After my family staycation came to a close, I wound up in Taper Town for the very recent Boston’s Run to Remember.
While my time in Taper Town usually ends up feeling like a long, over-extended stay, this taper involved a lot of work and traveling for work, leaving me feeling less anxious than normal. Half the time, I didn’t know what day it was. And all of the time, I was bloated from delightful food and drink.
And so, last Friday, His Lordship and I made the train trek up to Boston, where we would meet my childhood friend who was about to embark on her first race.
During said travel, His Lordship and I talked about our goals. I’ve been itching for a sub 1:40, and after botching my spring marathon, I became more determined, successfully nailing my speed and tempo workouts. I was focused. I was ready. Game on.
We awoke on Saturday and hit the expo, which was in walking distance from our hotel. We grabbed our bibs, shirts, and any last minute necessary items.
We dropped our things off at the hotel, and decided to walk the Freedom Trail—2.5 miles of Boston historical sites.
So not to be too tired for race day, we only walked part of the trail.
And after aaaaalllll that walking, we stopped for a drink where everybody knows your name.
A pasta dinner was had shortly after, which was followed by setting up bib people and glorious, glorious sleep.
And all was right in the land.
The start and finish of the race was held, once again, in walking distance from our hotel, giving us more time to sleep in.
It was a balmy 56˚F and overcast when we awoke, near-perfect race conditions (minus the 100% humidity). Some 12,000 runners huddled at the start line. No corrals, but signs of pace times starting with 7:00 (too bad for those faster people, suckers).
After various remarks and our National Anthem, the gun went off. As my Garmin died the morning of (even though I charged it all night, jerk), I gauged my pace by the clocks posted at every mile.
The first 2.5 miles took place in downtown, where we passed by several of those historic landmarks that I saw the previous day. Shortly after the first mile, I felt my sweat-laced ponytail smacking the back of my neck. Not exactly what you want to feel (that’s what she said) at mile 1 of a 13.1 mile race.
Not long after the 5-mile split, we ran the Harvard Bridge over the Charles River. By this point, I managed to keep my pace around 7:30 (math makes the time go by faster, no?), and felt I could PR.
Though the views were stunning and the breeze was nice, the out and back on Memorial Drive wasn’t the most exciting. I saw His Lordship making his way West; the first of two times I would see him in Cambridge.
When I hooked the first turn-around, I felt a pain in my hip and eased up to keep moving.
We passed a squad of police cars in front of MIT who were applauding and thanking us for running. Feeling a surge of excitement, I darted across the street and gave one of them a Gu-encrusted high five (sorry).
As I charged up the the only huge hill on Memorial Drive, the pain returned to my hip and was getting to be rather uncomfortable. I slowed down further and told myself to enjoy it. I saw His Lordship for the second time, and he looked better than I (apparently the faster mile times at the start didn’t phase him, jerk).
I noticed the crowds being thicker as we returned from Cambridge, and more so when we reached the Common. I took the time to read peoples’ homemade posters (two in particular were about the government and pooping), and high-fived children (apologies if that reads creepy).
I knew the PR was out of the bag. What I did NOT know, however, was that I properly fueled myself and had a surge for the final mile of the race.
I came through the finish at 1:47:45.
Excited about that final push, I grabbed my medal, and set off to find my comrades. Unfortunately, the post-race walk of doom was more like organized chaos and quite long, giving me ample time for my sweat to dry up and make me quite cold.
Overall, I thought this weekend was a success, even if the goals didn’t go as planned. Also, how would I have been able to enjoy vacation with my childhood friend without roaming the streets of Bahstan?
Also, I didn’t poop myself. Aces.
It seems that my long distance racing for 2014 has come to a close. And we’re not even in June yet, for Pete’s sake.
Unless someone can give me a half marathon recommendation that will not make me crazed during wedding planning while simultaneously obtaining that sub 1:40.
Then I’m all ears.