Lisa P's Boston report - A Wet One on Boylston

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purdy65
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Lisa P's Boston report - A Wet One on Boylston

Postby purdy65 » Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:22 pm

Just before I get into this, I'm starting to think that all of you should just check to see if I'm registered for a marathon before you register. If I'm registered, that means bad weather. :?

So let's get on with the story then:

As most of you know, I qualified for this race about 18 months ago. I really haven't fully tested my fitness since then. That meant really reassessing my training and goals. I'm not getting any younger either, so I'm really trying to listen to my body and let it tell me what it can handle. This seemed to work out really well! I was still able to keep up decent mileage, but speed work was somewhat less intense than previous years. I really knew I was not training for a time goal, but rather for a strong race, whatever the outcome that would bring. I was 100% sure I was not fit for a 4 hour marathon - especially in Boston, and to be honest I wasn't interested in the work that might be involved in achieving that.

I had a couple of good races this spring that let me know I was in good enough shape to complete a decent marathon. That's all I wanted to do.

I can't believe how quickly race weekend came upon us! Before I knew it I had run Chilly, ATB, and I was tapering.

We decided to stay at the same place that we did in 2012 (the Westin Copley Place) because it was close to the finish and walkable to great places like Fenway park and Boston Common. It was, of course, FULL of marathoners! We arrived early Friday morning, and luckily we were able to check in right away. We dropped off our stuff and went exploring. We actually found a great supermarket we didn't find the last time! We stocked up on yogurt, bananas and peanut butter - you know - the marathoner staples!. It saved us going out for breakfast so that was nice. By the time we had finished there and gone for some lunch, it was time to head over to the Expo. Just as we headed out, we ran into a Running Room friend who was staying at the Copley Place! She and her friend joined us for the trek over to the Convention center. The crowds were a little bit crazy, but bib pickup was easy, and I had no trouble finding my jacket, and a few other souvenirs. We didn't stay all that long though, because pure exhaustion was setting in! We headed to the Cheesecake factory and had a nice dinner. And guess what? It was full of Marathoners! Friday night, and the energy is really starting to build. They are closing the streets around our hotel, and the final touches on the finish line were being put in place. We were both too tired to do much of anything though. I was a walking zombie. Bed time!

Saturday was a GORGEOUS day in Boston. We walked down to Boston Common and watched the finish of the BAA 5K, had a coffee and took some pictures at the now fully assembled finish line, had lunch and then headed out to FENWAY PARK! Yippee. What a fantastic place in a neat area of town. At the beginning of the game it was lovely and sunny, but the wind started to blow leaving us in the deep chill! We were up in the bleachers surrounded by Frat boys and stupid girls dressing bikini tops in sub 50F weather. Oh well. All part of the experience! Because we were chilled we made the dumb mistake of taking the T back to the hotel ( a 20 min walk and 2 T stops). Never EVER take the T after a Red Sox game! We could have walked back faster. Anyway, another fairly early night! But it was after a full, fun day :)

Sunday morning was spent relaxing in the room over coffee, a couple of reruns of Law and Order and our breakfast feasts. It was cooler out, but once again, really sunny and pleasant if you had a jacket on. We decided to head out for another look at the Finish line - and boy was it NUTS! There were hundreds of people out taking photos and wandering around. We could clearly see the spots where the bombs had gone off 2 years ago. they were marked by memorial wreaths, and one of the places (which I believe was a bar) remains empty. I actually think the place went out of business. This just really made the heart go heavy. It's all so incomprehensible, even to this day!

Later we met up with Ken and Bonnie, and had a really nice lunch before they headed off to the Expo. We had such a nice visit, and Ken was good for a laugh as always. Oh... and for the record. He offered me some of his French fries (yes he was eating French fries on a pre race day). I think his strategy was to cause a potty break on race day. Luckily I didn't fall for it!

