Yes I ran a 5k the day before The Boston Marathon. But, here's why.
1) I love the race. I did it last year and was psyched that the race started/finished on The Boston Marathon Finish Line. Plus, last year they had chocolate chip bagels at the end - you had me there. :P (2012 Recap)
2) I needed to do a shakeout run the day before the marathon any way so why not get a medal for it. Right?
3) My BFF's birthday was Marathon Monday and I couldn't celebrate with her on the day of SO we I treated her to the 5k race as a birthday present.
After a fun Saturday morning run with Runner's World and a Saturday afternoon with friends and teammates, Sunday started with a 6:15 wakeup call. Sarah was to arrive at my house by 7am - and she is usually pretty prompt. Thankfully the wife was going to give us a ride in town and with road closures for the Marathon, we headed out just after 7am for the 8am start time.
Yeah, it took us about 10 minutes to get there so we were niiiice and early. :P Well, better than getting there late, right?
Being there so early meant we could mull around the Marathon Finish Area and snap some good pics.
Just stepping on that Line gave me goosebumps for the following day.
I wanted to just jump in a time machine and fast forward the 26 hours til start time.
Can you see the excitement in my face?
I am rocking my orange Pro Compression socks for the event.
We met a nice woman who was more than happy to take our pic. After grabbing this shot, she asked if she could get creative. She asked us to sit on the Finish Line and pose. I was game because I knew I wouldn't be able to do that the following day.
I can't believe now how much this picture now means to me after the explosions that followed the Boston Marathon.
It is a picture and a moment in time I will cherish forever.
Once we snapped some pics, the chill in the air started wearing on us so we had to get moving. There was still a good 30 minutes until the start of the race.
Why oh why do I make us get to races so early? ;)
But this did allow us plenty of time to people watch, hit the port-o-potties and get right where we wanted to in line.
Now, the other reason I needed Sarah there was to keep me on pace.
I have a hard time holding back - especially in a race - and Sarah is my voice of reason. The one that can get me to scale back.
Our goal was to run around 9ish min/mile pace. Much slower than my now normal 5k speed so it was going to be a mental exercise for me as well. Since we know I really needed to keep the energy for the following day - the BIG SHOW.
After a great rendition of the National Anthem it was time for the race to finally start.
I hit Start on the Garmin and it was go time.
And we immediately started out too fast.
We are just too darn speedy ... or so we told ourselves. ;)
But, we tailed it back to about a 9 min/mile pace.
It was comfortable. It was nice.
It was fun to just run with a friend and have a conversation without any sort of shortness of breathe.
Let me tell you when I started running back in 2005 and could barely handle a 12 min/mile pace - I never thought I would call 9 min/mile pace comfortable.
We were really able to enjoy the scenery and the time together.
Sarah is leaving me for Maine at the beginning of June so we are trying to make the most of our time together as we can.
As we ran along the Boston Commons and weaved ourselves through the streets of Boston, we noticed some pairings participating in a "Blindfold Challenge." One person wears a blindfold and their partner acts as their guide - it is an amazing concept.
But, as we took our left turn on to Boylston Street, we noticed a pair in front of us. Sarah and I looked at each other, locked eyes and at the same time made the comment that we couldn't let them beat us.
We had been great all race about keeping the pace down. BUT, we both decided that a little sprint at the end wouldn't hurt anyone. Right?
So we locked in and put in extra effort for the last 0.2 miles.
It was thrilling to run down Boylston Street and know that the following day it would be lined with fans and my family cheering me on. And when I crossed that same Finish Line the next day I would conquer the Boston Marathon - something I never thought possible when I topped the scales at 235 lbs.
We finished with a time of 27:35, which is a 8:54 min/mile pace. Again, a tad faster than we wanted BUT good for us.
My legs felt great afterwards and were ready for the next day.
I also got to FINALLY show off my Got Chocolate Milk Team Refuel singlet in an actual race. Doesn't it look good with my orange Pro Compression socks. :)
We grabbed our post-race goody bags (as you can see in the picture above), but where was my chocolate chip bagel?
There weren't any bagels post-race. You've gotta be kidding me. I had my little heart set on a post-run chocolate chip bagel. Ouch! Boo! Wahhh!
I picked up the pieces of my little broken heart and Sarah and I headed to the T stop to head home.
We met Tori and headed to Dunkin Donuts so I could at least have my Iced Coffee. I mean I do Run On Dunkin.
After Sarah headed home, it was time for a RELAXING afternoon.
Putting the legs up was my Number One Priority for the afternoon.
But, eating was also important ... so the wife and I headed out for a quick lunch before it was back to the couch.
Yup nerves were starting to kick in!
I wanted a good night of sleep so I laid out my outfit for the following day, took a couple Tylenol PM and was asleep by 7pm.
Ready to ROCK the Boston Marathon...