Wow, just wow. What an incredible event this race was. I’m still stunned and in disbelief and…hurting, I’m not sure what I did but my calf is not happy with me…At ALL! Some freak thing happened around mile 4 and wouldn’t work itself out. I normally don’t get cramps-thankfully but the few I’ve had was nothing like this. I went to medical several times throughout the race having them massage it, roll it, bio-freeze it, Hylands cramp lotion and dissolving tabs, pickles, bananas, salt, Gatorade, etc. and nothing worked. It still hurts like hell today while I’m sitting at the airport and even opted for the wheelchair since apparently it was quite the walk to the gate and…Helen hates walking slow-lol! On to the race report:
I went into this “race” completely un-trained. My longest run was 13 miles the weekend before and one other half-marathon in October at St. George, Utah-gorgeous course. However, I had no intention of “running” hard or trying to requalify or anything like that. This was my celebration, victory lap. I wanted to enjoy every moment of it and soak it ALL in. Nobody believed me and all thought I would run hard; boy were they wrong. HA! I said I would do it in 5,5:30-self fulfilling prophecy. 5:07:22
So, this race is different on many levels-obviously, it being the “championship” race but it’s also one of the only races that start mid-morning which makes nutrition a tricky thing.
Woke up at 6, barely slept but such a much later start than usual so this was nice. Ate yogurt and granola, coffee and that’s it knowing that I had a sandwich to eat in a few hours. The weather was completely unpredictable with the organizers sending out an email warning of similar conditions like last year which was horrendous-rain, hail, 50mph headwind gusts and cold temps. So, I was prepared for the worst and hoping for the best. Luckily the weather changed for the better and it warmed up by we had a steady thunderstorm to begin with. So, I was dressed in my running attire-shirt, tri shorts, arm warmers, compression sleeves-for warmth, headband and visor, poncho and garbage bag.
Got to the bus at the commons at 7:55-only 10 minutes late, hehe but no worries it’s a 45-75-minute bus ride to the start to Hopkinton and my start wasn’t till 10:25 Wave 2 Corral 5. It stopped raining but the athletes’ field-HS was a muddy mess, but I was prepared for that with plastic bags over my shoes. Ran into Chris Hicks and Alison Ellis while they were waiting in a bathroom line. I found a nice cozy little tent by Cliff that had blankets, charging station and a comfy chair so I sat down and ate my sandwich and waited for my time. But…what I didn’t know was how long of a walk it is from the field to the actual starting line (1.1 mile) so I missed my waves starting time-lol but once again no biggie. I just walked to the front of wave 3 and started with them. I stripped off my sweat pants and hoodie to be donated and began my race.
Holy smokes I started to well up and had a very intense emotional swelling hearing the gun go off for the start with the never-ending sea of fast runners. I started nice and easy but was carried faster with everyone, almost in a draft suck like the mass swim start at Ironman Florida. Man, oh man are fast women rude, bumping into me and practically running me over without a 2nd glance or apology.
Miles 1-4 were fun, easy and allowed me to settle in, take pictures, give high fives and enjoy life. However, sometime after mile 4 I heard a “pop” like a shotgun blast and had intense shooting pain in my right calf. At first I was like wtf it couldn’t be a cramp…it’s not hot nor am I a normal cramper but I tried to treat it as such hobbling over to a curb to stretch and rub on my calf but that definitely didn’t help and the popping noise had me a bit worried.
Mile 6 I continued to run/walk/wog/hobble for a few more miles and finally saw a med tent about mile 6 where I went in to see what they could to do. They felt a massive knot and rolled on it for a bit with a tiger tail, rubbed bio-freeze and gave me some Hyland tabs. Off I went and didn’t feel any better but ohh well. I knew that I would finish this race crawling if I had to do so I just kept on moving forward. I had planned on taking beer hand-ups so no time like the present.
Miles 7-13 I stopped at another med tent around mile 10 for some more bio-freeze and ask for ibuprofen which they didn’t have.
Mile 13 you can hear the Wellesley girls screaming long before you see them, but then you bear around a turn and there they are in all their glory. Hundreds of co-eds lined up on the barricades with homemade signs telling you to kiss them, they’re French so they French, give them your number since they know you can go the distance, etc. Well I kissed the girls…lots of girls-lol
Mile 14-20 More pain, more beer, more fun
Mile 21-25 Heartbreak hill which wasn’t that big of a deal, especially when you’re double fisting it. The calf hurt but I was determined to “run” up this stupid hill and secretly I wanted a better time than Helen-I didn’t she still beat me!
Mile 25-26 Another had to do it. I ran this mile faster than all the others. I needed to FINISH STRONG! Plus, the energy is building, and you can almost smell the finish.
Right on Hereford, left on Boylston Here’s the final stretch and its complete pure energy that is palpable. I jogged this slowly with my phone out recording it and carrying my victory beer in the other while the spectators went nuts. I welled up and came to the finish line.
Finish line was magical! Heard my name and laid down on it, poured beer over my head, took a selfie, cried a bit and then limped my way to get a medal.
It’s obviously not the way I wanted to do experience BOSTON but as Steven said I turned a bad situation fun and made it a Hash!