Boston Run to Remember Recap
2 weeks until the Tough Mudder New England
3 weeks until the Spectacle Island 5K
7 weeks until the Sasquatch Trail Race
16 weeks until the TARC Fall Classic Half Marathon
21 weeks until the Baystate Marathon
35 weeks until the Miami Marathon
7 months after signing up, the Boston Run to Remember was finally here! I felt confident and prepared heading into the weekend, however still very nervous. I felt like I had set such a high bar during training that even though I would probably still have a great race, I wasn't going to be able to set a new PR. I had put so much time and effort into training that I knew that I would be disappointed if I didn't beat my 1:58:35 previous time. Not only did I have a great time at the race, I set a new PR of 1:53:17, over 5 minutes faster! The race went so well, and I couldn't have ask for a more perfect experience.
The day before the race I did a slow, short run with the No Meat Athlete Boston group. Personally, running the day before a race has been helpful for me, especially if it is an easy run. It was also nice to get together with some fellow vegetarians/vegans and runners to get my mind off of the big race the next day. We also had a potluck lunch which was a great way to get some carbo-loading in the day before. The week before the race I had a difficult time sleeping, probably due to nerves, so the night before I actually slept amazing because I was so over tired. However, waking up at 4:30am to eat breakfast roughly two hours before the race, was difficult. I am not used to being up that early, nevermind eating at that time. I pretty much had to force myself to eat! My husband signed up to volunteer so we got to the Seaport World Trade Center before 6am. It was freezing, and while my husband was off meeting the other volunteers, I stayed in the nice warm car until I had to get into the coral. There were about 12,000 runners and people were still in line to get their bibs at 7am when the race was suppose to start. It was a little crazy making my way to the 9:00 minute/mile pace group in the coral and so cold that I was regretting wearing a tank top and shorts. The race started in waves according to speed and the group I was in was in the second wave. I was looking forward to start running just so I could get warm!
The first few miles were a little cramped. There was a 5 mile race going on at the same time as the half marathon so at 2.5 miles when the 5-milers took a left turn and headed back, there was a lot more space. Running through downtown Boston was a great feeling, but I couldn't wait to get to Memorial Bridge. I had the course map memorized and knew that after crossing the bridge it was one loop on one side, one loop on the other side, then back over the bridge to finish. The heat picked up once we were out of the shade of the buildings, but there was a nice breeze along the Charles river. Even though a large amount of runners had turned around for the 5-mile race, you could still feel the amount of runners that remained. It seemed like every time I got into a groove, I would have to slow down or speed up to run around someone. I was doing a lot of zigzagging which I regretted after noticing that my watch was less and less matching up with the mile markers on the course. I didn't look at my pace or total time until mile 5 and was completely shocked by how fast I was running. My mind told me I was running way too fast, but my body felt fine so I kept moving.
I brought along my husbands Nathan Quickdraw Handheld Water because I knew it was going to be hot, and I didn't want to have to stop at water stops. Plus I could keep a Vega gel in the pocket. I didn't quite feel like I needed to fuel but I had made a plan that no matter what I would take the gel at mile 8 (better safe than sorry later) so thats what I did. At the last water stop before crossing back over the bridge I stopped just to take a big cup of water and dump it over my back, which instantly cooled me down. Heading back over the bridge into the city I was still feeling great, better than I had ever felt after running that far.
The last 4 miles were the longest, as I knew they would be. By mile 11 my watch was about .2 miles off from the mile markers which was stressful. The idea of having to run even longer than 13.1 miles in order to cross the finish line was not ok. I had been keeping a pretty strong pace, so instead of sprinting the last two miles like I normally would, I just kept going at the same speed. It was getting hotter, and I saw a runner down which made me a little nervous about passing out myself. When we got to the last stretch, along Seaport Boulevard, I dumped some more water from a water stop on my back, and decided to go for it. My calves were on fire going over the little hill at the beginning of Seaport Boulevard, but I didn't even care. I wanted to finish strong. I looked down at my watch as it read "13.1 miles 1:53:17", and tears welled up in my eyes. I barely remember crossing the actual finish line, I just remember finding my husband who was handing out waters with the other volunteers and giving him a big hug. I found out later that my official time was 1:55:51, which is over 2 minutes more than what my Garmin watch recorded, but like I had mentioned, I did a lot of zigzagging trying to get around the other thousands of runners. The best part about the whole experience was that I stayed strong and positive the whole time, and actually had fun doing it.
The next big event I have coming up is the Tough Mudder New England on Mount Snow in Dover, VT. It is not something that I am particularly excited about, however I have heard such great things about the Tough Mudder events and community so I am looking forward to meeting new people and trying out some of the crazy obstacles they will have. I also signed up for a second marathon, the Miami Marathon in late January. I am so excited for this marathon, especially because it gives me an excuse to go to Miami!