The afternoon was spent napping and reading. We had an early dinner of takeout sandwiches and beer. Perfect! We headed down to the lobby to use the wifi and chat for a bit, and then we headed up to the room to get organized. I finally came up with the full ensemble to handle the weather forecast. Temps and rain were OK for shorts but I needed sleeves and gloves for the top as well as a hat and my really good Brooks running socks. Watching the weather forecast was depressing, but I had a talk with my husband, and thought lots about it and realized, first of all - the forecast wasn't ACTUALLY that bad - despite the weather folks going for the drama - EPIC conditions for the Boston marathon. I looked at it more rationally. The rain was not to start until after we had started, and 47F is a perfect running temp. The worst factor would be the wind, and it would be constant the whole race, but amongst the crowds, it really didn't bother me that much. I certainly got long breaks from it. Even the rain would taper off for extend periods, then come back in a downpour. Still rain rarely bothers me running. It's by far not the worst conditions I have run in.

Now off to bed for hopefully some good rest. It actually was a good rest! I slept pretty well, and we didn't have to rush to get up because my bus was not leaving the common until after 8:30. We were able to laze and relax with a coffee and our breakfast of PB and banana sandwiches. I had decided with the weather to leave the fuel belt at home and just take my spibelt for gel and rely on my handheld throwaway and aid stations for hydration. I kept my gels in the spibelt. I also decided to leave the phone, since I really had no place to put it, and I didn't want it to get soggy. This decision would come back to haunt me later!

DH walked me to the common, and I got on a bus quite quickly! I was sitting with a couple from England, and we had a lovely chat that made the ride go by quickly! Once at the Athletes village, I found a porto potty and then headed to the tent where volunteers were serving coffee, bagels, bananas, and water. The overwhelming theme of the rest of this report will be the volunteers. They were actually walking around the AV with trays of coffee and water! I was only ensconced in this area for a short period of time (at least it seemed like that), before heading to the start in a very gentle drizzle. I kept on the throw aways as long as possible! When we got to the start I saw that the porto potties were quite empty so I made for a quick visit. Quick it needed to be because by the time I walk/ran to my coral, there was less than a minute to the start.

The first 10K I felt great and was not bothered by the weather at all. I had my throw away bottle, so I could zoom through the aid stations. I only had to start using the aid stations from 15K or so on. The crowds were awesome, but I have to say probably lighter than the last time I did this - most probably given the weather and the fact that we were wave 4. Through the main portions of the towns though, they were still fierce! I was noticing so many more things that I didn't the last time too! Landmarks, stores, crowds, course twists and turns (even though there are not many of those). So I was basically sailing through the first part, and hit the half at 2:04. I was cool with that! I still thought I had a shot at 4:15, which I would be ecstatic with! But those hills loomed. I really just wanted to get there and get them over with. First I had to make it through the scream tunnel in Wellesley though! It was good and loud, but not comparable to the last time I did this. The rain was coming down pretty hard at this point. Still it wasn't bothering me!

Finally we arrived in Newton, and I was totally ready to tackle those hills. I took a few seconds break before them to take a gel and some fluids at an aid station. Off I went! The first one was no problem, but clearly I was not keeping the same pace as the early miles. What I had forgotten was the distance between the hills too! It seemed quite a while before we hit hill number 2. Up and over! On the bottom of the downhill of hill 2 I saw a vacant porto potty and had to make a quick decision. I ducked in for a quick pee break. Good choice because it made the rest of the race far more comfortable. Next - up hill 3, and down. Then it seemed forever before we reached heartbreak hill! Finally we did though, and I charged up it! I was so happy to reach the top that I actually picked up my pace for a while. At this point I was just trying to run smoothly and comfortably.

Those crazy frat boys at BC kept me going too!

It always seems that at this point in a marathon, with about 8K left, I use landmarks to keep me going. Things like stop lights, lamp posts. I just keep running from one to the next! I also have a silly habit of counting my steps when I get tired. It works for me though! It keeps me on pace though, and by the time I've gotten to 100, I'm almost half a K further down the road!

Before long I could see the Citgo sign in the hazy distance. It was raining pretty hard, and my quads were feeling the cold. That darn sign looks so close, but is so far away! But between the great crowds, and me counting steps it wasn't long before I passed Fenway Park and entered Kenmore Square. The crowds here were absolutely deafening. In fact the whole last mile, my senses were overwhelmed with the sights and sounds of the crowds.

