was starting to feel warm and thought it definitely felt harder than it should for such an early point in the race. Mile 10: 7:34. No wonder it felt hard, I was running too fast. 10-15 seconds might not seem like much, but it can make a big difference in a long, difficult race. I told myself to not to worry and just enjoy the moment, and that was made easier as we ran through Wellesley and I read all of the "Kiss me" signs. When we crossed the 25k mat, I wished by friends luck and Ellen and Jenn took off, while Caren opted to stick with me at a more relaxed pace through the infamous Newton hills.
I'd been eating a chocolate cherry shot block every mile starting at mile 3, and all systems seemed fine until about 16. Suddenly I just couldn't stand the thought of eating anything else, but I didn't feel I was bonking so I wasn't really worried about it. What did worry me, though, was the heat. By mile 16, I was taking three cups of water at each aid station: dump one on my head, drink one, dump another one on my head.
I told myself to not worry about pace through the hills, and though I'd slowed to about 8:05 pace for mile 17, I was passing quite a few people who looked like they felt worse than I did. And then I hit heartbreak hill. Last year, I lost track of which hill I was on and thought I had one to go, so when I saw the broken hearts drawn in chalk on the street, I thought, "This is heartbreak? That's it? That wasn't bad at all!" Well, suffice it to say I did not think that this year! I don't know how they did it, but the hills were bigger this time around ;)
|Happy to have made it to the top of Heartbreak Hill|
|Somewhere around mile 22|
Somewhere in the 25th mile, I passed Larry Chloupek. It is absolutely amazing to see what people can accomplish if they put their minds to something.
We collected our medals, ponchos, food bags, and water, and waddled over to the Arlington St Church, where we'd planned to meet up with our families and fast teammates who'd started in wave 1 and long since finished.
I cannot say enough good things about my 2014 Boston Marathon experience. I loved almost every second of it (though my quads might beg to differ), and am so glad that I decided to make a return trip.
|Bull City Track Club representing in Boston|
|Two Boston Marathon finishers in the family!|
|I have the best dad and husband a girl could ask for|
|It's amazing what a difference a shower can make!|
|BCTC Reunion at Porter's|