Boston Marathon - RunMarathon

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Boston, Massachusetts
United States
Boston Athletic Association
Total Time = 4h 06m 16s
Overall Rank = 15659/
Age Group = F40-44
Age Group Rank = 1877/
Pre-race routine:

I was in the second wave, so my start time was 10:30. I had planned to sleep until 6:00 and catch one of the later buses to Hopkinton. But I had not been feeling well for the last couple of days (I had been seasick the day before and had been fighting a cold since Friday). I had a headache all night and it kept waking me up. I finally gave up trying to sleep anymore at 4:45. I got up and took my time getting ready. I took a hot shower hoping that would help my head and then I got dressed and ate breakfast (Clif bar and banana). I wore my race ready shorts, a short sleeve shirt, my pink Nike hat and my Mizuno Elixer's. Since it was cold outside, I put a pair of sweats over my race clothes. I don't normally check a bag at my races, but this race is unique. Since it is a straight course, there was not going to be anyone to hand my stuff to at the start line. But I was going to need to carry a few items due to the long wait at the athlete's village before the start. So, I packed my race bag. It was 5:50 at this point, so I decide to go ahead and start walking to the buses (they started picking up at 6:00). My hotel was only 2 blocks from Boston Common, so it only took me a few minutes to get there. The first buses were already full, so I got in line for the second set of buses. A few minutes later, I was boarding a bus for Hopkinton. The ride was good. As we were riding, I saw Fenway Park and the Citgo sign. The ride was surprisingly long (it really makes you realize how far a marathon is).
Event warmup:

Once our bus arrived in Hopkinton, we got off the bus and made our way to the athlete's village. It was 7:00am, so I had 3.5 hours until my start. I went to the food table and got a water and a bagel. Then I found a spot among the hundreds of people already gathered in the tent. I spent the next few hours talking to people around me, reading the book I brought and just trying to stay warm (it was freezing). When they finally called for the 2nd wave runners to start heading to the start line, I was trying to decide if I should hold on to my sweatshirt and throw it off after I started running. But just as I walking to the baggage buses, the sun suddenly came out. It was like a like switch, it suddenly felt 20 degrees warmer! So I took off my sweatshirt and put it in my race bag and checked it.

I began walking with the other 12,000+- people in the second wave. It was at this point that I realized that my headache was finally gone. The walk to the start line was about 3/4 of a mile, this was the extent of my warm-up. I got into my corral with just a couple of minutes to spare.
  • 4h 06m 16s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 24s  min/mile

My baby sister lives near Springfield, MA. My mother and other sister flew in from NC. They all came into Boston to support me. We decided to do some sightseeing over the weekend before the race. On Saturday we went whale watching. That was a big mistake. The water was really rough that day and I ended up getting seasick (along with my sister and her kids). We also did an extreme amount of walking. I feel like all I did on Friday, Saturday and Sunday was walk. My feet were hurting by Saturday night. I decided to try to rest them some on Sunday. But I ended up walking a bit - I walked up to watch the Olympic trials and then later I walked to lunch with my DH, TC117 and his wife Karen, and then back to the hotel. But after that I rested.

I was feeling good and excited at the start line. The race started and we started "running". There were so many people, that it was more of a walk than a run. It took a little while until we started to actually run. It was an amazing feeling. All I could see ahead of me for as far as I could see was a sea of runners! I have run in races with this many people before, but since there were many levels of abilities in those races the pack would thin out eventually. This race is different. Everyone around has the same ability. The crowd of runners never really thinned. It was a sea of people from beginning to end.

My family planned to be at or near the finish line to see me finish, so when the race started they were still in the hotel room (they had all come back into Boston and met my DH at our hotel room). They were watching the start of the race on the local channel. They told me that they were sitting around watching the race knowing they would never see me, when I was suddenly on the screen. Not only were they showing me, but they had zoomed in on me! They said as soon as they realized it was me, they started to scream.

I was feeling great for the first few miles. I was keeping my pace in check because I knew the second half of the race was the hardest. I was wearing my Mizuno Elixer's which are what I always wear for my marathons. I knew the pair I was currently wearing were getting close to retirement, but I thought they had one more race left in them. I am not sure if the shoes were just shot or if my feet were sore from all the walking (or a combination of both), but by mile 3 my feet started to hurt. The worst spot at that moment was below and to the side of my big toe on my left foot. I knew if my feet started to hurt this early into the race that I may have problems, but I hoped they would be alright until the finish.

I developed a side stitch around mile 4. It was a mild stitch, so I continued to run. The side stitch never really went away, but it didn't get any worse either.

I had Compartment Syndrome surgery on both legs back in December and wasn't even supposed to be able to run Boston. So when I realized I would be able to train (although on an abbreviated plan), my main goal was to finish the race, but I wanted to finish at least under 4:00 hours. I didn't think this was an unrealistic goal because I broke 4:00 on my very first marathon (I had finished in 3:53).

The pain in my feet continued to get worse (I didn't feel like I was getting blisters, my feet were just extremely sore). But I managed to keep a good pace through the half way point. I was averaging 8:44 per mile and was on pace for a BQ time (3:50). I was already starting to struggle mentally at this point though. It took everything I had to keep going. My feet hurt so badly that all I wanted to do was stop running. The crowd helped keep me going - it was an awesome crowd. This was the point when I started to hear the Wellsley girls screaming. You can hear them long before you can see them. I was surprised when I actually got to them. I would have sworn from the amount of noise they were making that there were a lot more of them! As I passed them, I actually move away from them a bit because their screams were hurting my ears.

