Boston Marathon Recap

It was wicked hot out there.

 

But I’m a Boston Marathon Finisher.

boston-marathon-medal

I ran a marathon without much training.

 

But I’m a Boston Marathon Finisher.

 

I didn’t train on any hills.

 

But I’m a Boston Marathon Finisher.

 

My legs cramped up like they’ve never done before.

 

But I’m a Boston Marathon Finisher.

 

I’m not sure I should be running this far on my injured ankle.

 

But I’m a Boston Marathon Finisher.

 

I can’t begin to drink enough water.

 

But I’m a Boston Marathon Finisher.

 

I never, not once, not even for a second, once I stepped up to the starting line thought “I can’t do this.”

 

Because I was ready to earn the sentence, “I’m a Boston Marathon Finisher.”

 

No buts anymore. No buts.

boston-marathon-bib

******

I could leave my recap as just that – I came, I conquered(okay, endured), I finished. But I have so much more to say. So here it is….go get a coffee…

boston-marathon-starting-line

I ran the race I trained for. I mean, I barely trained as I was in a boot for six weeks and just started running six weeks before Boston. And in my previous post, I said my head was telling me “4:15.” And that’s the race I ran. My plan – as stupid as it may sound to an experienced runner- was to go out and run as well and and as fast and as far I could, and then walk, limp, crawl the rest of the way…but there was no way in hell I was walking off the course. And in my head that meant a 4:15. I thought I could run a 1:50 half and then keep a decent 9 min/mile pace until 20, and then figure out the last 6 miles at a 12 min/mile or so…which puts me at about a 4:10 without water stops…so a 4:15.

ready-for-boston-marathon

Sure I had an optimistic plan – a 3:51 so I could Boston Qualify again with a few minutes to spare. And maybe,  just maybe, on a cooler day that could’ve happened. Because hell, it was wicked hot. 70+ and sunny is awesome for spectators – but it’s about 20 degrees too hot for runners. I was sweating and my body temp was up just walking the mile to the starting line. They had water stops at every single mile(thank god), and I drank 1-2 cups and poured one over my head at EVERY SINGLE MILE. And I was still thirsty. And hot. And sweaty. And don’t even ask me about the dang headwind. But you know what – I did not care because I was running my first Boston Marathon.

 

Things started off very close to plan – I ran a half marathon in 1:52 and that was great, but I was getting tired. Thank goodness for those Wellesley girls as their kisses pulled me through the next few miles.

 

Miles 14-16 starting slowing down for me and I was walking by mile 16. Not because I was tired(I was), but because of leg cramps. I have NEVER felt cramps like that – they start in your toes, work their way up your foot and to your calf and then FREEZE. Like you are going to fall over if you take another step.

 

So miles 17-21 were brutal. It was still hot and still sunny and I was already walking, and it was time for the Newton Hills. NO ONE CAN PREPARE YOU FOR THESE HILLS. The downs were actually worse than the ups…so I basically would run a quarter mile, walk a quarter mile, and repeat for these four miles. But holy hell – I was running the Boston Marathon – I was NOT giving up. I was honestly happy with 10:30 min/miles with all of the walking I had to do.

 

Thank goodness for the amazing crowds and volunteers along the way. They made a VERY tough day brighter with their huge numbers and encouraging words. I wrote my name on my arm and leg and had hundreds of people shout my name as I ran/walked by. It was also during these miles that I saw the most people getting medical attention. MANY people on stretchers, getting IV fluids and being massaged for cramps.

boston-marathon-celebration

Miles 22-25 are kind of a blur. At this point I had to stop and stretch a few times just to even keep walking. My pace slowed to 11 min/mile but I kept on moving forward. At least the course flattened out.

boston-marathon

I saw my friend Kristi, my sister-in-law Amy, and my mother-in-law, at mile 25. It gave me the courage to kind of run that last mile in as I took a right on Hereford and a left on Boylston. I can’t even begin to describe how loud the crowds were down Boylston Street. It was surreal. I cried the whole time as I tried to keep running and thank the crowds for coming out to cheer. High-fives all around, my friends. It was all I could do to lift my arms at the finish and then I just cried as I hugged my “medal-giver” as I finished with a 4:12. It was all in the plan…

boston-marathon-finish-line

Would I have loved to BQ last Monday? Sure. But I am a Boston Marathon Finisher.

 

It was a tough day out there for many. I was looking at some stats since this is a very fast race with some of the fastest runners in the world – so many earn another BQ each year. In fact in 2014 11,053(36%) qualified to run again the next year..and in 2015 12,767(48%) did. But this year, in 2016, only 4324(16%) runners qualified again. That’s CRAZY low and a testament to the heat this year. So KUDOS to them and to all of us who showed up on Marathon Monday!

boston-marathon-dunkin- donuts

I’ve never enjoyed a donut and a beer more than I did that evening.

boston-marathon-party

I plan to be back to Boston Marathon again soon. This won’t be my last. But this will always be my first and it was truly a beautiful and perfect day.

 

Nothing(except the time and love of my family and friends), will ever compare to running this special race. You sure know how to throw a party Boston.

 

About Tracy


My name is Tracy Morrison and I live in sunny Minnesota. I'm neither British nor a nun - I'm just a Midwesterner with a headache. This is mainly a humor and lifestyle blog that documents the lighter side of parenting. I am an ex-corporate ladder climber turned freelance writer, social media manager, world traveler, and marathon runner. I would love for you to contact me at tracy@sellabitmum.com

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Comments

  1. says

    BRAVO! I hate that I missed you but I was cheering right there on Comm Ave … and love that you were here, and that you finished. With no training. Rockstar. xox

  2. says

    We love our Marathon runners around here :), and while I couldn’t be down at mile 5 to cheer you in person, I tracked your progress through the BAA – I was doing my best to mentally lift you up at Heartbreak, and I swear I got chills watching your little running avatar hit those last two turns before the finish line. Way to go, woman. Congratulations. I’ll get down there to cheer in real time for your next one!
    Cameron recently posted..Fresh Scandal for You

  3. Dad says

    Congrats daughter I am so very proud. As always you accomplished your goal, and I am so very happy for you

    Love

  4. says

    So determined and so focused I, too, cried when you finished. It was with joy because I never doubted for a minute that your goal wouldn’t be met. Congratulations to who you are and what YOU are made of Thanks to your friend and family for being with you all the way. Love you Mom.
    Ps this was fun reading your recap of this important day.

  5. Jane Kennedy says

    We watched your Instagram account all day to see how you were doing. So proud of you! Been waiting for a recap. You set an awesome example for your girls. Hope you recover quickly and can keep doing what you love. Congratulations!

  6. Richard Kennedy says

    Tracy, You Are Awesome! I am not a fan of the A word in general, BUT in your case and this instance it barely does justice to you’re being a BOSTON MARATHON FINISHER. You’ve set the bar so damn high. It is such a pleasure to know you, if only through the inner-webs. I am confident, given your extraordinary commitment, you will be back in the Boston Marathon.

  7. Leanne says

    I just found your blog and I love it!!! Sorry we didn’t meet in Boston. It sounds like we have so much in common, and I look forward to meeting and running with you one day!!!

    Miles for Mochas 🙂
    Leanne

  8. says

    Thanks for sharing ! Congratulations Boston Marathon Finisher ! What a great accomplishment.
    I recently ran the Paris marathon and it was the same kind of temps. It was so hot I was really afraid of heat stroke, and we only had water every 5K.
    The times of so many people were so much longer because of the heat, many were disappointed.
    Karen @ Fit in France recently posted..April Runfessions

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