April 20, 2015
Its been almost a month since Boston and I am finally warm. This was one of the toughest weather conditions race I’ve ever ran, and I’ve run thru a lot worse but when you combine wind, rain, cold, and stronger winds while trying to keep focus for 26 miles — its tough but hella fun! All everyone was talking about was the weather, will it rain, be cold, not so windy, headwind predicted etc….I couldn’t look at my facebook feed anymore without getting annoyed. Yes it was cold, and windy, and adding rain to the mix sucks, but who cares. I kept telling myself the winter was way worse, its not suppose to be easy and its BOSTON!!! Respect the course and do your best. I was so excited to be returning and grateful at the chance to run the greatest marathon in the world. So my mental game was ready. I felt good, was confident in my training and couldn’t wait to start.
Race morning was chilly and I sat bundled up with my throw away clothes waiting for my corral to be called. The rain started 5 minutes before my start. I had a quick chat with some ladies in my corral with one in particular who told me this was her 5th Boston and she is a 3:22 marathoner. She asked my goals and said start out easy, run smart and finish strong. And she said no, your time goal— oh duh, I had to say it out loud, I wanted to break 3:30 and I felt confident and ready. When we took off this lady told me I was running too slow and I smiled and waved her off. She will come up later in my blog 😉
The first 10k felt easy to me and my body was sorta warming up. It was still a cold steady rain but I kept smiling and focused. I had Adrienne & Dan waiting at the 10k mark and handed me half a bottle of heed. I had started to notice how hungry I was, the cold was causing me to burn calories much faster, so the Heed really saved me. I chugged it pretty fast and somewhere about mile 10 the rain picked up. It was a hard downpour and I remember a fan on the sideline saying ‘here comes the rain’— in a very Boston accent, made me laugh.
oh yah- let me interrupt here and talk about the fans. One of the reasons Boston is so great is because of the fans. Its Patriots Day, a holiday for Boston and everyone comes out to cheer no matter what the weather. I was in awe that the course was packed with fans. The weather was miserable to be standing there for hours. Not a fun parade but Boston peeps don’t care, they really make the race. I made sure to high five as many fans as possible. Might have cost me some time but who cares, those fans kept me smiling and focused.
So the rain was coming down and I’m keeping a consistent pace and each time I hit a timing mat I would think of all my friends & family tracking me. Thank You! My hands never got warm. Half way point is the famous Wellesy girls, otherwise known as the Tunnel of Scream. Experts will tell you to be careful and not get carried away, the excitement really has an effect. Its the best energy boost ever. A father & daughter running near me asked if I was ready for the screaming girls, I said something like ‘hell yaaaaah i’m going over to high five each person along that gate’. And I did!!! I watched them give out so many kisses to all the men. Nothing beats that mile thru Wellesy College.
The course volunteers were handing out those warm foil sheet things to runners. The wet cold was something else and the wind was starting to pick up. The temp had really dropped. It was the wet kind of cold that gets to your bones, and once you let it bother you, its over…………. and this was not going to happen to me. I was coming into Lower Newton before the famous hills and started to pass people. It seemed too early to be passing people already but the bad weather was causing lots of runners to slow down. Not me, the only thing I was fighting was the damn wind. It was hitting pretty strong at this point and I kept pumping my arms refusing to let the cold get to me. Smiling really does help, I’m sure I looked a little crazy. So that woman who told me I was starting out too slow….well I passed her around mile 17. I didn’t catch her name at the start but she had told me she was from Colombia, so I yelled HEY COLOMBIA. I could tell she was struggling and she looked over and waved at me but then noticed it was me, she said WOW you are running well and I said yah, look who is going slow now ha ha!! She laughed and I laughed, and then she told me to keep it up. It was all in good fun and I encouraged her to stay strong before we both waved again. I am telling this story because I know that woman can kick my butt anyway, she has fast times and looks like a super strong runner, but this shows just how tough it was that day. It was such a struggle for so many amazing runners, the elites and the regular folks like me.
I am wrapping up the Newton hills and still feeling great. My coach told me at mile 18 starting picking it up and as I got closer to Mile 18 that darn wind was standing in my way but the rain was letting up a little. It was now a steady drizzle instead of downpour and my hands were officially frozen. After I crested Heartbreak Hill at mile 20 I was lowering my pace which I continued to do until the end. I was able to negative split starting at Mile 19 and when i hit Mile 23 where Adrienne & Dan were with another half bottle of Heed, that I couldn’t really slow down. I was in a nice groove and dropped the bottle because my hands were frozen, bent down to pick it up which made my quads very angry, and kept going. That Heed was a life saver again because I had not been managing my electrolytes well. Everytime I tried to pop an Endurolyte I dropped it. my hands were that cold and numb. I even tried taking off my gloves and moving my fingers but they wouldn’t come to life, so the cold wet glove went back on. I saw another awesome friend – DANIELE, cheering at Mile 24 and I flew by her barely blinking because I was in the zone and running well. I looked down at my garmin one last time between Mile 23 and 24, I knew it was going to be close to pull off a 3:30. I was dropping my time but didn’t know if it was going to be enough. At this point I didn’t care. I was so pumped the closer I got to Boylston street. I couldn’t believe how good I felt, I was still feeling strong, no cramps, no issues, no pain, just pure excitement. I made that left on Boylston and smiled throwing my arms in the air like if I was Meb when he won last year. Its so loud, so amazing and the best finish ever. I hit the finish mat at 3:33:03!
The cold hit me as soon as I was done. My body went into a hyperthermia like feeling. My lips turned blue, I was shivering, shaking so bad it hurt to walk, my neck was aching, my arms hurt, it was awful. All I wanted was to be dry and in a warm place. Now I really understood why so many runners had bad days. It would be so tough trying to keep going if I had those feelings during the marathon. I did not sub 3:30 but I am so stoked with the time I ran under those conditions. I BQ’ed again and can’t wait for Boston 2016.
Thanks Hammer Nutrition for fueling me. I had a gel 15 mins before start and 1 every 45 minutes. I had endurolytes when I wasnt dropping them, 8oz of Heed at 10k and mile 23, and recovered with Chocolate Recoverite and Chocolate Whey. Thank you to my amazing coach Zandy who also ran an incredible race. He ran a 3:01, check out his race report here And THANK YOU to Adrienne & Dan for standing in the cold wet rain to cheer me on. You guys rock! It made my day.