With less than a mile to go, it was under Mass ave, Right off Commonwealth to Hereford, and left on Boylston! Ughh... That last 600 meters is so long, but incredible! I just let her rip and ran as fast as I could. This year, because I was a little faster, I was with I huge group of finishers, but I heard them call my name out!!! I looked at my garmin and saw 4:17 and I was happy as can be! I ran strong and happy the whole way. Nothing even close to a bonk!

I was so happy I was joking with, and thanking the volunteers. There were so many of them out working in the miserable weather (and it was terrible at this point). I ran down the line of medal givers, and high fived a bunch of them. I told them I was glad I was running and not doing what they were! It's easier!

The volunteers must be meticulously trained though, because the attention to the little details was incredible. Things like the volunteer that loosened the lid to my water bottle before giving it to me. The volunteer that peeled the top of my banana before giving it to me. The volunteer that helped me with my heat blanket when it was blowing all around me.

At this point, I just wanted to get inside into a hot shower though. My hotel, which was very close, was cut off by security, so I had to walk all the way a block around. Ughh.... Then when I got to the hotel, the lobby was a zoo, and it took me 10 minutes to get an elevator to my room. Only to find my DH was not there! WTF? I didn't have a room key (long story) or phone. He is hearing impaired so I though it was possible he just didn't hear. That meant going back down to the lobby and hoping they would give me a key card. They did. After another long wait for the elevator, I got into the room. Nope. He wasn't there. Huh? Where is he? I went back down to check the lobby. I can't see him amongst the masses. I was freezing, so the only choice I had was to go back up to the room and try to call him. No answer. Sheez... I'm actually starting to panic.

I had to get into the shower and into dry clothes before I did anything else though. Luckily, by the time I was out of the shower, he was back. Apparently he wanted to surprise me at the finish. It didn't work. I missed him and he miss me. I kind of told him that you couldn't really do surprises at the Boston Marathon. You sort of had to plan. Anyway. We were both safe and sound and ready for a nice relaxing meal. The bar in the hotel had cleared out quite a bit by this point, so it was very nice. If the weather had been better, we would have gone out, but especially at the end of the day, it was miserable.

An early travel day meant an early evening, but I was fine with that. We were both exhausted. A good exhausted though.

Random thoughts:

Despite the weather, I got such a better feel for the course - mostly because I was running it instead of walking looking for the next aid station!

Not to sound well.... cocky or anything, but I had at least 3 people come up behind me and tell me I had amazing legs, and at least three others telling me the were going to get a tattoo like mine :lol: :lol:

I am beyond proud to have done this race twice, and I love it like crazy, but I'm really thinking I don't have the mental left to work hard enough to qualify again. I'm really OK with that. At this point I don't even know when I'll do another marathon. Not this year for sure, but I've gone from saying no to another one to ... well maybe... So you know how that goes.

The inspiring sights you see in this race are incredible! Blind runners, amputees, I even saw one older man with a walker being helped up heartbreak hill backwards. Wow!

Thanks for letting me share my journey and joining in the KenB vs LisaP shallonge! That turned out to be as much fun as I wanted it to be!
Last edited by purdy65 on Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
It's not the size of the dog in the fight...it's the size of the fight in the dog! 11K Marker post - 2010 ATB.

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Re: Lisa P's Boston report - A Wet One on Boylston

Postby n_fraser » Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:48 pm

I loved reading this!! You are amazing.

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Re: Lisa P's Boston report - A Wet One on Boylston

Postby Spirit Unleashed » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:16 pm

Wonderful story, thank you
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Re: Lisa P's Boston report - A Wet One on Boylston

Postby Habs4ever » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:19 pm

What a great report! You are such a consistently strong runner. I had no doubt you would be nothing short of amazing!
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Re: Lisa P's Boston report - A Wet One on Boylston

Postby 5km » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:30 pm

Thanks for the great report. I really enjoyed reading it.

Congratulations on your excellent race!

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Re: Lisa P's Boston report - A Wet One on Boylston

Postby jes » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:57 pm

Just wonderful Lisa!! You sure done good :D Thanks for describing the course and the race in such great detail - awesome for those of us still trying to get there!
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Re: Lisa P's Boston report - A Wet One on Boylston

Postby HCcD » Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:04 pm

Congrats on another marathon, Lisa.. Boston at that !! :)

As have been said man times before ... There will be another ... Ha!!!! It is in your in blood ...

