Thursday, July 06, 2017

April Part 2: Boston Marathon

Monday, April 17th. Race Day.
Val was in wave 1 and I was stating in wave 2, so she had to catch a bus before I did. This worked out quite well, since there was no getting in each other's way, etc. I got out when she was leaving.
As I was getting ready, I heard a noise... I thought it must be Val's phone... a backup alarm going off? I was looking around, trying to figure out where the sound was coming from, when I realized it was the hotel's alarm. There was then an announcement about an "emergency" in the hotel. My floor was not being evacuated yet, but I was to "stand by for further instructions."

This all happened shortly after 6am right when I was getting ready to leave the room to grab a coffee. My plan was to hang out in the hotel with my coffee for a few minutes, then leave for the buses. I had plenty of time before I was meeting Emily, so I thought I would relax and enjoy it. Not so much. With the alarms going off, I decided to get completely ready for the race, grab a coffee on my way out, and then drink it in Boston Common. I didn't want to run the risk of not being able to get back to my room if I attempted to get a coffee now!

10 minutes later, the emergency was called off.
I then had the fun of trying to go in the opposite direction of all of the people who had been evacuated trying to get back IN. It didn't take too long, though. I got my coffee. The building wasn't in danger. All was well.

Ready! Time to head to the buses.
When I stepped outside, it was already hot. Ugh. The weather forecast still seemed to think it was only going to be a high of low to mid 70s (still super warm for April, but yeah...). They were wrong.

I walked to the corner where Emily and I had planned to meet up, going through security on my way there. Smooth sailing coming from the side I entered from, as I approached the spot, the entrance by the corner was much busier. I waited there, drinking my coffee, when I saw Emily walking across the street. After she got through security, we wandered over to get onto a school bus for the ride to the start.

Once we arrived at Athlete's Village, our photo was taken, and Gill ran up to us to tell us where she and Sean were sitting. I was surprised that she saw us! It was great to have a little group to hang out with while we waited for our waves to be called to the starting corrals.
Emily and I

We lathered ourselves up with sunscreen while we sat on the grass, since the sun was out in full force and there weren't really any clouds in sight. We had throwaway clothes on when we arrived, but they soon just turned into something to sit on, since it was nowhere near cold or even cool outside. Shorts and singlets were more than enough.

It wasn't too long before we each started our journey to the start. I was happy that Vicky found me on my way there! It was nice to have someone to talk to on that walk over, once Emily and I were separated.

I entered my corral, Vicky kept walking to hers as it was closer to the front. And... I waited. After what felt like an eternity, yet super short at the same time, we started moving toward the line and we were off.

The crowds in Hopkinton were great! I enjoyed the first little stretch with so many people cheering the start of the race.  After this, though, I didn't find it nearly as amazing as people seem to think it is. There were lots of people out, yes, but... I don't know.... it didn't amaze me. Maybe I need a good weather year. One where I'm not already sweating buckets a mile in.

I managed to spot someone (Rhonda) I had met on the Friday evening at the shake out run and ran with her for a few miles since we had very similar goals for the day, but when we were just about to hit 6 miles, I made a pit stop and she hit the water station, so we parted ways and never saw each other again.

A couple miles later.... I noticed that I had stopped sweating. That's no good. So.... game plan for the day, which had already changed a bit due to the heat, changed again... to drink LOTS of water and electrolyte drinks. My new mission was to start sweating again and to not end up in a med tent. From that point on, I grabbed two cups at each and every water station and walked to ensue that I drank every last drop in those cups. I would also dump water on my head when I had the chance. Any freezie being handed out was also more than welcome. And the wonderful spectators who were handing out bottles of water.... you're the best!

So.... I guess in hindsight, the spectators were pretty spectacular. They were so helpful! They gave so much to us and really saved the day.

Since I was walking through aid stations, I actually had a walk break every single mile for more than half the course. This is certainly not something I would normally do. But... I still wasn't sweating.
I felt pretty good other than being super hot, but not sweating, and was running relatively well when I was actually running. I was looking at the big picture while I was out there as well. Taking precautions today meant that I'd feel fine tomorrow and could resume training for other races that would be coming up over the next few months. This was now just a long run, not a race.

Hooray for water.
As I crossed the finish line on Boylston (not even in a BQ time....), I was happy to be done and more happy to be handed a bottle of water. So happy, in fact, that I held up the water for my finish line photo, not the medal. :)

I made my way through the finish, just wanting to get out the other side, where I started to run, getting some looks from people as I had a medal around my neck, space blanket and bag of food in one hand, and a water bottle in the other. I ran to my hotel, walked in the door and was congratulated on my marathon and directed to a room where the hotel had put out snacks for the runners! That was a pleasant surprise. I grabbed some food there, and continued to my room, taking the stairs (it was only two floors up... but still fun to say I took the stairs).

I had finally started to sweat, by the time I got to my room. Yay! I was re-hydrated!

A couple minutes after I arrived in the room, Val showed up, escorted by hotel staff (she didn't have a room key with her). Good thing I wasn't naked! Anyway.. we got straight to our post-race beers from our previous night's shopping and chatted about our mornings, while also catching up on news over social media regarding the others from the club.

Happy to be done and happy to have cold beer.

Once we were cleaned up, sat around for a while, and enjoyed our beer, it was time to head out and meet up with the rest of the Health & Performance crew to share war stories over food and more beverages at FiRE+iCE.

Val, Gill, and Emily who was unable to make it.

I mentioned war stories earlier... all of us from H+P had a pretty rough day out there in that heat and humidity and sun, running pretty awful positive splits. But.... we lived to tell the story and we were all able to laugh about it.

H+P results can be found here:

We had a fun time out for food and drink, but I had one other thing I wanted to eat that day: a Boston cream pie.

A post shared by Vicki Zandbergen (@vickizandbergen) on

Race day was not the end of my trip, but the rest will have to come in the next post or two. :) Nothing like dividing stuff up to have something to write about on the ol' blog! There will be lots of photos in the next two posts. So, you'll have to come back soon to check those out.

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