On Saturday, you could find me here...
So are you wondering what race I did? No race for me this past weekend. I did my final long run on the Boston course on Saturday along with thousands of other people. Yes, I said thousands.
I was told weeks ago about the last long run on the course. I was told it was an event in itself and they were not exaggerating. The roads were closed all around the starting line in Hopkinton. Porta Potties were out at the start and even on the course. There were water stops galore. And there were people everywhere. I saw local elite runners that I recognized and entire charities dressed up in matching costumes. And there were police lined up at the major intersections stopping traffic so the runners could keep moving.
The huge amount of people out there had its pros and cons. The main negative part was you still had to run on the left side of the road and there were a ton of cars on the road. Because there so many people out there, we found ourselves running around people pretty much the first 10 miles. You can say it was good training for Boston as I have heard the first six miles are brutal in terms of crowds. My biggest marathon I have ever run is Disney and fortunately, I am fast at Disney so I start in the first coral. I don't have to do much weaving. At Boston I am in Wave 2 and the 7th coral. I am number 14,187, so I basically have 14000 people in front of me. WOW!
The best part of that run was the support. I can not describe to you the amount of people that came to help that were out there. The charities were everywhere. Huge tables were set up with water, gatorade, and food. I saw Girl Scouts and JROTC kids giving high fives and handing us cups. The locals were at the edges of their properties yelling words of encouragement and ringing cowbells. I am not exaggerating, this was my training run on Saturday, it was amazing!
Now, I wish I could say that I felt as amazing as the experience was, but I would be lying. :) My shins still felt fine. Unfortunately, my stomach was not as happy to run. I felt great for the first 15 miles, but there is a point in the course that for some reason really drains me. At mile 15, you leave Wellesley Center and go down a pretty steep hill. You would think this would be great but on the other side of the downhill is a gradual, pain in the butt uphill. It is long and just hurts. My stomach started hurting at this point. I was mad at myself for not stopping to use the bathroom at the Wellesley Community Center as I only knew of one for sure bathroom ahead and that was three miles in front of me.
I dug deep and ran and ignored my stomach as best as I could. I made it to the Newton Fire Station which is at the bottom of Heartbreak Hill...Thank goodness! I may have waited in line for almost 10 minutes but that stop saved me. I left the bathroom where I discovered I was bleeding from chafing on my arms and just pushed it up the hills for the last 3.5 miles.
Miles 19-21.5 really hurt but the support out there really pushed me up the hills. When I got tired, I started talking to someone else going up the hills. I got water from another charity and continued pushing. Right at mile 21, there was a finish area for all the charity runners. I was incredibly sad that I wasn't done running but loved all the cheers I got as I ran through. And FINALLY I saw my running club and my finish line. I ran right past everyone cheering and fell to the grass and laid down. 21.5 miles done. My longest training run I have ever run.
Just writing all that exhausts me, what a training run. Now onto other news. Last week I found out I got chosen to be part of the Polar gear test team at Boston.com. I am a huge running gear junkie so testing out a new piece of technology was right up my alley. I will be blogging on Wednesdays leading up to the Boston Marathon at Boston.com sharing my review of the Polar RCX5 Training computer along with other training excitement getting ready to run Boston. They chose four other runners as well so you can start reading about them today. I already wore my RCX5 on Saturday and have quite a bit of info to share, but you will have to read the blog to find out more!