Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Run to Remember

This weekend I ran Boston’s Run to Remember half marathon. I was really hoping to break 2hrs, but as soon as I saw the weather forecast go above 90 degrees I knew that was not going to happen. Next best thing would be a PR and if that didn’t happen I would settle for just finishing and not dying in the heat.

Saturday, I went into the expo with a bunch of friends to get my bib number and to get lunch. We ate at this great little place on Newbury St. We just stumble upon it and what an amazing discovery! It’s called “Cafeteria”. Everything on their menu is organic, all natural, made from scratch. I had the grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup. Then we got dessert. They had a brownie Sunday and a cookie plate and we couldn’t decide which one to get so we got both. Both had homemade ice cream and fresh whipped cream on top. OH MY GOD, it was out of this world. It was so good, we went back for another helping after the race, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Sunday morning we drove into Boston, it was already 70 degrees at 7:00am! Not a good sign. I just kept telling myself, start slow, get comfortable, see how it goes and then if there’s still gas in the tank in the last 5K kick it up and finish strong. We all got separated when we parked so we tried to find everyone in the start corrals and it just didn’t happen.

At 8:00am the gun went off and we started the race. The first few miles went by incredibly fast. I was glad I had my fuel belt with me though because the water stops were few and far between. After winding through some of the downtown streets of Boston, the course dumps you out onto Memorial Drive (very fitting considering the race is held every Memorial Day weekend in memory of fallen Law Enforcement Officers). The course is mostly an out and back along Memorial drive. There is a little shade and usually a light breeze, but it’s so hot it doesn’t help much. Before I knew it, I reached the turn around a little after Mile 6. I hadn’t seen any of my friends, but I was maintaining a pretty decent pace, not record breaking, but not bad considering the heat. I kind of knew as the race went on even as I passed the halfway mark, the halfway point distance wise is NOT the same as the halfway point energy wise; I wasn’t feelin’ great. I’d be lucky to just finish the race.

In years past I have always bonked around the 9 mile mark on this race course, but this year as I ran by the 9 mile marker I felt pretty good. I even got a little boost of energy knowing that I hadn’t bonked yet and it didn’t feel like I would. The course leaves Memorial drive and winds its way back through Boston, around the common and over the Seaport Blvd. bridge to the finish in front of the World Trade Center. It’s just about 2 more miles, but it feels like an eternity because there are a lot of twists and turns and when you finally reach the Seaport you can see the finish, but it’s still about ¾ of a mile and it’s the LONGEST ¾ of a mile EVER! Your in the blazing sun and you just want it to be over and done and you have to keep running.

I did it. I finished, alive and standing, AND I even managed to squeak in just under my time from the previous year and PR’d. My GPS read 13.5 miles and I was exhausted and dehydrated. Just as I crossed the line the girl in front of me STOPPED right in her tracks and I collided with her sweaty nasty back and yelled at her, “DON’T STOP!” I friggin’ hate it when people do that. It wasn’t entirely her fault though. The finish chute was very poorly organized. There was only about 10ft. between the line and a sharp 90 degree turn into a dark, crowded, sweaty, stinky, air conditioned hallway. Going from 90 degrees and humid into air conditioning with no cool down walk while your heart is still racing IS NOT IDEAL. I almost passed out.

I made it out of the crowd and to an open space inside the Trade Center and tried to drink some water. I felt really sick to my stomach and light headed and I was crusty and dry and covered in salt so I knew I was severely dehydrated. I sat down and sipped my water and tried not to vomit. After a while I got up and walked around a little more trying to find some friends and in the chaos of the crowd I found two of my best friends ever….. Ben and Jerry!

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