Our Boston adventure began Sunday morning with a 9am Bolt bus from NYC to Boston.
Once we arrived, it was time for a (slightly boring) lunch at the train station. We wanted something bland that would not upset our stomachs. I had a turkey, swiss, and veggie sub on a whole wheat roll.
We navigated the (crowded) T and made our way to the Marathon expo at the Hines Convention Center in the Back Bay neighborhood.
After picking up our numbers, t-shirts, and race packets, we visited a few expo booths. I tried a bunch of different Clif and luna bar samples as well as some Gatorade. The expo was super crowded, but the energy was great. Alma and I each got a hug from Katherine Switzer (1st woman to run the Boston marathon!)
We were able to meet up with Ani and Dani at the expo. CPTC in Boston!
Once we arrived at the hostel, I began getting everything ready for the next day. Check out my new Boston Marathon running spandex! Can’t wait to wear them :-)
Our hostel stay worked out pretty well – most people staying in our dorm room were either running or spectating the marathon. We met some cool and friendly people. I think that Alma looks like Kara Goucher in this photo –
We headed to City Hall Plaza for the pre-race pasta dinner. The weather was a little chilly, but the event was well organized. I had an Newman’s Own iced tea, salad with Newman’s Own dressing, a roll, and 3 kinds of pasta! Penne with tomato sauce, mac n’ cheese, and pasta salad. The food was good, but the pasta serving sizes were a little skimpy.
On our way out, we were given a goodie bag of snacks. I had the chocolate bar and biscotti for dessert. I thought of Jen when I saw the Stonyfield Pomegranate yogurt!
After dinner, Hannah came over to visit. Yay!
Unfortunately, the next time Hannah met up with me (mile 17 of the marathon), I was a little less smile-y and cheerful. Hehe.
I slept fairly well from 10pm until 5am and only woke up a few times during the night. At 5am, I couldn’t sleep any more so I searched out some strong coffee. I was wide awake after that! Around 6:30am, I had the first part of my breakfast (banana w/ peanut butter) and saved the cinnamon raisin bagel until about 7:30am.
Alma and I walked the mile or so from our hostel to the bus loading area at Boston Commons. There was quite the line for buses! We finally loaded a bus around 8am and began the 26 mile journey to the starting line in Hopkinton.
On the bus!
When we arrived around 9am, we almost immediately got in line for the port-a-potties. We waited almost an hour! It was ridiculous! Alma was really hurtin’….
Around 10:15am, we quickly dropped off our bags, and began jogging towards the starting corrals. The gun sounded at 10:30am and we were off! The first couple of miles were downhill and we ran at a pretty steady clip – I think our second mile was around 7:50! After that, we resumed fairly even splits – around 8:10 – 8:20 pace. I had some sips of gatorade and a few jelly beans throughout. When we reached Wellesley College at the half-way point, the crowds and cheers were amazing! I was smiling and laughing the whole time. The Wellesley girls all had t-shirts that said “Free Kisses for Marathoners” and the dudes were definitely cashing in on that! Hannah popped out of the crowd around mile 17 and started running with us. I was very happy to see her! At this point I ate a chocolate power bar gel. Unfortunately I became a bit nauseated and light-headed. This yucky feeling lasted for the rest of the race and miles 20-26 were not pretty. I really felt like I was going to throw-up around mile 23. Ugh. When I say that miles 20-26 were THE HARDEST AND MOST PAINFUL thing I have ever done, I’m not exaggerating. Thank goodness for Hannah and Alma! We stayed together the whole time and they encouraged me to keep drinking water and gatorade. The crowds were so loud and dense for the last few miles – it was crazy! Finally, the finish line was in sight. Alma and I crossed the line in 3 hours, 47 minutes, and 46 seconds. Pheww! We did it! Immediately after finishing, we were given heat sheets (i.e. foil space blankets), medals, and food bags. I had a really bad cramp in my lower back and I was worried that my kidneys were failing. Fortunately, I stretched a bit and the cramp went away. After we retrieved our bags and put on warm clothes, I started feeling a little better. Alma had to help me put on my pants and a few swear words %&*#!!! escaped as I tried to maneuver my aching legs into the spandex. Nate met us around 2:45pm and took a photo of the newly minted Boston Marathon finishers!
Hooray for my #1 fan! Nate traveled a total of 8 + hours yesterday just to see me for a few minutes after I finished.
Immediately after finishing the marathon, I ate a Power Bar Protein bar to begin muscle recovery. In addition to the protein bar, our goodie bags included: a bagel, banana (potassium!) , granola, and potato chips (salt!)
After taking a glorious hot shower at the hostel, Alma and I headed to the Back Bay train station. We picked up our tickets and then headed next door for some chicken sandwiches and milkshakes. My chicken sandwich included mushrooms, carmelized onions, garlic spinach, and steak sauce on whole wheat bun.
And a chocolate milkshake!
Heading back to NYC via Amtrak. Tired and sore, but in good spirits!