Mary's recap Boston Marathon 2016
Well, it’s been over a month since the Boston Marathon so I thought I would reflect a bit on that whole experience.
This was my fourteenth marathon and fourth Boston. I have had some pretty brutal marathons in the past, but I have to say that this year at Boston was the toughest experience that I’ve had so far during a marathon. The last time I ran Boston was in 2012 when the temperatures were extremely high. Due to the weather, I went into that race knowing I would not be racing. Adjusting my pace allowed me to feel pretty good throughout the race. However, this year, I think everyone was caught by surprise by the temperatures and many of us did not adjust our paces accordingly early in the race. The temperatures out in Hopkinton were not cool by any means. I should have taken a hint and adjusted my race plan when I was already hot standing at the starting line with the sun beaming on my back. As the race began I was feeling good. I was on track for the 3:25 marathon that I trained for. However, I noticed early on just before mile 10 that these paces were feeling a little harder than they should be at this point. I stubbornly stayed at my goal pace because it was hard to back off from my goal. I wanted that 3:25. Just after mile 10 my legs began cramping. I have had leg cramps before but NEVER this early in a marathon. I thought to myself that I blew it. I went out too fast again and now I was going to pay for it. Little did I know that nearly everyone around me was dealing with the same issue. This wasn’t a good feeling, especially knowing that the Newton Hills were still ahead of me. I knew as soon as I hit those hills that my pace was going to drop way down and they did.
Although this is not how I pictured the Boston Marathon going, I have to say I am proud of myself. The amount of suffering I endured on that Monday was ridiculous. I really don’t know how I didn’t walk or give up. I can’t say that I wasn’t tempted. Every mile that went by there was a med tent and I definitely contemplated stopping on more than one occasion. Ultimately, I didn’t quit. I took one step at a time toward that finish. There were times that I thought to myself, how on earth am I going to make it all the way to Boston? Somehow, I did. It may not have been pretty and may have been 11 minutes off my goal time, but I did it. That’s all that matters. The turn onto Boylston Street was an amazing feeling. As I ran down Boylston, I actually was able to sprint into the finish line! At that point, I knew if my legs gave out that I was going to make it to the finish line no matter what, so I pushed it. It was a relief to finish but I have to say that it wasn’t the same type of exhaustion of reaching the finish line of a marathon. I didn’t get to put it all out there on the course that day and I was slightly disappointed in that.
Although I questioned myself about why I ran marathons during the Newton Hills, I finished and that question was quickly dismissed. There will be more races and marathons ahead of me but for now, my mind and body need a break. I have been enjoyed this time and only ran a few times since Boston. Other than that, I have been taking it easy and doing some yoga and spinning. My mind and body both need a break from months of training and a tough marathon. I trained hard for Boston and I can confidently say that I was prepared to run a 3:25 marathon. Monday, April 18th just wasn’t that day…but that day will come!