Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bahston: Fah from a P-ah

Boston Boston Boston.

On one hand I like running races because it's an automatic topic to blog about later. On the other hand... sometimes these things get built up and I get intimidated. Now that it's been almost two weeks, I would like to cop out and tell you to check out Jenn's awesome PR report, Ana-Maria's hardcore report, or one of the many other Boston recaps.

Have you left yet? No? Still expecting more? Ok fine.

We checked into our hotel Sunday night and I kinda threw my stuff together for the race. I struggled putting the timing chip (an actual "old-school" chip) on my laces for some reason, even though I'd used them many times before. The alarm went off entirely too early on Monday morning and I was slightly tempted to skip the race and sleep. I read a few "good luck" comments in my inbox and watched the "Under Pressure" video from Phong as I slowly got ready.

Terri picked Josh and I up and chauffeured me over to the bus pick-up... wherever that was. Boston common? I don't even remember, it was early (ok, at this point like 6:45, not that early). Thank goodness for Terri. I waited in line for a few minutes before boarding a school bus. If you ever want to feel inadequate as a runner, go to Boston. I listened to others chat about "taking it easy and 'just' aiming for a 3:10 or so". Can we trade legs please? Fabulous. The bus ride was long but it worked out well, I was dropped off at the athlete's village with only about an hour to kill before I needed to head to the start.

I moseyed around - utilizing the facilities, taking a few pictures, getting a temporary tattoo, finding coffee and then started feeling chilled. I dipped into the pre-race massage building even though I had no intention of getting a massage. I pretended like I was waiting in line so i could stay warm. After killing about 15 minutes in there, I needed another trip to the plastic hut and figured I ought to get moving towards bag check anyway.

On Sunday I realized I'd forgotten to bring throw-away clothes so I hit up TJ Maxx for some $12 sweats that make me look like a man. Well you really can't beat that soft-new-sweats-feeling and I couldn't bear to part with them. I peeled them off and stuffed them in my gear bag, choosing to shiver a little until the start. It ended up working out because I needed them after the race. It did not work out though when I went to pack my suitcase on Tuesday, but darn it I was taking those soft sweats with me and crammed them into my purse. Yes, all for $12 sweats that I probably will never wear again. Very logical.

[photo by Josh]

Anyway back to the race. I checked my bag and followed the crowds to the start. The flyover went by and an announcer pointed out that it would only take them 4-minutes or so to get to the finish line. Some people were running to the start, but I was all for conservation. These things are chip-timed anyway, what's the rush. Once the race started, I think it took about 15 minutes to actually get to the start line (uphill no less). The announcer there was so kind to call us "back of the packers". Gee thanks BAA, from what I heard Corral 13 runners qualified with a 3:35 or better. Not your typical back of the pack, unless in Boston apparently.

I trotted over the start line and was officially running my 8th marathon. I had no goals other than to finish. Well, obviously I was kinda going for a certain time but I had no qualms throwing that to the wind when I started falling apart. I knew my training hadn't gone well, I knew I hadn't felt 100% in the past month, and I've finally matured enough to take some pressure off myself. I wanted to take it easy and enjoy the race.

Yes I know I said I would not wear these shorts until I
did about 1,934,252 squats; I lied. I came up a little short.
[photo by Josh]

It was enjoyable, until about mile 8. My legs were tired and heavy and would not wake up for me. I knew I would be seeing my support crew around mile 10-ish, and I chugged along eager to see them. In recent races I have felt bad for cruising right on by my spectator(s) with only a quick smile and wave -- I want to stop and chat! So here in Boston, I did. I asked for a ride home, but was rejected. I had held a decent pace for the first 10-miles, averaging an 8:32 pace. The downhills helped, although I may have enjoyed the pull of gravity a little too much.

I took off running again, aiming to make it to the halfway point under/at 2-hrs. I was already beginning to slow and my legs were starting to ache. I started making mileage bargains with myself before I could walk, but don't remember when I started giving in. the Wellesley "scream tunnel" was not what I had imagined in my mind, though I had no idea what to expect. It was still a great boost of support on what would've otherwise been a lonely stretch of road. Around mile 15 I stopped for a bathroom break. Hey, I'm taking this thing easy remember.

Tired legs, slacking "stride", mile 17-ish
[photo by Josh]

I saw my peeps again around mile 17. I stopped to chat and tried asking for a ride home. Again, I was rejected. Josh pointed at my shoes and said "there's your ride, get going". I headed off, not-so excited for the upcoming famed hills.

Things hadn't been feeling good for awhile. I gu'd around mile 5 and again around mile 10, but after that I felt like throwing up so I stuck to water and Gatorade. Those weren't settling well either, but I knew I needed to take in something. My legs were tired and sore, which was frustrating because they shouldn't have been. I didn't feel great overall, and found myself walking more and more. My average pace for miles 11-20 was 9:37, a full minute slower than the first 10.

