It is hard to think about anything but the tragedy that occurred during the 2013 Boston Marathon, but I did want to recap my marathon race experience so I would have this experience stored on the blog.
My sister, Kristy—who also ran the race, and I left the vacation rental we were staying at by 4 a.m. on Monday. The wake-up call was kind of rough, but then again it wasn’t as though I sleep much the night before a marathon anyway. We stayed at a vacation rental and the owner of the place was volunteering at the race, so he gave us a ride to the bus pick-up area. He needed to be to his station by 4:45 a.m., so he dropped us off at 4:30 a.m.
We were literally the first runners to arrive for the buses!
For comparison, the lines to get on the bus at 6:00 a.m.
The bus ride took about 45 minutes when we were then dropped off at Athlete’s Village. Kristy and I waited here for about 3 hours, but the wait didn’t seem that bad. This picture was taken before the majority of the runners arrived.
Within an hour, the area was packed with people. We set up our little camp, strategized for the race, and did a lot of people watching.
Kristy and I were supposed to leave with wave 2, but we ended up waiting in the lines for the bathroom too long, so we had to start with wave 3. It was kind of a bummer because then we had to spend time and energy weaving around other runners. But then again a last-minute bathroom break was needed.
I really liked the first 6 miles of the race—pretty scenery and downhill. I felt really good and really had to hold myself back from running any faster. I wanted to maintain a 8:00+ minutes/mile pace but ended up being around 7:40/7:45. I wasn’t too worried because it was all downhill. I really tried to scale back the pace and conserve my energy because I knew the hills were still coming.
(I am in the bright yellow shorts.)
I felt good through the half, but then things started to get a lot tougher. I seriously did not think the hills would kill me as much as they did! I got to mile 18.5 and had to walk up the hills. I think in every marathon I have gotten to mile 18/19 mile marker and thought, “this is just too tough. I think this will be my last marathon.” But then somehow or another I always manage to keep going and make it to the finish. And within about 24 hours I’ve picked out the next marathon I am going to run. It’s kind of an addiction.
(Once again I am in the yellow shorts with the red strip down the side.)
I pushed through and ran the last couple of miles without stopping. As I turned the last two corners and saw the finish, I pushed to the end because I didn’t want this to be my slowest marathon. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to pull it off. My official time was 3:44:12. My slowest marathon prior to that was 3:44:02, which was from Mayor’s Marathon, so I wasn’t too far off. And taking into account the lack of training I had due to my injuries, I was satisfied with this performance.
My sister had another really good race! She ran 3:23, which is what she ran at the Twin Cities Marathon. She thinks she might have been a few seconds faster here at Boston.
Kristy is in the green tank top and arm warmers.
It was fun to do another marathon with my sister. Even though we didn’t run side-by-side, it was fun having her there and going through the same experiences (training and racing) with her.
I was bummed that I wasn’t able to watch the elites run, but I told Craig it was okay if he didn’t get any pictures of me, but he had to get a picture of the elites.
Shalane Flanagan – 4th place – Time: 2:27
He did a very good job and got some nice pictures of my running idol – Kara Goucher – 6th place – 2:28
Overall, I had a very enjoyable experience at my first Boston Marathon—minus the bombs going off, of course. I will always remember the honor it was to run the Boston Marathon, which is something I have been waiting to do since running my first marathon. But as much as I want this day to be soley be a positive memory, it will forever and always be coupled with the tragedy that occurred and make my heart ache.