Where do I begin? Boston went by so fast. Not the race…that was my slowest marathon…but the whole thing went by fast. You spend months preparing and anticipating something and then it’s boom!, done in a flash.
Boston wasn’t some big emotional or inspirational event for me. I did it because I earned it. I wanted to try it once. Now that I have, I am undecided if I would do it again. I should start at the beginning.
We left for Chicago on Saturday afternoon. It took about 2.5 hours to get to our hotel. We chilled there a bit before heading out for food. We settled on UNO because it had a big menu and isn’t around locally. The pizza potato skins were yum. I had a chicken wrap that was mediocre. The pizza looked really good, but with a plane ride early the next morning, I opted out of that.
I slept pretty well that night despite waking up at 4 am for the flight. The flight to Chicago was filled with people running or watching the race. I mostly kept to myself and watched a movie. We took a cab to our hotel, Hyatt, which was a nice place, but the rooms were pretty average. The location was good, as we were two blocks from Boston Common where the buses were picking people up. The first thing I wanted to do was pick up my race packet, so we started walking. We passed the memorial for the four victims and stopped for a bit. Police were everywhere. We got some candy then continued our long walk to the expo. When we got there, I immediately went to get my race bib and all that jazz. I grabbed a poster but ended up getting the wrong one. They put everyone’s name on two posters, A-L and M-Z. I forgot that I had registered under two last names and grabbed the wrong one. hah.
The expo was big and crowded. I immediately wanted to leave. I browsed the official Boston Adidas jackets but at $110 it was a no go. The color was atrocious. I did find a cheaper one that was light blue, so my friends convinced me to buy it even though it was still like $80 for this thin little thing. We wandered around a bit longer and I decided I wanted a nice casual tee. Finally found one that says something about Heartbreak Hill. Can’t even remember who made it. We left after that.
We kept walking and ended up at a fire station where the two firefighters had recently passed in a fire. My friend took a pic with them. She loved their accents. They recommended a restaurant to us, so we walked there and ate. I had forgotten it was Easter until I realized they were having Easter brunch. I had some type of egg dish that was pretty good. The side of potatoes were greasy so I passed on them. Then we took the T to the Northside for some Italian fare. We hit up both Modern Pastry and Mike’s. Mike’s was super busy so I randomly ordered some cannoli to take home without thinking that it was made with ricotta cheese and wouldn’t last that long without refrigeration. The whoopie pie and black and white from Modern were great though.
We rested at the hotel a bit before going to the Red Sox game. I should have probably eaten a good dinner at this point, but I did not. We rode the T to the game and walked around the outside a bit before going in. I got a hot dog and later ate some popcorn. Yea, you can see where I made some mistakes with my carbo loading. The game began with an awesome memorial ceremony that made me a little teary. I blame pregnancy hormones. The actual game wasn’t that great until the later innings when I was freezing cold and the Red Sox started to make a comeback. It was late and I was cold, so we left with a tie game.
I was in bed around 11:15 but I laid there for awhile and didn’t fall asleep until around midnight. My alarm went off at 5:45 and I immediately felt excited nerves in my belly. I was still mostly nervous about getting to the starting line more than anything else. I got dressed and ate a special K breakfast sandwich that I had bought at CVS. It was actually pretty good. Then I walked to the common. They were still only loading wave 1 runners, so I waited for about 10 minutes then got in the bus lines. It was all very organized and efficient. I got on the bus and sat next to an older gentleman. I was hoping he wouldn’t talk much, but he did. He was actually really interesting, like maybe the most interesting man in the world. He lives in Kuwait but is from the UK. He has run marathons all over the world. It was his first Boston though. The bus ride took forever, but really, just an hour.
When we got off, I immediately went to a portapotty line. I was getting hungry and thirsty, so I got some water and a powerbar. I found out that powerbars are disgusting. Ate a couple bites but kept it in case I got desperate. I rested for awhile on a towel my friend stole from the hotel, ate a Snickers bar, then got back in the portapotty line. This time it took about 40 minutes to get through. A couple minutes after, my wave was called so we walked to the corrals. it was a long walk. The sun was bright and I could feel everyone’s body heat. I knew it was going to be a little rough for me. I was in the 6th corral so it took about 2 minutes to cross the start. I immediately had to pee and started looking for portapottys. A lot of people were peeing in the woods and I considered it because the pressure was really weighing down on me. Around mile 2, at the first water stop, I found a portapotty. Had to wait and ended up losing maybe 2 minutes. The first few miles were rough. There were pockets of people, but it was still pretty remote and sunny. I got into a groove after about 5 miles and enjoyed seeing every mile and km marker. My walk/run strategy was pretty much non-existent. I walked and drank at mile 6 and not again until the half mark.
Wellesley was my favorite. I loved it and kissed/hugged some girls. At the half point I was at 1:47 and I was hoping to do the second half in less than 2 hours. Spoiler: I didn’t. The heat was getting to me and it was only 60 degrees. I realized my body was acclimated to 20s and 30s, which is an issue. Then I got hungry. I started grabbing anything people were handing out like Twizzlers and fruit. I ate all my shotbloks too. My quads started to feel the hills at around mile 16. I knew the worst was yet to come. I really thought the first hill in Newton was the worst. I walked before Heartbreak and then ran the entire way up it. At that point, I knew I was going to finish and didn’t really care about my time at all. I walked/ran a lot the last 5 miles. The crowds were getting thicker and it was getting louder. It was fun, but I was too stiff to care all that much. I drank water at every stop. I didn’t want to walk during the last 3 miles, so I jogged slowly. I saw the Citgo sign and just kept chugging along.
I finally got to where the turn for Boylston is and I thought the run down it would be a lot longer than it was. I turned it on a little bit and ended up crossing when the clock said 3:54 (i think). My official time was 3:52 and change. My slowest marathon.