Friday, April 22, 2011

2011 Boston Marathon....check

As I was running I passed a shirt that said "this marathon would be fun if there wasn't so much running." I have to agree. :)
What a whirlwind trip, but an amazing experience to be a part of at the same time. SATURDAY
We arrived in CT late Saturday night, and had a not so great hotel experience. It would have been fine if say I enjoyed the smell of smoke/mildew and didn't mind checking into a room that had not been cleaned. Arghh! Anyways we finally got settled in a clean room.
Went to Boston and spent a few hours at the runners expo. People, people, everywhere! I had to hold onto Camerons hand for my life in fear of getting separated and lost in the swarm of thousands and thousands of people! But the expo was great, lots of food freebies, energy gels, bars and drinks.
After getting all the important things we walked around the finish area, got a little rained on and decided to head out of the mass chaos of people and head to the Harvard/Cambridge area. After that to Salem. I've always been a little fascinated with the Salem witch trials, so we hit some museums and walked around that little town. That was fun, but I was tired from all the traveling/driving/walking.
That night we stayed in Milford just outside of Hopkinton which is where it starts. We had a nice hotel this time (thank goodness) and I slept surprisingly well.

I met up with a friend in the morning and took a shuttle to the start. We were both in wave 2 which began at 10:20.
As we waited in Athletes village we were freezing to death! There was a strong wind that sent nonstop shivers through us, not to mention the nervous anxiety for the race to begin. But as we were there with so many others it was just an amazing feeling. Everyone of us there worked so hard to get Boston. The common question going around was "what race did you BQ at?"
Once our wave and corrall were called we had a little under a mile to walk to the start.
I can't stress how many people there were...runners and spectators. Just amazing. Finally I was there, Boston. As I ran that first half mile I couldn't help but shed a few tears of happiness that I achieved a very hard goal. One that at times I felt was completely out of reach. After what seemed like forever, it started. And it started fast, and only got faster. I was looking at my Garmin noticing that my pace was approaching a 7 min. mile. I had to stop myself from going too fast, but it was hard with so much excitement in the air, not to mention so many people passing me up. The first half I felt great and was maintaining close to an 8:30 mile. I was taken back by the support of the community. Everyone talks about the amazing spectators at Boston but I wasn't prepared for how truly amazing they are. I was feeling great, and thinking I might have a new personal best, but then I entered Newton and came face to face with the newton hills. I had looked at the elevation map and knew what was coming. I'm so used to climbing mountains here in Utah that I almost laughed that people made such a big deal about those hills. I was overconfident that I could do them no problem. But as I began climbing those hills they really got to me. They devastated me. I think as I was starting mile 20 and had the last "heartbrake hill" to conquer, it conquered me. I have never felt so defeated before in a race. Never. I've never hit the wall, but as I started mile 23 I ran smack into that wall. I stopped for about 2 seconds and stood there for a second trying to muster the will to continue. At that moment a man in the crowd saw me and with a voice I'll never forget began yelling to me saying, "Hey...what are you doing? You've worked so hard for this. Get can do it." Just hearing him was all I needed. I pushed on and as I was giving it my all I could hear him cheering for me saying, "that's a girl, you can do it." Now that is what they mean by the Boston spectators. I finished with a time of 4 hrs. and 33 seconds.
I felt a little disappointed with myself that I wasn't close to my last 2 marathon times. But I keep telling myself "it was Boston and Boston is not easy." It's the experience that was amazing and as hard as it was, I loved it still. Everything we do in life shapes us, and when life gets hard,we just need to remember that "we can do it." One foot in front of the other, fast or slow, just keep moving forward.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

1 week till Boston!

I wish that I would have journaled more for this Boston training time, but it seems like this time around things haven't been quite ideal. So for my 16 weeks of running to get ready for it I'll mention some of the highlights or lowlights of it all.

Let's go back to March 5 my birthday. The big one. 30 years old. I ran 20 miles and they actually went pretty well. I keep telling myself that turning 30 is acutally going to be a good thing. 30's not that different than 29, life is good, and I'm running Boston, a life goal.

To make turning 30 even more special we were headed to Maui a few days later. I was supposed to run 16 miles there but unfortunately we were there when the tsnami hit Japan and were evacuated from our hotel at 11pm due to the Tsnami warning sirens blarring through the islands. So we spent a night in a car along with hundreds of others waiting it out. Thankfully we were okay, but having a night with no sleep but a dent in my running for that week.

We got home and both my boys were sick, especially my 2 year old. He got croup really bad and that was really scarey. I had to stay up with him all night (making sure he was breathing) and taking him outside to get him cold air when he wasn't breathing well. The next morning (an 8 mile tempo run day)was spent at the doctors getting him steriod treatments and breathing nebulizers. I had a week of not great sleep.

Just when I thought the sun was shining again I came down with a severe snotty head cold. I did my final 20 (about 2 weeks ago) very sick. If I would even tilt my head forward or look down I'd get a disgusting fountain of snot pouring out of my nose. Sorry for the graphic image, sick I know. :( The good news is that I actually ran that 20 still maintaing around a 9 min. mile which is pretty good for being sick.

Unfortunately I haven't had the most ideal training, but now I'm 1 week away from running The Boston Marathon and I'm super excited. I feel ready despite it all. This time around I'm not trying to qualify for Boston, I've made it and I want to enjoy the race, so the pressure is off. I've been tapering my runs these past few weeks and finished my last "distance" one today with 8 miles. 8 miles in the very wet, very snowy, very slushy spring day today. But it's good. I'm happy and so excited to be apart of an amazing race next Monday. So here's to hoping for good weather, good health and a great race. Boston here I come!