I’m back!! Although a little stiff and quite unsteady on stairs following Monday’s 26.2 mile-adventure, I feel refreshed and alive, as only vacation can make one feel.
Boston was amazing. I loved exploring the city. It’s an incredibly walker-friendly city, and the public transportation (the “T”) was superb. I’ll detail my adventures in subsequent posts, but highlights included sampling the Italian restaurants and pastry shops of the North End, watching the Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials on Sunday morning, enjoying a post-race seafood feast, touring Paul Revere’s house and several stops along the Freedom Trail, taking in spring in Boston, and sticking a Badger flag in John Harvard’s hand.
The Boston Marathon was an experience of a lifetime. While the pre-race transportation and porta potty options were severely lacking, causing me to miss my Wave 1 start and lose my pouch of Cliff Blocks (energy gel blocks) in the woods, all went pretty smoothly once I actually started running. Even though I spent the first 30 minutes literally blocked by runners, I eventually broke out of the crowd and was able to start moving. While I'm definitely not a top runner in any race in which I partake, especially the Boston Marathon, I did find myself passing people the entire race because of my Wave 2 start. This, I’m sure, was a mental stimulus. And I was able to supplement my nutrition by picking up dropped (unopened) Gu gels along the way. Just gotta go with the flow sometimes :)
The course was beautiful--essentially one New England-ish small town after another, with only the last three miles actually taking place in Boston proper. The course was VERY hilly. The infamous heartbreak hill at mile-21 was certainly long, but didn’t actually stand out too much from the ten or so hills I hit beforehand. The crowd support on the course was incredible. People lined the streets the entire way. Definitely the best was the women of Wellesley College at mile 17. You could hear their screams a mile away. The students lined the streets with all sorts of posters, which included “Kiss me I’m graduating,” “Kiss me I’m a lacrosse player,” and “You’re sexy!” Of course, the male runners went crazy at this point, and definitely took many of them up on their offers.
I don’t think I’ve ever felt so good during a marathon. I never really “hit the wall,” as runners like to say, which is a feeling that typically occurs anywhere from mile 15-21. I felt great until maybe the last two miles. My time wasn’t a personal record, but I’m still very proud of my finishing time–a 3:37:30, which is my second fastest marathon to date. I very much enjoyed the experience, and it was a great race and vacation. Pics and more stories to follow.