Race morning really went off without a hitch, got ready and made our way to Boston Common to catch a bus to Hopkinton with everyone else. Somehow it all worked out that I was able to meet up with Lindsey, Ashley, Danielle and Sarah near bag check before the race. It was the least awkward internet-friends-meeting-for-first-time-IRL ever, I felt like I had hung out with them a million times before. We sat in the back of the bus like rebels, laughed and enjoyed the morning of what we all knew was going to be a big day.
Athletes Village was nothing short of insanity. We went through metal detectors, got felt up a bit and then made our way through the sea of people. Literally, people EVERYWHERE.
|Ashley, Danielle, Lindsey, Me & Sarah|
|Me, Lindsey, Ashley, Sarah & Danielle|
The first few miles were crowded, as expected. I had a side stitch for the first 2-3 miles which didn't do anything but annoy the crap out of me. I took some deep breaths and eventually found a comfortable stride and pace. I was 100% running by feel, I looked at my watch out of curiosity at each mile marker but never really for pace control. I wanted to see what I could do without being a slave to my watch. I high-fived a million and one people, especially kids and I couldn't help but get the goofiest grin on my face. I even got a blue/yellow bracelet a little boy handed me and gave me the BEST high five ever (along with the cutest little smile). Jewelry on the first date, normally would be a little much but for that 5 year old...I'll make an exception.
I was happy with the times I was running, while still enjoying myself taking in the sights and sounds of the insane amount of spectators. 6-10 people deep on both sides of the road, screaming so loud I couldn't hear myself think. Almost everyone wearing blue/yellow or anything with BOSTON STRONG on it. I fought back some tears quite a few times, there really was nothing like it. (Insert *omg cheesy eyeroll* here).
I thought about so many things while running. Wondering how my friends were all doing as they took to the course, crossing my fingers that everyone was having a great day. Thought about all those affected by last years events, and how amazing the running community and Boston have pulled together since then. I thought about where I am at in my own life, thinking about things past and things to come. I also thought about how the journey of getting to Boston changed me and how grateful I am for that desire to keep pushing myself.
According to the BAA Splits, my first four 5ks of the course were almost dead on-- 23:13, 23:27, 23:13, 23:13. Uhh yeah, I've NEVER been that consistent. Normally I am the negative split girl, but control and consistency was where it was at for me Monday. Running by feel wasn't the worst thing in the world.
I had been told before the race that I would hear the Wellesley girls, well before I could see them. I can confirm that is an incredibly true statement. Ladies were fabulous and I hope that they have boyfriends to make them tea with honey the rest of the week because they certainly aren't going to be able to speak again, like ever. I high fived a bunch of the girls, and stole a kiss from the girl holding a sign saying 'I'm from Upstate NY, kiss me!'. Hopefully my little boyfriend from earlier in the race who gave me a bracelet isn't mad I was kissing a girl a few miles later.
I crossed the half in 1:38:11, this is when the math started. Okay, I was on pace for 3:16ish...but knew I wasn't going to be negative splitting that second half. This is the point where I pretty much knew I was going to run around 3:18-3:20. I kept the pace I had settled into and held it as long as I could knowing if my predictions were correct I would still run my 3rd fastest marathon.
|Trucking up a hill...|
I think mile 18-19 was about when I decided to stop taking my gels. They weren't sitting super well, and the last thing I wanted was stomach problems. So I started taking oranges (thank you to all the spectators handing them out!), and Gatorade instead of water.
I could pretty much see Danielle not far in front of me for most of the race, it was comforting seeing someone I knew in a sea of thousands of strangers. Around mile 19 she came up to me and told me I was looking good and gave me a mini pep talk- that meant more to me than I could say, I really needed it. I pushed through the rest of the hills, and even made it up 'heartbreak' without too much struggle. I knew I was going slower than before but definitely still holding on.
Once I hit mile 21 I tried to pick up the pace. The last few miles of the marathon have really become a love of mine in a sick and twisted way. This is where I have been able to push harder and really pour my heart out onto the course (particularly at Wineglass and CIM). At Boston, that push lasted about a half mile before I realized it just wasn't going to happen. I settled back into a pace I hoped to maintain for the remainder of the race.
