Ok, I don’t want to totally blow off my Boston recap, but honestly I don’t have much to say. The experience itself was good in that I was able to learn a lot about my training and about what I am doing right and wrong. Really though, it was kind of anticlimactic doing it a second time. I’ll try to keep this short and sweet:
My friend and I flew out of Detroit with her mom on Saturday afternoon. It was stressful/dramatic getting to the airport and we almost missed the flight. I won’t go into details, because everything was happening between my friend and her mom, but it was a rocky start. Thankfully, we all got to Boston safe and sound and headed right to the expo. After doing all of the normal pics and collecting our stuff/freebees, we headed to “Legal Seafood” to meet some of my friends’ moms’ friends. (dinner with lots of people I didn’t know…..) It was actually fun though, they were all cyclists and I’m pretty OK with talking it up with anyone. Plus, Legal Seafood had really good gluten free rolls! Ha, simple pleasures…… We then headed out of Boston to the house we were staying at (which were more friends of theirs, who I didn’t know.) We got there late and crashed. Unfortunately, I slept horribly that night because one of the little kids was throwing up in the bathroom that ajoined to our all night…..buzz kill…..
Sunday was spent pretty chill-like. We did a short run, got some groceries, and tried to avoid the sick little kids. Mostly, we just sat/laid in bed. It was the most sitting I’ve done in probably a year! Nice, but nerveracking. By 7pm, I just wanted to go to bed and get started!
Race day. Wake up pre-5am, which was no big for me because I do that so often. We got a ride into Boston, and boarded the busses. The bus ride seemed to take FOREVER which I remember from last year. Once in Hopkinton, we met up with my training bud who I always talk about (his name is Mike, maybe I should just start calling him that!) I think he was grateful to have people to chill with. Coffee + banana + brushing my teeth (yeah, I have a fetish about having minty fresh breath when I run) and I was ready to race. We all walked to the buses together. We joked because my bus was this lame white schoolbus that looked totally out of place, and I was in the last corral of Wave 1. Lame bus for the slowest ones! We split into our corrals and I was finally alone. It actually felt really good to finally be away from the stress of traveling and mingling with people and just be able to focus on myself and my run. But it was also weird because I felt like I was just in Hopkinton! Seriously, time flies!
The race began, but I hardly knew it because I was so far back! It took a good 10 minutes for me to get to the start. But, when I hit it, I took off. I really tried to keep my pace chill, but honestly I suck at that. Every time I felt like I was going ‘slow’ I would look at my Garmin and see 7:14 or something like that! But it felt ok. For now.
Let me rehash that my goal for this race was only to requalify without killing myself or making my body too sore to stop training. I was ‘training through’ this race for Bayshore. However, I think that is easier said than done. To be honest, part of me was hoping I could just pop off an amazing time without trying. Yeah, that would be the crazy part.
By mile 10, my pace was feeling less effortless. I know I came through in around 75 minutes. I was 1:39 at the half, but knew it wouldn’t last, so I backed off. I had been trying those “gu chomps” things throughout the race, but I was not sure if they were really helping. (I’ve never eaten goo or anything during a race). Mostly, they just got stuck in my teeth and I kept thinking about how many cavities they would be giving me! After Wellsley, I still felt OK, but my “OK” was registering a slower pace than my previous “ok”. The thing is, I felt like I consciously backed off, but was upset with how quickly my pace dropped. Seriously, it felt like in the blink of an eye I went from 7:30s to 8:30s to 9:15s. That was the most depressing part. How quickly my pace slipped away. The rest of the race I just packed it in. I knew I would requalify, but I knew I wouldn’t PR or Boston PR, which I was OK with me. I ended up running a 3:37:something. Second half split = depressing, but I kind of accepted it and just went with the flow. Best part of the race was when I gu Chomp fell out of my little running short-pocket thing and into my panties. Yeah, nice and sticky. And it happened going up heartbreak hill. That made for a fun last 5 miles with the gooey-ness all up in my grill…..if you know what I mean……
OK: reflection time. Here’s the thing. I got back into running two days later (swam for first two days). If you have been following my blog you know that I picked back up my training to a higher level this week. So on that front, Boston was a success. It taught me the lessons about my training that I mentioned in a previous post. Again, a success. Lastly, I was able to run a ‘decent’ time with minimal taper (both pre and post race.)
With that said……
I would be lying if I said I was completely OK with it. I just feel so worried/paranoid that I will never be able to PR again. Like my 3:18 was a total fluke. I even wish sometimes that I never ran that time, because then I wouldn’t be so disappointed with my 3:3X finishes that I have had basically for the last 2 years. It’s not that there is anything wrong with running in the 3:30s, but I just don’t feel satisfied with it, when I know I have/can do better. I have been training harder than ever for the last year, and I wonder sometimes if there is a missing piece. Why isn’t my racing getting better? I have set the bar really high for myself, and don’t seem to be stepping up come race day. And that is tough. I’m trying not to dwell on it though. All that I can do is keep pushing 100%. So that’s what I’ll do.
Wow, this turned into a doosy! I’ve been writing it on my breaks at work today, and now I shall hit ‘publish.’ Hopefully I’ll be back tonite with a recap of the day’s runs and such. For now, I have to run (literally) to meet up with my group for run #2 of the day! :)