I managed to go a couple more miles before I gave up on trying to BQ. I knew I would still be happy just breaking 4:00. So I slowed my pace a bit and kept running. That kept me going for a couple more miles, but I was still struggling. I realized at this point that I don't like point-to-point races. My family has been to each of my marathons. The way the routes were set up, they were able to see me on the course at least twice. Even though I didn't always see them on the course, I would look for them and hope to see them. I didn't realize how much that helped me make it through the marathons (just being able to focus on something other than the pain for a few minutes). But I knew in Boston that I wouldn't get to see my family until the end, so there was no reason to look for them. The crowd was great, but they weren't my family. I wish I had known that TC and his wife were watching in Newton. I could have used a boost at that point from seeing a familiar face!!

I continued on until mile 17 and I decided then to start walking the water stops. There were a lot of people walking the water stops, so I was definitely not out of place. This system seem to help and my pace wasn't suffering much by doing it. I was still on pace to break 4:00. I even ran the Newton Hills and they didn't seem so bad to me (of course, I had slowed my pace at this point and was getting walk breaks). Just as I was getting to the top of Heartbreak Hill, I glanced down at my Garmin to see just how slowly I was running and realized that my Garmin had turned off!!!! My batteries had died. So now I couldn't even track if I was on pace to break 4:00, I just had to keep going and hope for the best. I had absolutely no idea what pace I was running anymore. I really wanted to stop running at this point. I wanted to take my shoes off. I was so tempted to take them off and run barefoot (anything to get the shoes off). I am not sure if I would have continued if not for two things - I wanted the finishers medal and I told my family I should be there around 2:30 (which would have been 4:00) and I had to be there then or they would be worried! So I kept going. I continued to walk the water stations and run the rest of the time.

Then in the distance I saw the Citgo sign. That perked me up a little because I knew we turned to the finish at the Citgo sign. So I decided to run the rest of the way (no more walk breaks). I didn't realize when I made that decision, just how far away that Citgo sign really was! But I kept running and I finally reached the sign, turned right and then FINALLY turned onto Boylston!!! I could see the finish line ahead. I perked up a bit and started to run towards the finish line. Then I heard my name from my left and I turned to look and saw my DH and sister screaming and waving. I smiled and waved back and continued to run. I eventually crossed the finish line. As I did, I saw the clock and it read 4:09. I didn't know how long it had taken me to cross the start line, so I didn't know how much to deduct, but I knew I hadn't beat 4:00 hours. I didn't care anymore, I was just happy to be finished!

What would you do differently?:

I am not sure which affected my race the most - being sick (both seasick and the cold) for the few days before the race, walking all over Boston the two days before the race or not replacing my shoes sooner. So next year I will make sure I have newer shoes, try not to be sick (definitely not go whale watching), and not walk so much.
Post race
Warm down:

My warm-down consisted of walking through the finishers chute. That was a workout of its own. It was a long walk and it was packed full of people. The crowds had still now thinned! I just wanted to get through the chute and take my shoes off. I got a water, turned in my chip, got my finishers medal and then a bad of food. Just when I thought I would never get to the end, I finally saw the baggage buses. I started to look for mine and realized it was the bus furthest away. I thought I was going to cry. I finally got there, got my bag and immediately pulled my flip flops out of the bag and took my running shoes off!! I was so glad I was wearing my Injinji socks because I didn't have to take them off to put on my flip flops.

Then I started to walk to the family meeting area. I wish I had brought my cell phone with me though. I would have called my family and told them to just meet me back at the hotel. Because I was closer to the hotel at the baggage bus. I had to backtrack over 2 blocks and fight my way through the crowd to get back to the family meeting area. But my feet were already starting to feel better and I couldn't wait to see my family. I finally got to them and noticed that they were all wearing matching t-shirts! My sister had made everyone t-shirts. They were all thrilled to see me finish Boston.

As badly as my feet hurt, I was amazed that I had no blisters. I usually get a lot of blisters on my toes. But I switched to Injinji socks and they seemed to help a lot (each toe is separated in those socks). I did end up with one black toenail though. I also got a sunburn on the right side of my body during the race. I put on sunscreen when I got dressed, but after an hour on the buses, 3 hours waiting in the athlete's village, and then 4 hours of running, I guess it wore off! I brought it with me in my race bag to reapply before the race, but I forgot!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

My feet hurt early into the race. It was a tough course too and I think I let that play with my mind. I am usually good at pushing threw pain, but my mind just gave up on me today.

Event comments:

I had to rate this race as Best just because it is Boston! I missed most of the landmarks during this race (except the Citgo sign). But that was because I spent most of my time watching the spectators instead of the landmarks. I enjoyed watching the children with their hands out and reading all the signs. It wasn't my best race ever, but I was running in the Boston Marathon and I finished the race. There is NOTHING better than that feeling!!! :)

Profile Album

Last updated: 2007-03-19 12:00 AM
04:06:16 | 26.2 miles | 09m 24s  min/mile
Age Group: 1877/
Overall: 15659/
Performance: Below average
5k 10k 15k 20k Half 25k 30k 35k 40k 0:27:07 0:54:02 1:21:12 1:49:27 1:55:34 2:18:40 2:49:58 3:21:42 3:53:21 Finish Pace Official Time Overall Gender Division 0:09:24 4:06:16 15659 5659 1877
Course: Hopkinton to Boston!
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5