23 4 / 2014
For weeks approaching the marathon, I just wanted it to be here. I was tired of being in training. I feel like I’ve been training and anticipating marathons for the past 2 and a half years. I’ve been thinking about qualifying and preparing for Boston since training for a BQ at the Philly Marathon in 2012.
But when the race was looming and only days away, I became more anxious and wanted a few more days to prepare. Funny how that happens.
I had a great weekend beforehand. I ate well, but not too much. I walked a bunch (maybe too much), but nothing that would affect my race. I had my traditional pancakes and beets the night before and had a pretty decent night of sleep.
I woke up and got ready quickly. Had my coffee and breakfast, but my digestive system did not work like clockwork (as it had the many days leading up to race day). We got on the T and headed to the buses with time to spare. I was handed a garbage bag as I went through the check in and loaded a bus. The drive felt long and I kept thinking that we’d have to run this distance back. SO FAR!
We unloaded and I stocked up on coffee and an extra banana. I set out to find some Tumblrs. When I didn’t find anyone, I set up camp looking like a hobo among lots of hobos.
I was sad not to find anyone before the race. BUT THEN MALLORY FOUND ME! We chatted with a girl she met on the bus. Time passed pretty quickly and it was time to do the final port-a-pot visit before being corralled into place.
That’s when my fate was sealed. It was at 9:30 that my period decided to start. I thought I would be fine, though. I had midol just in case this happened. I got back to my stuff, popped the midol and my imodium and thought I’d be alright.
Mallory and I did our final prep and walked the the starting line! It was all still very surreal (the beginning of a race always is to me.)
Mallory stopped to tie her shoe and I went on. The start line came sooner than I expected and before I knew it, I was running the Boston Marathon!
I started off feeling good but holding back. I didn’t want to sprint down the hills and kill my quads. I was honestly going at a pace that I thought I could continue until I hit Newton. I was going a little faster than goal pace because I wanted to offset the miles that would inevitably be slower. I felt great!
I hit the half marathon around 1:40.
But it was shortly after this point that my stomach said, “Nope!”
I had to visit the bathroom. The cramps from my period were negating the imodium that I took. I had problems with that during training, too. Cramping in that area moves everything along. It was so frustrating. I made 2 bathroom stops between the half and the beginning of Newton. The sun was hot and I was trying to take in a lot of water. My arms started feeling fuzzy (my cue to dehydration). The entire course I alternated water and gatorade. (Mad props to the BAA’s organization of water stops. They had opposing sides distanced from each other, so there wasn’t a bottleneck area.)
At some point after the first Newton hill, my stomach went haywire. I think the imodium did cause digestion to slow in the beginning of my digestive track. My stomach felt so full and my abs hurt so bad from the hills. At the top of Heartbreak, I made it to a bathroom to vomit.
I started taking walk breaks after that point. I could ignore the pain in my legs, but I couldn’t shake the nausea and feeling of wanting to puke. I took in no more liquids or nutrition for the rest of the race.
When I made it to the 25 mile marker, I told myself I would run the rest of the way. I saw my wonderful husband with 1k to go. He held a sign of my head so that I could spot him. That’s where my friend snapped the picture of me that I posted earlier.
Right on Hereford, Left on Boylston.
photo credit Bosguy.com
I turned the corner and audibly said, “But that’s still so far.”
I had already known at this point that my hope of a 3:25 or 3:30 marathon was gone, but I still held on to the hope of another BQ.
I crossed the finish line seconds after my watch read 3:35. A BQ for 2015, was lost.
At first, I didn’t feel proud. I had missed the time I wanted by 10 minutes. It didn’t feel fun. This wasn’t the Boston that I had wanted.
As I came out of that place, and read the texts of all of those who love me, it felt right. I still accomplished a huge feat! Despite everything I had faced during the race, I still race a 3:35. My struggle and experience was the epitome of Boston Strong. The course is a tough course and I think I did a pretty great job conquering it.
Moreover, I need a break from organized racing. If I had qualified for Boston again, I would have been sucked into more training and possibly before I might be ready.
I’m eager to take some time to take care of me. I want to get my head in the right place regarding my body image and love for running. I want to get my weight to a place where I can maintain it and I feel happy and good about myself. This will take time and I’m sure the stress of following a training plan will only add to the struggle.
tl;dr My race didn’t go as planned. I still ran a flippin’ awesome race though. I finished in 3:35:29. And I am ok with not BQing again, even glad maybe.
22 4 / 2014
Well her tracker is super messed up!
Jess hit 10k in 47:42 (7:42 pace).
Est. finish: 1:55:38 PM (3:21:13).
15k in 1:11:28 (7:40 pace)
Est finish: 1:55:27 (3:21:02).
Girl has got a solid pace going!
Half in 1:40:52 (7:44 pace).
Est. finish: 1:56:09 PM (3:21:43).
30k in 2:26:03 (8:07 = current pace, 7:50 = average pace).
Est. finish: 1:59:51 PM (3:25:25).
12 easy Ks left! I’m sure everything is fine. I doubt she’s sobbing yet, given that her pace has only dropped a little.
I must have pretty great friends.
This live commentary needs to live on my blog forever.
22 4 / 2014
Thank you so much, friends. Whether I’ve met you or not, you cheered and encouraged me in my journey towards Boston. I’m not ready to publicly reflect my experience of the race, but I know that it would not have been the same without the support from those that follow this blog.
You all being proud of me brings tears. Your faith in my accomplishments means the world. I’m so thankful for every ounce of love, care, and support that you have showered over me.
Love you guys.