I'm not going to blame that on the course, the hills, the heat or anything- I know EXACTLY what it was. I knew going into this race that my speed and strength were good but my endurance was nowhere near where it was in the fall. I knew that at some point between Hopkinton and Boston that this was going to catch up to me, and it did. No excuses, I was running what I was capable of on that particular day.
Once I made the turn onto Hereford, my eyes shot straight up while making the quick left onto Boylston. I wanted that damn finish line. Boylston street was incredible, but I know that I didn't embrace it as much as I could have. I was so focused on moving forward and was lost in my own little world. Maybe that sounds selfish, maybe it sounds like I didn't care- but in reality it was nothing less than keeping myself composed for a finish line that would most certainly be unlike any other.
I finished in 3:20:14 which is a 7:38 average pace. I'm super proud that I managed to crack the top 1000 women, coming in at 958 (top 6.6%). Not too shabby for my first Boston. As for my personal standings, it was marathon #8 and my 3rd fastest (knocking my first BQ 3:21 from 2012) into 4th place :) I finished feeling tired for sure, but my legs held up really well especially considering my lower right leg boycotted the last few months of training.
|Danielle and I after the race :)|
I have a LOT of thoughts regarding the race, and how I feel about my time etc. But that is a whole post in itself. Short version: Boston reminded me of that fire I have, to be happy, to push myself, and to never settle. I'm not mad whatsoever that I didn't PR, I didn't have any intentions of running one on April 21, 2014. I ran that race for me and for Boston, with everything that's been going on I needed control and that's what I did.
More thoughts to come on the race, my time, my experience and....WHAT'S NEXT :)
You rock. I'm glad you had a solid race and I cheered as loudly as I could for you even though it wasn't loud enough! And I'm so glad we finally got to meet and hang out a bit this past weekend... I can't wait for next month's run + coffee date!ReplyDelete
So awesome to finally meet!! :) Definitely excited for run/coffee in a few weeks!!Delete
Amazing Laura! I thourougly enjoyed reading your recap and look forward to hearing more about the day! Congratulaions!ReplyDelete
I love this!! I have been waiting to read your race recap! I thought of you during the marathon and I'm so glad that it went well! I'm slowly starting back up with my own running! Trying to keep the faith that my previous injury won't return and I'll be able to get back into a groove! Excited to read about what you have coming up next!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much Amy!! I love hearing you are starting running again, my fingers are crossed the previous issues stay away! Ease into things!Delete
I'm really happy for you. I know what a day this was for you and you did awesome. It's great to hear about your personal journey too. I cannot wait to see what is next...though I do kind of know I suppose. Anyways nice job and it sounds like a great time.ReplyDelete
We really ought to find a marathon to race together.
I didn't think this post was too long and it held my attention! Heck, you can write all you want... you qualified for and ran Boston and you rocked it out- 3rd fastest marathon? In the heat, with the hills, with the stress you have gone through in life lately, with the security, etc... it is amazing in my opinion :). You ran the best race you could on that particular day and in the end that is all you can ask for, and you perservered through the stomach/gel issues. I hope your recovery is going well too.ReplyDelete
Thanks Amy! It was a wonderful day, and recovery is going pretty damn good so far!Delete
Dang girl, now you have me wanting to go for that BQ again! Great recap and you sure rocked that race...I was tracking you online all morning, cheering you on the whole way!ReplyDelete
Seriously an amazing job, enjoy the moment! Are you planning on running Boston again??