And, yes, I will be keeping an eye on which marathons you all be registering in n the future, as with Sylvie .. Ha!!
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Re: Lisa P's Boston report - A Wet One on Boylston

Postby grimskot » Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:14 pm

Congratulations on finishing another marathon. Boston, no less! Awesome :D
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Re: Lisa P's Boston report - A Wet One on Boylston

Postby RobW » Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:03 am

Well done Lisa! It was fun following your journey to your second Boston marathon. It's always enjoyable to read. Looking forward to reading about your next marathon. :wink:

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Re: Lisa P's Boston report - A Wet One on Boylston

Postby RA. » Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:55 am

Fantastic report, Lisa! Thanks for sharing it. :D
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Re: Lisa P's Boston report - A Wet One on Boylston

Postby Robinandamelia » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:44 am

Great race report Lisa. Sounds like you had a fun weekend topped off with a great race. Was fun tracking you, your pacing was great! I had the same problem last year getting back to my hotel. Because of security I had to walk down and around and it took at least 20 minutes...It was brutal. I'm glad hubby and you reconnected too! Congrats on a great Boston and so glad you had fun!

Awesome :)

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Re: Lisa P's Boston report - A Wet One on Boylston

Postby scrumhalfgirl » Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:48 am

Awesome! What a great report! Congratulations!
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Re: Lisa P's Boston report - A Wet One on Boylston

Postby Jwolf » Wed Apr 22, 2015 2:46 pm

Fantastic report, Lisa. Nice to see you get so much out of the whole Boston experience. :)
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Re: Lisa P's Boston report - A Wet One on Boylston

Postby chunkymonkeymelonhed » Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:51 pm

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!!

Reading this awesome report makes me want to achieve my BQ more than ever! You are an inspiration Lisa :dance:
On the books for 2017:
50th Birthday!!
Boston Marathon- April 17th what a day- DREAM COME TRUE :dance:
Run for Water 10K- May 28th
Scotia Half - June 25th
Trail River Run half marathon- Sept. 30- CANCELLED
MEC 10K Race 10- Nov. 5

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Lisa P's Boston report - A Wet One on Boylston

Postby purdy65 » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:29 pm

Thanks Cheryl!

A photo or 2 :)

Image

Image

I hope these post ok on tapatalk
It's not the size of the dog in the fight...it's the size of the fight in the dog! 11K Marker post - 2010 ATB.

Introducing 2017

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Re: Lisa P's Boston report - A Wet One on Boylston

Postby Robinandamelia » Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:53 am

Love the pics! Your hands look huge with those gloves on :)

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Re: Lisa P's Boston report - A Wet One on Boylston

Postby purdy65 » Thu Apr 23, 2015 11:26 am

Robinandamelia wrote:Love the pics! Your hands look huge with those gloves on :)


So cold they were double gloves! :lol: :lol:
It's not the size of the dog in the fight...it's the size of the fight in the dog! 11K Marker post - 2010 ATB.

Introducing 2017

GoodLife Half Marathon.
TBD

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Re: Lisa P's Boston report - A Wet One on Boylston

Postby Habs4ever » Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:06 pm

Great pics!
I wanna live like there's no tomorrow
Love, like I'm on borrowed time
It's good to be alive, yeah....Jason Gray

Running is a conversation with your body. Sometimes you listen and sometimes you tell it to stop whining and do something. - Ian

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Re: Lisa P's Boston report - A Wet One on Boylston

Postby temporun » Sat Apr 25, 2015 1:03 am

I enjoyed reading the report, great job !

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Re: Lisa P's Boston report - A Wet One on Boylston

Postby chunkymonkeymelonhed » Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:50 pm

This report has an entire new level of meaning for me now.
Lisa, you are a rock star.
On the books for 2017:
50th Birthday!!
Boston Marathon- April 17th what a day- DREAM COME TRUE :dance:
Run for Water 10K- May 28th
Scotia Half - June 25th
Trail River Run half marathon- Sept. 30- CANCELLED
MEC 10K Race 10- Nov. 5


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