Warm Memories of the Boston Marathon.

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Boston did not break my heart.

In fact, Boston was ALL HEART.

{and a ton of fun}

With a high of 89*, a ground temperature of what I hear was 102* and pretty much no shade, it was beastly – and hardly the early morning 45-50* training weather I’ve been used to during the So Cal “winter”.  Overall, this race had far more “personal worst” (PW) times for runners than any course I’ve ever heard of, but the beauty of this beast is that for the 84% of runners who chose not to defer their entry to next year (an option provided by the B.A.A for runners concerned with running in the heat), the focus was on having FUN and running SMART.  It felt as if everyone dropped their egos, disregarded pace, split times and expectations for how they were ‘supposed’ to get to the Finish line.

For all the prestige that comes with being a strong enough runner to handle the Boston Marathon, I don’t know one person who is not PROUD AS HELL today for earning their PW (or close) yesterday on this course.

  Coming off the LA Marathon, I had hoped that Boston would be my race where my training and performance would shine.  Considering that this was only my second marathon and I’d had a rough go at LA, I knew that I still had a TON to learn about marathons and racing, but from what I did learn in LA, I already felt smarter and stronger to shave minutes off my time.  THAT ALL CHANGED with the forecast of intense heat and quite to my surprise, I think my training and performance showed their true strength during yesterday’s race.  Certainly having the physical training to run the distance at xx pace is something I am proud of and I have worked hard to earn that in training over the last 6 months.  But marathons are mental games – just like I have good training runs and not so good ones – every race is different and each course brings its own unknown opportunities and challenges.  For me, Boston Marathon proved the true mark of my training was the way I was able to react and re-set to these challenges.

100% Gut Effort, Relentless Will, Incredible Crowds and a Focus on the Fun got me to the Finish yesterday in 4:47. (about 50 minutes slower than I know I am capable of and 30 minutes slower than LA Marathon)

Sure a PW in terms of time, but my time amounts to so little of what this race meant.  I earned this Finish and I am beyond Proud.

Here’s what I did right:

I ran SLOW, walked EVERY water stop and Up a Few Hills. I shuffled a few of the miles too. 

I drank a TON of water and Gatorade.  Literally about 150 oz. minimum on the course.  I made a last-minute decision to do the unthinkable – try something new on marathon day.  I carried a water bottle with me the entire course.  This wound up being genius as I used each water station to top off my bottle so I never was without.  (My time includes 3 stops to wait in lines 3+ deep at port-a -potties – evidence I was well hydrated!)

I doused my body and head with water every water station.  It only took about 1 minute for my hair and clothes to dry each time, but the brief relief was critical.

I fueled and salted more.  4 Gu’s (Mile 7, 12, 16 and 21) and 3 Salt Tabs (1hr, 2.5. hrs, 4 hrs)

I ran through every hose, fire hydrant, sprinkler and misting tent – wet feet and a few blisters were well worth the price doing anything possible to cool off.

I coached myself.  Stay relaxed, Stay Slow.  If you’re not sure you’re going slow enough, go slower.  Run smart – you have the power to outdistance the heat.  Want to know what would really suck? Being the person that ambulance is going to rescue off the course.  SLOW DOWN.  and then as the miles trodded along and there was no relief from the heat, One foot in front of the other.  Left. Right. Left. Right.  You think you’re suffering? Think about someone who has cancer.  Remember why you’re here – you’re fighting for something much bigger than this race.

and

I had fun.  The crowds were unreal, from the hundreds of Bikers at a biker bar at Mile 2.5, the Beyond Fitness trampoline jumpers in Natick, the Wellesley Wall of girls I could hear from .5 mile away, the Natick and Newton fire station misting tents, Fred’s Team at Mile 17.4 who had EVERYTHING I needed – Advil, bags of ice, water, sunscreen and smiles, what seemed like all of Boston College at the top of Heartbreak Hill, and of course the last .2 mile crowds on Boylston Street which including my screaming and fog-horn blowing Barbie-in-Law!

{somewhere – a while after this point – was a big finish line smile, and maybe a little cry too}

I have very warm memories of this race.  I raised over $8500 for Fred’s Team to Kick Cancer in the Face and I ran a race that I WORKED HARD to finish. Nothing is sweeter than hard work paying off.

See you again Boston.

{MF Dre}

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21 thoughts on “Warm Memories of the Boston Marathon.

    • The mister was genius – maybe more for the fun than the actual relief. no matter how wet you got, you were bone dry again within minutes, but those brief moments mattered on the course! You all are going to have a HOT ragnar this weekend. You need to turn your van into a misting van!

  1. I am SO PROUD of you for persevering like you did, and making it a race to remember! I’m so glad we got to meet this weekend, hope we get to do it again.

    Congrats girl, you’re a rock star!

  2. So glad you enjoyed it … looks like you loved it for all the same reasons I do. Those .2 miles on Boylston are my favorite .2 miles of running every year. Glad you took it smart and had a great time!

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