My Boston Marathon Race Recap

May 12, 2016

After the Athlete's banquet and the last minute trip to Target, I headed back to the hotel. I put on my temporary tattoos and I had my race outfit ready to go. I was so ready to run but I was also nervous. I tried to sleep but just like the night before any race I couldn't fall asleep. I slept a total of four hours that night. 

Lululemon Sculpt Tank// Adidas spanx// SpiBelt// Mizuno Wave Rider 19s

The next morning my dad and I walked to the metro station right across the street from the Citgo sign. When I took the picture I realized oh my gosh, in just a few hours I will be at this point and will only have one mile left of the marathon. The metro took us to the bus loading station where we were taken to Athlete's Village/start line. 

I looked like I was headed to jail with my matching outfit haha!

The bus ride took about 45 minutes to get to Hopkinton where I tried not thinking about how far it seemed and the fact I would be running that route alllllll the way back. 

My wave had to be at Athlete's Village by 8am and our start time was 10am. In Athlete's Village I ate a bagel and banana, kept hydrated and waited the two-ish hours until my wave was called to the start. I talked to others around me seeing how many people have run before and what everyone's goal was. My only goal was to finish and have fun. I didn't care if it took me over four hours to finish. I wanted to soak in all the runners and all the people cheering the whole 26.2 miles. 

Once it was time to go, my wave was called and we all walked the half mile distance to the start when I realized it was HOT. I borrowed some sunscreen and stripped off the jail outfit (see above photo). 

The first portion of the race was all downhill. I focused on conserving energy and running easy. My watch buzzed at mile one and showed my pace was sub 8 minute. I felt good so I slowed down and settled into a comfortable pace that I could keep the entire run. I didn't look at my watch the rest of the way.

By mile eight I felt blisters on my toes. I was hot, hungry, and already getting tired. This wasn't good as I had tons of miles left. I kept telling myself "I will enjoy every second of this because once I am done- I am done." I knew it would be over before I knew it. I was eating gels along the way every three miles but needed more food.

The crowds were amazing. There were people lining the streets the entire 26.2 miles which I have never experienced before. The fans made you feel like you were famous. When I would get tired, I ran over to the side and high-fived as many people as I could. Besides high-fives, the crowds gave out tons of beverages and snacks. I grabbed water, gatorade, popsicles, orange slices, and wet rags. Around mile 15-18 the photographers snapped this: 

This was one of the tougher marathons I have run- it was hot and hilly towards the end. However, it wasn't near as hard as my qualifier race. I kept a comfortable pace and walked through each water station. I took music but the volume was very low. I mainly listened to the cheers of the crowd but I liked having a little backup jam.

My parents split up so that I would look forward to seeing them at different miles. I missed my mom but did find my dad at one point as he was standing on a light post and waving his arms. I was enjoying the moment so much I didn't even realize where Heartbreak Hill was. I definitely felt rolling hills but the only way I knew it was Heartbreak Hill was because someone had a sign that said I made it to the top. Ha! 

At mile 23 I took my headphones off, gave more high-fives, and cruised the rest of the way. I saw the Boston Strong bridge. Before I knew it, I was turning right on Hereford and left on Boylston. I couldn't believe I made it.

I finished in 3:42:33.

Afterwards I got my medal and foil sheet thing. I waited for my parents to make it to the designated family waiting area. The finish area was a bit crazy (obviously) but there was food given out while I waited. Within a few minutes my parents found me and I was so excited to see them. We walked around a bit, got some frozen yogurt, then found the metro back to the hotel. I showered and got ready for a delicious burger dinner :)

Boston was the most amazing experience. I loved every second of that race (even the three blisters). The stress, the tears, the Austin Marathon that I didn't show up to, the lack of sleep, the days of not wanting to train- none of that mattered. I worked through the hardest semester and finished what I have always wanted to do.

I am a Boston Marathon finisher!!

Boston Marathon Expo + Athlete's Dinner

May 11, 2016

Sunday morning I slept in and then went downstairs to grab the hotel breakfast. It was actually pretty good food- oatmeal, fruit, yogurt, coffee and juice. I tried eating as much as I could that day but I was excited and had some pre-race nerves.

After breakfast it was time for the expo!! My dad and I took the metro everywhere during the weekend. We decided not to rent a car as it would be a lot of traffic and would be more of a hassle.
We walked to the metro which was across the street from the famous Citgo sign. For marathoners, the Citgo sign means one mile left of the race. The saying is "Citgo 1 mile to go."