Mike you WILL qualify, that much I know. Thanks for the support!! I am planning on running again- I'm hoping my sister and some other friends qualify to run next year with me....definitely something to do with friends!Delete
I've been waiting to read this! Thank you for sharing and I can't wait to hear about what's next.ReplyDelete
Thanks love! Going to be a big fall season ahead (for both of us :):):):):):)Delete
I loved, loved, LOVED reading this. I'm glad you are so happy and I can't imagine being part of it all. What an experience you will carry with you for the rest of your life. This day was so fun for me to distract myself at work (hehe) and track you all the way to the finish. congrats again!!!!ReplyDelete
Definitely something I'll never forget! Thanks for tracking and supporting me, you are awesome!Delete
Great post that gave me CHILLS! Congratulations! I definitely cannot wait to hear what's next. Love following your training - it gives me motivation which sometimes is seriously lacking. :)ReplyDelete
Awe thanks Kristin! I thought of you a lot on the course actually. Everytime I saw a runner with a guide I thought of the amazing thing you did at NYC....you still amaze me how awesome you are!Delete
Yea!! I loved this post! The whole morning replayed in my mind while reading it :) It was so exciting to be there with you and you were a machine through those hills!ReplyDelete
You are the best, I owe you so many thanks for keeping encouraging me through training and on race day!Delete
What an awesome recap!! So proud of you, Laura!!ReplyDelete
Thank you for everything Natalie, you have really been there for me and I'm so grateful!Delete
You are just amazing. What an incredible time for a tough, hilly course! I'm so glad you got to be there for the experience, and meet some other bloggers IRL. Congrats again!!ReplyDelete
Thank you Laura! Hope to be able to meet up with you sometime!!! :):)):Delete
Dang girl!!! Amazing Boston story! What a way to run Boston! Your pace just rocks. I'm so glad it was an amazing experience.ReplyDelete
Thanks Melissa! You must be getting so excited for yours!Delete
congrats girl! you kick ass. that is all.ReplyDelete
I channeled my inner sassy!!!Delete
So so proud of you Laura!!!! What an amazing race!!!ReplyDelete
Thank you Mindy!!!Delete
Congrats on an AMAZING race (and I can't get over those first 4 5K splits.). I love your last paragraph about what you were running for that day! I think you had an incredible day and I'm glad you got to experience the special-ness that was Boston 2014! xoxoReplyDelete
Thanks love! It was a wonderful day!Delete
You ran such a solid race! And may I add, in a very nice Saucony kit :) I think we may have yo-yo'd a bit in the last few miles. I thought it might be you, but I was struggling a bit and didn't have any energy to say hello. :) Congrats on a great race! Can't wait to see what you do the rest of this year!ReplyDelete
Thanks, yeah we pretty much both rocked some awesome colors that day :) I thought it was you in the last few miles but we were both in the "mehhh just get done" zone and I didn't want to be like heyyyyyy! What's next for you?Delete
So happy and proud of you for running such a good race. I am not sure i could have kept emotions in check making that last turn towards finish line. Can't wait to hear more of your thoughts. Congrats on your first Boston marathon!!!ReplyDelete
Thanks Shelley, your kind words always mean a ton to me. Thanks for reaching out lately!Delete
Congratulations, I'm SO SO happy for you! I have to admit, you had me nervous about your leg, I was so scared that you wouldn't make it to the start. You trained smart with your cranky leg, and ran a great race. You can PR Boston next time. Congrats again, you're a Bahstan Marahthahna! :)ReplyDelete
Kristy Ill be honest I was nervous too. But I guess it paid off holding back in training to give my leg time!Delete
Congratulations on an awesome race!! I loved reading your recap - I hope to be on that starting line myself...someday! ;)ReplyDelete
Thanks Erin! If you want it, go for it....seriously!!!Delete
Congratulations!! Amazing to be able to run at Boston Marathon. You're a very strong runner!! Looking forward to your afterthoughts post!ReplyDelete
Loved reading this! I'm running the Heartbreak Hill Half in June and contemplating a PR attempt so great to know you felt strong on those hills. I've heard so many conflicting things from they're awful to they're not that bad!ReplyDelete
Awesome recap! I was hanging on every word, I was so happy with your time when I heard what you ran. You've been through a lot lately and came out the winner :)ReplyDelete
I just discovered your blog while searching for Cleveland marathon recaps (I really enjoyed yours!) Also enjoyed reading this one! Congrats on a damn solid race in Boston! You're amazing!ReplyDelete