Hey guys! Two big things happened for me over the past 2 days: I ran the farthest I’ve ever run and I turned 25 yesterday
I am feeling pretty sore still but pretty accomplished as well. Race recap today and birthday festivities recap coming tomorrow!
The day of the race, I woke up and already knew it had been pouring all night long. The forecast was pure rain the entire day. I was feeling pretty nervous about the race just for that fact. Weather when we arrived?
Very wet and rainy indeed!
My friend and I waited inside the highschool where the bib pickup was until just before the start of the race. It was pretty chaotic since there was the 20 miler and a half marathon going on at the same time. Over 1,000 people were signed up just for the 20 miler, I believe.
However, we got really lucky and it stopped raining about 3 minutes into the race! I really didn’t get wet at all, which is just so crazy-lucky to me.
The easiest way to me to recap this whole race is by the mileage, since it was so long. Bear with me!
Miles 1-4: The race started uphill and my calves were on fire from the start. I was really trying to get in my groove, but couldn’t. I was also super nervous for the first few miles. Just race nerves, I guess.
Miles 4-6: My husband met up with me at mile 4, the first of a few times I’d see him along the course. It was nice because I didn’t know when to expect him, so each time I saw him it was like a surprise. After I saw him and had my first water stop, I really got in my groove and felt “with it.”
However, the whole time from mile 4-6 I had to pee super bad. Made a little pit stop in some bushes for that and then felt much better!
Miles 6-14: still felt great, was really pushing myself, passing some people, all into my music, picked up my speed for a couple of parts. This was probably the best part of the race for me, and when I started seeing some amazing views.
Miles 14-16: my left hip flex/IT band was bothering me a lot at this point, probably from the hills and the fact that I was running kind of lopsided due to the slant of the road.
I stopped at another water station and talked to the volunteers for a few minutes while I stretch out my hip, had some water, and another GU. That stop gave me my second wind until about mile 16.
Miles 16-18: really started to feel it between those miles. Mentally, I was still fresh, though. For some reason I started focusing on getting to mile 18 and then telling myself “only 2 more miles.”
Miles 18-20: heard Nike+ say “18 miles.” Glorious sound! If only I had known my Nike+ was a little off… I was hoping I could just stick it out for 2 more miles, but it was really like 3 more. And I had no idea where the finish line actually was.
I was okay through 18-19. From 19-20, I started getting really confused though. I saw 2 runners with bibs running toward me… I never really figured out why, but I started thinking, “Oh, my gosh, do we have to turn around and go back somewhere???” We didn’t, so I don’t know what those ladies were doing.
The Finish: It was kind of cool because this lady just came up to me probably a quarter mile before the finish line and started talking to me. She was like “we should be done soon, I think!”
We started chatting a little but then as we realized the finish was there, she said “You can go first” as it was really kind of single file space for the finish line. I just thought that was so cool, so I sprinted to the finish.
My husband and friends were waiting for me. I was awarded my medal, but they took my bib. The bibs were not chip timed, so to make sure we got timed properly they either needed the bag tag (which I, of course, took off) or the bib. So I didn’t get to keep it! Sad!
This race is considered a last long run race for Boston Marathoners, so there were a lot of serious runners there. It was really neat to be surrounded by the Boston atmosphere. Seeing all the Boston jackets from previous years, 2013 especially, was just amazing – to be in their presence and know we are all representing Boston together.
I’m so glad that I did this race to get my pre-marathon nerves out of the way. At the end, my hips and feet were like on fire, but I didn’t feel totally dead. Part of me feels like, wow, 6 more miles? How will I make that happen? But another part of me realizes that I was mentally capping myself out at 20 miles for this race, so it should be different for the actual marathon.
I made no time goals of any kind for this race, and I’m doing the same thing for the marathon. I finished in about 3 hours and 40 minutes. I was actually surprised when I saw the timer at the end because I didn’t calculate what time I would be at. It was really nice to let that go.
My only goal was to run the entire thing, which I did. I stopped for maybe a total of a few minutes for a bathroom break and to get some water a couple of times, but that’s it. There was no excessive stopping, which is awesome to me!
It was also neat that this race coincided with my birthday weekend. Never in a million years would I believe anyone if they told me I’d willingly run 20 miles the day before my 25th birthday.
It was nice to do something so accomplishing before turning a quarter century old. Yes, most of my birthday was spent pretty sore. But at least I didn’t feel guilty about eating all the cake 😉