I will take you through some of our eating highlights before talking about what lessons I learned from running this memorable Boston Marathon!
Joe and I flew over to Boston on Saturday morning and checked into the Revere Hotel. It was perfect! Just over a block away from where the buses take off, and a couple of blocks away from the finish!
We went out to explore the city while the weather was nice. There were people wearing Boston jackets of all colors everywhere! BTW, the locals at each restaurant or cafe we visited were super friendly and welcoming.
On Saturday, we did a butt-load of walking. Perhaps it was a mistake, but we like exploring places like this on foot. We picked up some good coffee, got my bib at the expo (while tasting lots of samples), and ate a delicious breakfast sandwich.
We planned to get to Giacomo’s early to wait in line. It opens at 4pm… we got there a little late (4:15pm) and waited about 40 minutes… which is super short and totally worth the wait!
I also happened to buy that blue and green water-resistant jacket that Sunday because it was cold and raining (… frozen rain? sleet?). I would actually end up wearing that jacket the next day for the marathon!
Oh, and since Mike’s Pastry is on Hanover near Giacomo’s, we had to pick up some of our favorite desserts:
Race morning comes around, and I’m extremely nervous. I heard the howling wind all night long and didn’t rest quite as well as I had hoped.
We had the race day coverage going all morning, and one of the guys being interviewed was decked out in all sorts of waterPROOF gear, warning us about hypothermia. I had originally planned to wear a thin water-resistant wind-breaker, but decided (with Joe’s encouragement) to bring that thick jacket I bought the previous day.
I know we aren’t supposed to do anything new on race day, but I am so glad I wore it. (even though I never ran with it). Others were shivering like crazy from the very beginning of the race. I was cold, but not freezing or shaking.
The beginning of the race started out pretty fast because we were all cold and couldn’t really care less about the fast-ish pace as long as we were getting warm.
MILES 1-5: 8:00, 7:54, 7:44, 7:35, 7:45.
The rain was pretty much coming down the whole time. I had learned from when I ran CIM 2012 to just step in the very first puddle I see. There is no use trying to avoid puddles when it is going to be raining that much. I had completely soaked my shoes before the start of the race when I went through the muddy field to use the port-a-potty, so I was good to go the rest of the race without trying to keep my shoes dry 🙂
MILES 6-10: 7:45, 7:47, 7:54, 7:54, 7:59.
At this point, I was thinking I had gone out a bit fast and I was ALREADY feeling pretty tired from the headwind. I realized my training was insufficient. I should have trained in conditions that were harsher… windier, rainier, everythingER. Cool. Lesson learned for the next time I train…
MILES 11-15: 8:03, 7:54, 7:55, 7:58, 8:09.
Insufficient training aside, I actually felt super pretty happy with the fact that I wasn’t freezing, cramping, or walking too much (yet). I had gotten over the hills pretty well until mile 17 when I took ~15 second walk breaks going up some of the hills. I usually love some hills, but it’s not as fun when the wind is pushing you back… it’s like super rude. Then again, I realized that I needed to train on more hills for a course like this. Cool, another lesson learned.
MILES 16-20: 7:44, 8:15, 8:20, 8:08, 8:26.
At a point like this, you just look around and smile at the cheering spectators and shivering volunteers who are working so hard to encourage us! I think it would be harder to be one of them under those weather conditions. Clinging on to the many sights, signs, and screams was all I could do at this point. To be honest, I had let go of my time goal completely, so I just kind of kept it pretty chill as far as my pace…
MILES 21-25: 8:56, 8:16, 8:21, 8:25, 8:30.
I have no idea why I decided on the “thumbs up” in every picture… but to be fair, it was hard enough to do anything with my fingers with how chilly it was.
I wasn’t looking at my watch for about an hour, but I took a peak a little after passing the CITGO sign and saw that I was at mile 25.75 and if I picked up the pace a little, I would be able to make it under 3:35!!
… It was tough to get my legs to move faster, but I went for it. Right on Hereford, left on Boylston. BTW, I did not realize how “far” the finish line is when we turn on Boylston! I forgot it wasn’t right around the corner, and I had a friggin’ “long” way to go! Well, I at least knew that I would cross, and I was going to get in under 3:35!
MILES 25-finish: 8:36, 7:14. <— Haha, I really picked it up at the end.
Official time: 3:33:12.
I couldn’t help but smile because this race is truly going to be memorable. It will make me appreciate the weather at other races. Kind of have to chuckle because when I was thinking about what kind of weather I would have wanted, I just said, “Anything but hot weather.” I guess I got exactly what I asked for.
Observations from this wet and windy race:
-Most people kept their ponchos on the whole time. I actually did have a plastic poncho and gloves that I chucked around mile 4.
-People used the disposable shower caps to cover their hats. I think if you really wanted to keep your shoes dry up to the race start, you could have worn them over your shoes.
-Lots of people brought throw-away SHOES and switched over to race shoes before the start. I am a light-packer, and I like to keep things simple, so I just went with only the pair I had on my feet.
-A hat or visor is awesome and quite necessary for a when it’s raining sideways. I also wore my hood and found that it kept me quite warm (without being too hot).
-Lots of people CRUSHED IT on this course. The fact that it was chilly may actually have helped them! Congrats to those who met their big goals for this race!
What’s next for me? WEIGHT TRAINING! I have been putting off the heavy training for a while and I am excited to get back into it. I like to take a few months off from any formal running training plans to give myself a mental break. Most likely, some trail running and hiking will be sprinkled in, but that’s about it.
I plan to run the San Jose Rock’n’roll Half Marathon in October and try to PR. I’m still undecided as to whether I will follow a plan or not.
Did you run Boston 2018?
Would you prefer cold, rainy weather (below 40 degrees) or hot and slightly humid weather (above 80 degrees)?
Do you hop right back into training after a race or do you take some time off from running?