Another year to remember, in a good way.
Runners were not allowed to bring a gear bag into Athletes Village. What you wore was either what you would run in or donate to charity.
- I had an old sweat shirt, a clear large garbage bag for sitting or wrapping around my legs, a small blanket, and gloves.
- My paper towel/toilet paper, Clif Bar, 1/2 bottle of water, were in a gallon sized clear zip lock bag. I also put my fuel belt and arm band with my iPhone in that bag.
The buses were leaving for Hopkinton on the Tremont side of Boston Commons. What was different this year was that gear check tents were set up in the Commons where runners would check gear before leaving for Hopkinton to be picked up at the same tent upon completion of the marathon. Runners were only allowed onto the buses in stages, according to Wave 1, 2, 3, 4. It was very organized, no long lines, no waiting. even the bus wasn’t crowded. As soon as you passed through to board the bus, you could grab a bottle of water, no need to bring your own.
In Hopkinton, it was a mass of people. That is typical but it seemed so much more crowded.
The lines for the porta potties took about 1/2 hour to get through and the announcer recommended NOT trying to use the ones by the starting line. There was a fly over of 4 military choppers from Charlie company.
There was security everywhere. There was K-9 patrol as well. We were made to wait until not only our wave was called but our corral assignment. It was very organized.
I tried to find space to lay my plastic garbage bag down to sit but space was hard to come by.
As usual, participants were unified (except if someone late to their wave call tried to cut the porta pottie line then there was trouble). The start went off without a hitch and, being in the 4th corral, I thought there would be some lag time but we got running about 5 minutes after the first corral was off.
I was nervous about my foot, a tendon problem in the right foot. The plan was to go out slow and do what I could to run negative splits. Honestly, it felt as if I was holding back but not enough. It was warm, 65 degrees, sun shining and the warmth got to me more so than my foot. In fact, when I thought about my foot, I was amazed that there was no pain. Foot and ankle were not my excuse for a less than stellar performance.
Crowd support was overwhelming. There were sections of cheering that were so deafening, I couldn’t wait to get away from them. This year, I saw more people sick to their stomachs then ever before. Maybe the heat factor, maybe trying to push for those hurt last year. I got my foot stuck in a paper cup running through a water station. I stepped in a small pot hole with that right foot. Nothing major, just glitches. There is so much going on, sights, sounds through the entire day that it would take too long to recap.
Four hours prior to start time, I had an Ezekiel roll (190 calories with 9 g protein and 36 carbs) with 1/2 TBS peanut butter and 1 small banana. While waiting at Athletes Village, I ate 1/2 a Clif Bar about 1 1/2 hours before start time. My first gel was taken at mile 4, second at mile 10, third at mile 17, and fourth at 21. Water during the first half and after passing 13.1 miles, went for Gatorade coupled with water. Due to the heat, I began pouring water on my head, down my back, my front and on my wrists and hands at about 5 miles through the finish of the race. There was one ice station and I put a cube in my hair, down my top and chewed the rest.
Maybe due to the heat, maybe due to going out too fast (although not as fast as last year), I reached the hills beginning at 16 without the motivation to conquer. I walked the hills from that point on but had good legs to get up speed and pass runners on the declines. I also had enough left for that 1k to the finish line.
Maybe I didn’t leave it all out there but I came in under 4 hours. I have my 3rd qualifying time for 2015 at Boston so I’m ok with what I did. Why wreck myself when 1. it was just an honor to be part of this years marathon and 2 the absolute fun part is being able to celebrate in the City of Boston with Ted afterwards? That’s the important part to me.
Splits(1 – 15): 8:31, 8:26, 8:38, 8:25, 8:41, 8:38, 8:25, 8:36, 8:36, 8:40, 8:57, 8:49, 8:47, 8:44, 8:55. Splits (16 – 26): 8:39, 9:27, 9:55, 8:46, 9:00, 10:11, 8:25, 8:45, 9:05, 9:04, 9:30.
Now after the race, here’s what happened in Little Italy:
Obviously we had to walk all that off, so we went to a very quiet, except for a bear playing a hand organ, Boston Commons.
A different Boston Marathon this year. Sill very well organized. Still the best crowd support in all of my 11 12 marathons. Near perfect weather: 38 degrees at 7:30 am warming to about 62 by 11 am start time and getting a bit too warm with the sun full blast by mid run.
I feel privileged to have been able to run this year in memory of the victims, in honor of our strength as runners and to honor the pride and strength that exists in Boston, Massachusetts.