I slowly pressed onward, walking and running, waiting for that stupid Citgo sign to come into view. the Citgo signifies one mile to go, and it was also the final spectating spot for my friends. I knew I would not bother asking for a ride home at that point, with the finish line and medal so close. I felt nauseous, but I rounded Boylston and started picking up the pace. The joy of seeing the finish line helped me eek out a little extra energy, and I sprinted past a good number of people. When I crossed the finish line I felt dizzy, and couldn't decide if I should grab a medic or not. I got some water (didn't drink it) and my food bag (didn't eat anything) and decided I'd rather find Josh than get tied up in the med tent.

I staggered down the finishing chute to gear check where I put my beloved sweats back on. I found Josh, Terri and her husband much sooner than I expected to, which was nice. I sat on the curb for awhile to try and calm the nausea/dizziness. I know I was not a pleasant person for a while there but Terri put up with me anyway (huge thanks). Eventually I got up, shimmied under the fencing to get out of the finisher's area and we went off to get some food.

Terri & I post race, in my beloved "throw away" man sweats
[photo by Josh]

The only thing I'm remotely disappointed in over Boston is my mental-game. After running a sub-4 in the Derby Marathon a week later, I wonder if I mentally wimped out a little in Boston. I don't remember my exact thoughts and feelings from mid-race though, and I know that the slightest nausea/dizziness freaks me out now after those two bad episodes. So who knows.

I do know that I have no excuses now; I've run Boston under my maiden name. Dang it! I should've come up with more stipulations (jk Josh). I guess I ought to work on planning this shindig that is taking place in, oh, less than 3 months.


  1. Great race report. You did well adn most importantly, enjoyed yourself and saved your man sweats :)

    3 months! So exciting!!!!

  2. So sorry you had a rough race but big congrats on sticking it out then running another a week later! Amazing. And I'm right there with you on the sweats. I had a cozy walmart hoodie for CIM and it was all I could do to ditch it at mile 10. Only managed because I had bought a second one to keep! Haha. Hope the lady I threw it to kept it....

  3. Finally! ;)

    Too funny about running Boston under your maiden name. Time to set all kinds of new records soon under your married name.

    P.S. Where is my invitation?

    Thanks for the report.... I hope your next experience at Boston is more enjoyable and I hope you are still celebrating the accomplishment!

  4. You know, I am having the same thoughts about Boston, that after the blister issue when I realized that my goal would not be attainable, I kind of get up mentally. It was a bit of an all or nothing. I don't dwell on that bc, honestly, a better time but not a PR time would not have made me happier, but I thin it is important to plan for things like this, which I had not. You are in no way a 4 h marathoner (not that there is anything wrong with that); once the health is figured out, it will be all good, you'll see.

  5. and I continue to commend you for maturing as a runner...anyone else reading this will have no clue as to what I'm talking about. Nice pics, and a nicer race report. I'll see you there next year. Hope the dizziness disappears forever...did I miss the follow-up about the MRI?

  6. I gave up mentally before I even got to the start line - like weeks before even. I don't know, maybe we need those races now and then to come back hungrier and train a little tougher. At least I hope so! You did awesome girl, so very happy that you didn't catch a ride mid-race and finished an incredible Boston Marathon. Next year we'll all have revenge!! I haev something for you, can you email me your address???


  7. I hear you about the sweats. You spent $12 on those and they were comfortable! Great recap. I loved the pictures. Congratulations on running Boston!

    Did the MRI give you any answers?

  8. what a huge accomplishment! i was right at mile 17--i wish i had seen you!

  9. Cool report Lindsay! It's funny how the peeps around you were chatting about 3:10 while the peeps on my bus kept chatting about 2:50 and 2:55. Interesting.

    You did all you could and ran Boston just to finish. I think you did exactly what you should have done especially with another marathon 5 days later (you are still crazy by the way). So yeah, kudos to you!

  10. I think the other commenters have it mostly covered so I'll just cut to the important part:

    Check out those arm warmers!!! Those are kick ass!

  11. The more I run, the more all of these races become more mental than anything else! I'm still in disbelief that you ran the following weekend. I hope you're resting this week!

  12. Great all you do: race, blog and how do you describe this marathon... For a moment I was in Boston.

    I like pics, you seem a profesional, really. And the most important think for me is how do you take the race... the philosophy, is important, very important.

    I like your blog and you Lindsay, you make me feel better runner when I read you. Thanks!

    All my love from Spain

  13. Mentally, we are not always the same. Also, for some races we are more motivated than for others, it is impossible to be 100% all the time even more when you run more than a couple of marathons each year. Congrats on your 8th, keep going.

