Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Boston Marathon! Race report

What an amazing weekend! This weekend I had the amazing joy (and pain) of running the Boston Marathon and it truly was a once in a lifetime event.

Matt and I stayed with our friends Emily, Roy, and their baby boy Red in Boston and Matt's parents came up to SF to watch the boys (side note, this was the longest we've ever been away for the boys and I have to say that was tough).  Emily and Roy was our "Town and Country" friends - they're amazing.  They have a gorgeous home in the South End (not to be confused with Southy land), and Red is the nicest boy - all smiles.  The meals we enjoyed going out around South End and that Emily cooked almost rivaled the race ... almost.

Here's my race report - the abbreviated version...

Marathons are tough, I won't lie.  The night before the race I couldn't sleep for the life of me. I don't know if it's that I tried to go down in the middle of True Blood or the adrenaline rushing through me - I'm guessing the latter.  Finally, around 3am (midnight SF time) I fell asleep ... only to wake again at 6am (3am SF time). The day started at the bus shuttle - the shuttle was around a mile from Emily's house and we walked there only to wait in line for an hour.  I got on the 7:30am shuttle and hugged Matty goodbye (it was a funny hug - filled with adrenaline, fear, and "I can't wait to be done and get this hug again) angst).  The line to the shuttle itself was funny - it was amazing already being surrounded by so many phenomenal runners. Next the the line, though, was an old Boston cemetary ... spooky.

After the 1-hour shuttle, I walked around athletes village half getting in the zone, half trying to convince myself I did not need to pee again (pre-race jitters always make me run to the loo about 15-times). Again it was great seeing all the athletes getting ready - I felt so lucky to be with them.

Finally, at 10:15, I made my way to the starting line (they started "wave 1 at 10am and wave 2 at 10:15).  It was PACKED. There were spectators and more runners than I've ever seen at a race before. Then there was the countdown ... 3 ... 2... 1... poof (and honestly, it was more like a poof - a weak starting gun).

The entire race was lined with spectators.  There were the families with kids in the small towns we ran through (I gave about 100 high fives to the kids on the road - that was one of my favorite parts), college kids partying in the streets, and more.  Some of the standouts were the Welsley girls who were giving kisses to men and women (I opted out) and the Boston College gang who were BBQing in the front lawns of houses.

The first 10-miles I felt great - the miles flew by.  At mile 14 I hit my first mental wall.  It was just over a half marathon (my favorite distance) and I was thinking "if it were half, I'd be done." Bad mindset, so I pushed on thinking "if I can do a 30k trail race, I can do this." That was a good mental reminder, until I hit the 30k point.  Mile 19 I slowed down a bit again only to hit a mega wall at mile 20 - and, mile 20 is right where heart break hill rises.  Ugh.  It was about mile 20 I started the mantra "I won't do a marathon again, I won't do a marathon again" (1-day later, I don't think this is the case - I'd like to do Chicago, NYC, and Great Wall of China).  Then I really had to remind myself "the mind tires before the body," and my mantra switched to this.  Around mile 21 I saw 3 twin strollers in a half mile stretch - this helped me keep going. Oddly, being reminded of how much I missed my baby boys made me go faster, as if that'd get me home for baby hugs faster.

Miles 21-24 were OK - painful, but OK.  At mile 25 I realized I was close to qualifying again. Feeling like I never wanted to run a marathon again, I had a mental battle (just like at the SD Rock 'n Roll marathon) where I didn't know if I should slow, or push to qualify. Then I had a mental battle of "people know I'm doing this race - I better get a decent time" so I picked up the pace as best I could with my 300lb legs (at least they felt like 300lb).

I finished with a new marathon PR - 3:35:55. I am shocked at this number. Honestly, sometimes I feel like I don't deserve to call myself a runner and when I get kudos from my family and friends on race times it feels like it's not me getting those times.  Weird. I still have a ways to go, but I'm happy happy happy with my Boston Marathon race.

Post marathon I just vegged.  We played with Red, ate, drank, and were lazily merry all night - it was a perfect end of race, and end of a day I'll never forget.

Holy cow - I ran the Boston Marathon!  Woot!

Here are all the results:

Some highlights from the Boston Marathon Association:
There were 26,776 entrants, 23,071 starters and 22,588 finishers in the 114th race.

16561 Taylor, Amber 30 F San Francisco CA USA     Track
Checkpoints 5k 10k 15k 20k Half 25k 30k 35k 40k
0:23:40 0:46:20 1:09:14 1:33:18 1:38:34 1:58:26 2:24:57 2:53:22 3:22:56
Finish Start Time Offset Pace Projected Time Official Time Overall Gender Division
00:02:01 0:08:14 3:35:55 8798 2023 1508

Back home with the boys, life couldn't be better.  Lucky me.


varunner said...

Congratulations! Smokin' time :-) I bet your boys sure were happy to see you.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic job! Congratulations on a marathon PR and a great Boston finish.