The metro was so cool and convenient. I definitely recommend the metro over renting a car.

Ahh finally the expo!!

You can see the finish line in the distance ^^

The expo building was huge... but the expo ended up being really cramped. There were lots of booths and venders but the amount of people was overwhelming and distracting. Rather than being able to enjoy walking around the place I ended up being so overwhelmed I just wanted to leave.

I found the sign that had all the marathoners names on it and took my picture next to my name. Then saw a man with a marathon backpack and asked where he found it. I found my way to the Adidas entrance and looked everywhere for the backpack that was no longer there. The clerk said I could try the Adidas Run Base located across the street. I bought "Boston Strong" t-shirts for myself and sister's, found cute shoe charms that slide into shoelaces, and then couldn't wait to get away from the hundreds of people all cramped in that place. Next, I went over to the Run Base in search of the backpack.

Pictures from the Expo:

Got my bib number :) ^^
The race map ^^

The wall decorated in every single 30,000 participant's names ^^
Closer up finish line ^^

The Adidas Run Base was just as crazy as the expo with the line circling the entire store. By this time I was ready to give up on the backpack. He told me to keep searching and to ask someone but with how crazy it was I told him I would just try to order it online. It was a pretty sweet pack and I searched everywhere but couldn't find it. I told my dad I was ready to head back to the hotel for lunch (disappointed). He then asked a store clerk if there was any left. She led me around the store to each spot it would be at anddddd... no backpack. Then she checked the back anddddd.... brought out a handful of them. AHHHH yes I was so happy. I finally got that backpack that took way too much trouble finding but it was so worth it. I seriously carry it everywhere now. 

The race gave us a long sleeve Boston shirt, poster that also has each participants name on it, race car decal, temporary tattoos, and a beer opener. I bought the backpack, Boston Strong t-shirt, and the shoe charms. 

I saw a fellow marathoner on Instagram write on her shoes and loved the idea so I stole it ;)

After a crazy morning/afternoon I ate lunch and slept for an hour. That evening was the Athlete's dinner which I rode the metro to.

It was chilly that night as well which I ate super quick to get back to the warm hotel room. At around 9pm I realized I didn't pack any throw away clothes. A trip to the three story Target was required where I found a size small men's grey sweatpants. My other option was women's fashion pants which I don't know why Target didn't have any women's sweatpants? I put on my race tattoos and headed to bed where I literally got 4 hours of sleep because way too excited/nervous to sleep.

Up next... Race recap!!!

Getting Ready For Boston

May 9, 2016

Okay, finally I can recap my Boston Marathon weekend! Nursing school is out for the summer and I successfully finished my first year of nursing. Rewinding back to Boston though...

The week before Boston I had a ton of homework to do and the next week I had due 5 templates, a powerpoint to finish, clinical paperwork, and 5 chapters to read. I was so motivated to not have any homework while in Boston so I basically ran on caffeine with no naps even after 8 hour clinical days trying to finish everything before I flew out at 5am on that Saturday morning. It was an exhausting week but I was so excited!! 

On Friday afternoon before I left for the weekend, I packed my bags and then headed to the nail salon to get race day nails. I found a picture on Google of Boston themed nails and went to the salon asking for this certain look:

The next morning the alarm went off very early (4:30am ew) and I got dressed and ready for the airport. 

After a few hours, my parents and I arrived in Boston and we found a taxi to take us to our hotel. We stayed at the Residence Inn right across from Fenway Park. It was beautiful there! Apparently the week before was snowing but when we were there it was 50 degrees, sunny, and perfect. 

My dad said he booked whatever hotel was still open but we found out we had a great location for everything! The views from our hotel:

When we got there in the early afternoon I was pretty tired so I took a quick rest. After, we headed to the three story Target that was a couple blocks away. We grabbed some groceries there but most of our meals were covered. We had free breakfast at the hotel each morning, lunch was sandwiches, chips, and fruit we got at Target, and then dinner we either went out or had athlete's dinner.

Thanks to a tip from the hotel staff, my dad and I grabbed Regina's pizza for dinner (which was delicious). We walked around but it was pretty chilly and windy out so we headed in for bed.

I love this "welcome marathoners" sign at a random hotel we walked by :)

Stay tuned for the marathon expo!!
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