2012 Boston Marathon Race Recap: Part 1-The Narrative

It was hot. End of story.

Okay, not really, but to be honest,  my race recap is probably pretty boring, so I thought I would get it out of the way first. I will also have lovely posts about the lessons I learned in Boston, Boston Training/Prep, all my Garmin info, and other randomness regarding the Boston Marathon.

The night before the race I stayed in Hopkinton with friends from college. Super amazing that they live so close and I didn’t have to get up wicked early and take a bus from downtown Boston. It was the best. Ever. They also had another running staying with them and we were in the same wave, same corral, and our bib numbers were only 6 numbers off from each other. Pretty cool.

Boston Start Hopkinton

My new buddy and I walked through athletes village (so.many.people.) with each other, took pictures, waited for porta-potties and then did the long slow walk to the start line together.

The start line was exactly what I imagined, the town was what I pictured, the crowds amazing, and the entire scene took my breath away. You’ll get sick of hearing that, I promise.

Before we even started the race it was hot. Like I was sweating already kind of hot. I somehow still thought I could run a reasonable pace. I was wrong. I learned that very quickly. I would love to stay that the first couple of miles felt great, but they didn’t. From mile one, the heat was oppressive.

The first few miles went by slowly and uneventfully. I grabbed water at every stop and just kept trucking. Somewhere around mile 5 the rolling hills (it is NOT all downhill!) and heat had already gotten the best of me, more mentally than physically though. I was ready to throw in the towel and regretting my decision not to defer.

At mile 7 I saw Evan and Mark and I am pretty sure the only things I uttered were “This is awful.” and “I should have deferred.”  I think I also threw in something about “at this rate I won’t even finish before they close the course.” I’m so good at being positive!

After a couple of minutes of complaining to them, I sucked down a GU and grabbed the Nuun that Evan and for me and was on my way.

I plodded along for another couple of miles and somewhere before or around mile 9, the tape that was on my foot for my Achilles was killing me, so I just plopped down on the sidewalk, took off my shoe and sock and tore the outer layer tape off of my foot thinking that would be enough. It wasn’t so I did the whole thing over a quarter-mile later. I was really gaining time now!

Once I got the tape off, I just kind of zoned out and decided that I’d walk whenever I wanted to and I would continue to get water at every water station. I was feeling better at this point and my running pace was also a bit more reasonable.

The next few miles flew by and before I knew it was in Wellesley. Holy freaking cow was it loud, energetic and a freaking blast! I loved reading the signs and was on such a high through this section. I’ve never been one for crowds or interacting with them but this was amazing!

Before I knew it I was through the half feeling strong and actually looking forward to the hills!

It seemed like this middle section of the race had constant spectators that were the loudest. It really did help make those miles just click by.

Each town we entered got me jazzed with the “whatever town is all in” signs. It felt like the start or finish in each town. So freaking cool.

The humidity, heat, and constantly running through sprinklers necessitating reapplication of some lubricant in key locations if you know what I mean. So, at some point I snagged some Vaseline from a medical tent. Um, sorry for using my hand and not the little wooden stick! But thanks for the vaseline!

Newton hill number one was in the bag and I still felt strong since I was taking in fluids and walking at each stop. I was not even the tiniest bit concerned about my pace. It was really comforting in a way knowing all I had to do was finish not worry about a pace or time or anything. I actually slowed my self down at points. I just wanted to cross that finish line and have that medal hanging around my neck.

I knew I would see Evan and Mark again around mile 17, but it came and went and I hadn’t seen them. I knew it was logistically tough to get from place to place so I kind of wrote off seeing them again, but was a little sad about it. When I saw that at mile 7 no one, including myself, was too sure I’d even make it to mile 17, so I wanted them to see me running strong and happy.

Luckily they appeared! Not positive where exactly it was but probably closer to mile 18. I was pumped to see them and let the know I was feeling good and looking forward to tackling the rest of the hills and putting this race in the bag!

Up the next hill I went. A couple more ups and downs and I was still feeling great. These hills were nothing was what I was thinking. The 20-miler in Golden definitely prepared me for them. I was getting up them at closer to marathon goal pace then I had been running. It was fun!

I didn’t even realize that I had climbed heartbreak until I was nearly to the top and I saw a sign that said “Heartbreak Hill…it is all down hill from here.” I believed it. Silly me. Heartbreak was a breeze though too!

I think I got a little excited coming down Heartbreak or maybe it was around Boston College, which might have been one of my favorite parts of the course, because somewhere around mile 22, my legs were blown up! Heck at least it was there and not before the hills! I heard lots of people commenting that they had blown up their legs much earlier in the race. Covering 4 miles with my legs shot was a pretty easy task.

Miles 22-24 were a bit tough, but once I neared 25 I decided it was all running, as fast as I could, for the rest of the race. Not exactly sure where it was but I ran through a little water sprayer tunnel and was drenched for the last few miles of the race. Like shorts stuck to my legs and soggy sneakers kind of drenched.

The crowds through Brookline and into the city were dense, but didn’t seem as boisterous as Wellesley and Boston College or even some of the small towns. The sheer number of people was unbelievable, but it wasn’t necessarily my favorite part of the course.

The little bitch of a hill somewhere right before the turn onto Boylston nearly sucked the life out of me, but I was so close I just kept pushing.

The left onto Boylston street was some glorious. I just pushed my legs as fast as I could. I felt bad that people were walking at that point, the finish line was in sight. Just run is what I was thinking! Everything seemed silent.

As the finish line drew closer all I could think was faster, faster, faster. Not that I was going for a time of any sort, I just wanted to run fast!

I crossed the finish and threw my arms in the air for the cameras just like everyone says to. I did it! I ran the hottest Boston Marathon on record! And it wasn’t the worst thing ever. It was actually pretty amazing.

Not even trying to run for a time took so much pressure off the race. I enjoyed the crowds, the energy, the towns, and the entire experience that IS The Boston marathon.

I finished in 4:15:29. My time makes no difference to me. I loved the race. More fun time details, Garmin numbers etc. in another post.

I didn’t cry at the finish really. I always cry at the finish of a race. I just was actually already thinking of what my next race, my fast race, would be.

I did almost cry when walking through the crowds after the race. I hated every second of walking through the corrals to get my water, medal, bag, and to family meet-up. I wish it could have been short, but I get it, there are a lot of people in a downtown Boston and only so much space.

Boston finishers medal

Finally, I got to “S” and I sat down then all was right for the time being.

I know many consider running Boston and once in a lifetime, but I would love to do it again.

3 thoughts on “2012 Boston Marathon Race Recap: Part 1-The Narrative

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