Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Boston Summary

I received the idea of posting a race report from a friend of mine, Bri, who posts a report of her race experience after each one. So here goes! We got up on race day around 5:30 am. Seems REALLY early for a 10:30 start, but you have to remember that there are 30,000 people going to the race site on the same shuttles you are. So we went and ate a big breakfast in the hotel around 6am and were headed to the subway by 6:20. Wave 1 participants were shuttled out to Hopkinton, the town where we started, between 6:00 and 6:45 while wave 2 participants were supposed to arrive from 6:45 to 7:30. Always a good idea to arrive early. Everything was very well organized as they used approximately 400 in this stage of the race preparation.

So we got to the race site around 9:15 and immediately found some port-o potties with out an incredibly long line. After that we went into the athlete's village and I got to do some great people watching. You can imagine seeing people from all walks of life getting ready for their big day. Probably should have done less watching and more self-preparation, as I lost track of time and was moseying along to the starting line, which was .7 of a mile from the athlete's village. I stopped along the way to used the bathroom one final time when I heard someone say it was 10:22. I asked again to make sure I had heard correctly and when the time was confirmed I sprinted off without stopping for my last potty break. I had about 1/2 mile to go in mob crowds in less than 10 minutes. Needless to say I was a little panicked. Had been hanging out ALL morning and then missing the start...great! Well, I made it to my corral with a minute to spare. Whew!

When the race started, I was extremely cautious in the beginning 3 miles. It was mainly down hill and I did not want to go out hard and die on the hills that remained during the last 13 miles. Looking back, I probably went out too slow, but I just did not know!.
What was the coolest thing about the entire race??? BILL RODGERS the 4 time winner of the Boston Marathon the the late 70's and early 80's. I was quite surprised he was running back in our coral when he could have started with less crowds in an earlier coral, but I am sure he just wanted to experience it like everyone else. It was pretty cool and I could hear the crowds and everyone around me start to realize who he was. No, I didn't try to talk to him, everyone else was crowding around him and finally his partner had to ask for them to give him some room.

By mile 6 I HAD to stop and use the bathroom since I didn't get a chance before the race. I was pretty upset about this because I never have had to stop and every port-o-potty I ran by since mile 2 was occupied. By mile 6 I just had to stop and wait my turn. UGH! But nonetheless it cut my time by only a minute or so. Still, I hated to stop as it interrupted my stride....that shouldn't have mattered because the crowds DID not thin out at ALL. You had 1,000 people with the exact same marathon time start as the same time. So you can imagine the crowds along the way.

At mile 12 we passed the famous all girls Wesleyan College and that was awesome because you could hear them from 1/2 mile away screaming. The entire college was lined up on the small 2 lane road on route 35 into Boston. What pride the entire area has for this marathon! I was still feeling strong and waiting for the hills...
There were some rolling hills but also felt that there was enough time in between them to recover. By mile 20 I was looking for the infamous Heartbreak Hill but not expecting it until the next mile. Well, I started a pretty good climb on mile 20 and thought that if this wasn't HB hill, I was in trouble. Long story short: I did HB hill without knowing it and was too embarrassed to ask anyone! I figured there would be a big sign or someone would yell it at me, but no one did. Hill conquered and I still felt pretty good the whole way.

I could tell I was in better shape this go round, but I just never did get out of my stride to pick up the pace. The hills were rolling but I didn't think the overall course was that tough. Perhaps I should have gone out stronger-NEXT time(yes, I will do it again for sure) I will. Around mile 24 we were going through Boston College and the crowd was just awesome. I was overcome with emotion and started to pick it up due to all the cheering. I felt like a celebrity! WAIT-I came back to reality when I reminded myself there were 2 miles to go! So when I finally rounded the corner and could see the finish line, I had about an 800 meter stretch. Couldn't believe that I still felt strong(at San Antonio I was just spent) until the finish. Well....I cannot begin to tell you the amount of pain I felt AFTER the finish. Every muscle, blood vessel, ligament, BONE-everything was screaming at me! I was in more pain after I finished that before! But it soon passed and I found myself before long in the hotel bathtub.

So, overall I had a great race. My time wasn't great, but I felt good with my effort. After San Antonio I was not even thinking about when I would run again. After Boston, I am ready to sign up for the Chicago marathon! Yes, I would like to get faster, but I am just not wanting to sacrifice more family time to gain speed. So I will come up with a plan-not sure what but I'll work on it-there has to be a way! I wrote this somewhat fast and didn't do the whole Boston experience justice but I tried. The crowds were AWESOME and I cannot begin to tell you the strength you gain from their presence. It was electrifying-really. They take such pride in the event, which is why it is so popular. Yes, I qualified again for next year and will more than likely do it...but I'd like to do Chicago in October and think I have talked myself into it(with Matt's blessing...couldn't do any of this with out such a sweet and devoted husband).

Excuse the typos-got to go get Landry up.


jackie said...

Such a good blog! You are truly amazing Suzanne. What an inspiration to so many! Have a great rest of your Spring break!!

Shelley (Cole) Parker said...

I know that you probably had a number in mind to finish--but your time was AWESOME if you ask me!! You have gotten me thinking of trying to qualify, but I doubt I ever could. I am pretty slow...but I think I will just pop over to the website and see if I try to at age 40 what I will have to run :) GREAT JOB!

Halls said...

I haven't told you how proud I am of you! Reading your description about the electrifying crowds gives me chills.