2017 Boston Marathon // 3:46.31
I could go through my usual race recap and give you the mile-by-mile update of how Monday’s 2017 Boston Marathon went. But, in this Boston Marathon race recap, I’m taking a different approach. I think the day can be summarized in three words.
Each and every time I’ve crossed the start line at the Boston Marathon and started descending the first hill in Hopkinton, my eyes get a little watery and I feel like I need to choke back some tears. This race is just unlike any other race in the world… there’s SO much history (it’s pretty much the father of marathons).
The idea that you have to qualify to get to this race means that all of these thoughts rush to the surface as you start the race… you remember all of the sacrifices it took over two (or more) marathon cycles to get here, and it just feels unbelievable that you are really there.
From the time you board the bus to Hopkinton to when you cross the finish line on Boylston, it’s an incredible experience.
I underestimated the weather for this race. I kept telling myself that it was going to be similar to Grandmas Marathon, although it was about 10* warmer at the start than it was at that race last year. I didn’t modify my race goal — still went out to get my sub-3:30 — and I paid for it.
When I started to sweat right after starting the race, I told myself it was probably a good thing — I was well hydrated, so I was sweating. Good thing, right? I felt pretty good up until mile 4, and was really proud of myself for being patient with my start and actually hitting my race strategy.
Around mile 8, things started to go south. I had a thought cross my mind that just dropping at that med tent I was passing would be a really good idea… but knew that I would be so mad at myself so kept trucking along. I really don’t remember much from this part of the course, minus the fact that I kept telling myself to get to mile 16.
Why 16? 16 is when I can tell myself single digits left. That sounds easier. And, at Boston, it’s where you get this amazing downhill before you start the Newtons.
I started to feel super nauseous around mile 12, and started to change my fueling strategy (I was taking 1/2 a Honey Stinger every 5k // salt pill every 5 miles // Gatorade every 2 miles). It didn’t seem to work.
By time I got to 15, I needed a walking break. The nausea kinda went away, and I started walking through the water stations from that point to Heartbreak.
At that point, I told myself it was downhill to the finish and I was starting to feel a little bit better. So I was able to keep on trucking to the finish — far off my goal race pace, but I was moving forward. I think this pic was taken somewhere around there:
When I crossed the finish line, I cried for the third time at the end of a marathon. I think this one was a mix of knowing I fought the conditions and won, and also, sheer disappointment in myself for being so far off my goal. Here are what my splits looked like from this year’s Boston Marathon:
So very humbling. This training period was SO GOOD. I felt like I was nailing my paces and my long runs didn’t feel that hard. I wasn’t even nervous when I was hanging out in Boston on Sunday… I kept asking my running friends if it was normal to feel so calm.
I just took it as a good sign. But there’s something about the marathon that’s so very humbling. The moment that you think you have it all figured out, that you think you’ll have the race of your life, it slams you back to reality and you question everything.
There’s also something about the marathon that makes your emotions so very raw and a little all over the place. At one moment in the race, I was patting myself on the back for finally executing patience — a trait that has never been my strong suite — and the next, trying to bat away the negative voice of disappointment until I could at least finish the race.
But this is why, I think, the 26.2 mile journey can be so addicting. There’s something about finally figuring out the magic formula — one that seemingly changes over time — and knowing that you were able to push yourself to the brink of consciousness and do the unthinkable, hitting the goals that you set out in front of you.
Bottom line, I am so very honored to have run this year’s Boston Marathon. Yes, I am disappointed. Yes, it is not the race that I planned for or wanted.
But, there was some good that came out of this day.
I learned that I can be patient and execute a race strategy.
I learned that I have the mental strength to keep myself going, when I’ve always questioned this part of my race ability.
And most importantly, I learned that the Boston Marathon continues to be the most incredible race experience on this planet. And whether it means nailing a PR or having a year like this year, I would do it all over again every single time.
And lastly (but definitely not least)
A big thanks to the city of Boston, all of the volunteers, spectators, the BAA and everyone else involved in putting the Boston Marathon together. It takes a village to put this together and the fact that so many people take their day to support us runners is absolutely incredible. To all the people that yelled my name on the course —> THANK YOU. For any runner out there, we may not acknowledge that we hear you, but we do. And it means so much. So keep it up.
Lastly, a HUGE thank you to all of you for your support over the past few days! Seriously appreciate it so much. xoxo
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