  14. Finishing any marathon is awesome. Nice job on #8.
    Hope you've been feeling well.

  15. Boston under your maiden name? Does that mean you'll run it again next year? Or is it more of a "been there, done that" type race for you?

    Enjoy the man sweats.

  16. Hi Lindsay,
    What a great race report! I love the pictures and had to smile at the shorts. Last week when I ran in a race...I was sprinting in and my shorts were creeping all the way up:) I remember just sort of laughing thinking....yea, this has got to look good:) Good job at Boston, you did great! Have a wonderful weekend girl!

  17. Love the race report!!! Have a great weekend!

  18. I think you showed lots of mental toughness--you didn't give up! And you know what you can do, so next time you will be in a place where you can do it. Great job!

  19. great post, and a great run. I'm still amazed that you ran two marathons in a week. You're nuts!

  20. Amazing lindsay. Great race report and great pictures. Way to hang in there. It shows a lot of what you are made of. It would have been easier to give up.

    You mean I could have made money by charging people a quarter to take a ride on a golf cart? I could have called it the "Rosie Ruiz Shuttle".

  21. you did great out there girl :) thank you for the report!!

    i think its really hard after any race NOT to question your thoughts/decisions during the race because afterwards you are not in it anymore and its easy to think we gave up too easy. i have thought this after almost every single race, but was reallllly making myself NOT think those thoughts after this weekend. its done and over with now and only thing you can do is celebrate what you did do and learn from it right :)

  22. Awesome race report! Glad you managed to hang tough and finish it out!!! Congrats on running Boston!

  23. Great recap lady. Even if it was a little late. :)

    Love your man sweats. Those are the perfect honeymoon outfit. (I kid, I kid).

  24. Hey, I actually felt jealous of you in those sweats because they looked so damn comfy. (and we found out when we arrived at that second meeting spot, it was more like mile 14.5. Did it feel more like mile 17?) LOL (no really, did it?)

    Believe me, you have no reason to worry - I know what my brother has been like at the end of Boston, and sometimes it's been all he could do to stand up, with so much cramping, and coldness, etc. We were also surprised to see you so soon. Next time, I'll remember to wear my volunteer jacket or give it to Josh so he can throw it on and not get yelled at by all the other volunteers for being in the "runner's only" area. (whatever.)

    I'm so glad to see this post, I was going to start giving you grief, waiting for it! I was going to be like "we want a race report, we want a race report!"

    You are my idol for doing that race and Kentucky so soon afterward, both at a pace that would still kick my ass.

    And yes, that was the Boston Common where I dropped you off that morning. Where they used to hang a lot of witches, to be exact. :-)

  25. Nice job! I loved the report!!!

    ps love your name!!!

  26. Maybe if it didn't have the name "Boston" attached to this marathon it would have been better. Isn't that all you hear about in the marathon world? That combined with the nausea and dizziness that actually did rear it's head in the race...that's a lot to try and overcome.

    I've never even ran a marathon and with such little serious training beforehand, I think you did great!

    I like your attachment to the sweats. You should just wear them when lounging around this summer when you have the AC turned up too high.

    Thanks for sharing this report. I always enjoy hearing your perspective.

  27. Great race recap. I loved the story about the sweats. Sounds EXACTLY like me. Love the fly-over pic too. You are amazing. You are tough mentally for just showing up and finishing. And then racing the next weekend. Super Tough!

  28. Don't knock yourself on the mental game... you're a strong runner and a strong race. Your body was giving you clues that things weren't 100% and you listened!

    Less than 3 months?! Already! Wow... maybe you should have made some other stipulations! ;-)

  29. What a week, first I find out that I was spotted during my 5K by Meg, now I'm mentioned in a blog post? I'm on a roll :)

    Yeah, I would have felt pretty sad being in that school bus full of elites too! Although I know you would have wanted to really compete, it still sounds like you had a good time, which is more than you could have asked for, right?

    Good luck with the wedding planning!

  30. Great race report! You did a great job!

  31. I enjoyed your report! Glad you saved the sweats. I always thought if I was rich there were things I would only wear new, unwashed and sweats would fall into the category! Good job! Can't believe you ran another marathon one week later.

  32. Some races you race, some you run, some you finish. We take something different from each one. I'm on the fence about Boston - I found the hype translated to pressure and while I loved the race some of the race stuff was a bit much. I'm glad I took a Boston break, although I'll likely go next year. Anyway, congrats on finishing your maiden name racing career!

  33. I finally had a chance to read your race report! I'm really sorry to hear that your mental game wasn't on for this one. Boo. I hope you are able to figure out this frustrating. Great job on your race. I still can't believe you ran another marathon the next weekend! I know you think I must train 90 hours a week....I am just so in awe of how speedy you are!!!! Great job.



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