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Boston Marathon 2022 - Chasing the Unicorn


ocrunnergirl

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Going into Boston I was super nervous about 2 weeks ahead of time. People were setting up trackers and asking me about race plans. Some were making their own predictions.

I have never felt so unsure of my marathon training. I was never able to hit 50 miles per week. I hit 40 twice, but quite frankly I had lots of weeks in the 30s. This is not to say that I wasn’t feeling fit because I killed myself subbing in CrossFit, swimming and cycling for the running miles that I felt would lead to injury.

About 2 days before Boston I decided to just let all the worry go. I couldn’t do anything about it. I would either have it on race day or not. I felt incredibly peaceful with that mindset. Weird for me.

I drove up to Boston on Sunday morning. My cheer squad of Cathy and Nicole were on their way as well. Cathy was driving up from Conneticut and we actually ended up on route 91 at the same time! She saw my yellow Jeep and texted me to get out of the left hand lane. I called her and we ended up talking and driving side by side for the next hour and a half through snow squalls…

Cathy came with me to the expo. I decided against buying a Boston jacket - didn’t love the lavender on the ladies and all that was left in men’s were too big. (spoiler alert: I bought one online that night). We sampled the Sam Adams 26.2. Cathy saw a few of the iFIT trainers who were running the marathon. She was totally fan-girling.

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When Nicole arrived we went to Yards Brewing for dinner. It had the most taps that I have ever seen!!

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When we got back to my AirBnB I set out my stuff for the next morning and had a somewhat decent nights sleep.

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Cathy and Nicole arrived the next morning and took me to the buses for the long ride out to the start. They are totally the best and just made everything so easy. The bus ride out to Hopkinton was nice and smooth. I was messaging Carissa and Roger hoping I could see them before they started. In a sea of 30,000 runners it took me less than 3 minutes to find them with Carissa’s stellar directions.

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After they headed off I got in line for the port-a-potties. I had enough time to use the POP, ditch my warm up clothes and shove the granola bar with peanut butter into my mouth. With a start time of 10:50 I was so confused on how to fuel beforehand because I’d be running through lunch.

The march out to the start line was a little over a half mile. It was a little unsettling seeing snipers on top of a nearby roof.

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Before I knew it we were off….like seriously “Oh! There’s the start line!”

I just let my feet carry me. The first part of the race is seriously downhill so tried not to brake and blow up my quads. It was congested though.

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The weather was interesting. I wasn’t sure how to dress and in the end I think my choice of capris, tank and windbreaker was perfect. The first few miles I was hot! I thought the jacket was a huge mistake. I planned on handing it off to Cathy and Nicole when I saw them on the course.

Miles 1-5: 8:57, 8:26, 8:19, 8:10, 8:26

At mile 6 my stupid GI tract let me know a pit stop was needed.  Mile 6 - 9:33.

I hoped that I was going to be good for the rest of the race. I was alternating water and Gatorade every mile. I took a Gu at mile 4.5, 9, 13.5 and 17.5. I did my run walk strategy of run ~ .7 miles/walk 30 seconds (yes, the whole way).

I was feeling really strong. The miles were clicking by. Mile 7-8 were an 8:11 and 8:56.

At mile 9 my f’n GI tract was in need of attention again!! Ugh! 10:46. 

I saw Cathy and Nicole for the first time at mile 11. It was amazing!! They were cheering their heads off. My stomach was still iffy so I gave them a shrug to say I’m not sure I’m going to be able to hold on, but I wasn’t going to give up.

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Mile 11-13 were 8:31, 9:13, 8:36.

As I passed through the half way point I saw I was several minutes under 2 hours. I was pumped because I was starting to feel better. (In 2017 I remember how I felt at the halfway point (awful) and I knew I was having a much better day…even with the GI issues.

Miles 14 -16 were 8:53, 8:36 and 8:31.

Now start the hills. There are 4 of them. With my run/walk strategy I tried to only take walks on the uphills. If you’ve run Boston you know you are either going up or down. There is hardly anything flat. I gave myself permission in the hill section to take a little longer walk breaks if necessary. The 1st hill hardly fazed me. Mile 17 - 9:15

I saw Cathy and Nicole here. Again I gave them another shrug to say “I have no idea what’s going on, but I’m still feeling good!” 

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The dream team:

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At mile 18 I sadly needed another pit stop- yup, we are at 3 now. 10:26

My feet were hurting at this point and my stomach was cramping. It was ugly but my feet kept moving. Mile 19-20 - 8:35 & 9:19.

When I hit Heartbreak Hill I’ll admit it — it did kind of break my heart. It was so long, but I knew I just had to get over it and then the course would level out a bit. Mile 21 - 10:05.

With the hills behind me I set my sights on getting to the Citgo sign. I passed by the college guys handing out the beer. In my mind I thought “not this year boys. I’m on a mission.” Mile 22-23 — 9:04, 8:53

CITGO!!

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By mile 24 I am not going to lie the bottoms of my feet were screaming and my body just wanted to stop. I saw a lady who was listing to one side. I couldn’t believe that she was still running. I heard someone scream my name around mile 24/25. Turns out it was Jen.M.Yee!! Mile 24-25 -9:27, 9:15.

I kept looking for the right on Hereford. I knew when I saw that I would be so close! It took forever to come! Suddenly it was there!

Right on Hereford and then a left on Boylston!! I was so grateful to see the finish line!! Cathy and Nicole managed to spot me again!!

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Mile 26 9:36 and the last .47 8:51.

Final time of 3:58:58! Sub 4! I was so happy!!

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If you are wondering how much time I lost in the POP it looks to be about 6 minutes according to Strava. Ugh.

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Immediately passing through the finish line I could barely walk! My feet were on fire. My hips didn’t want to bend. I stopped to stretch and told them EMT if I couldn’t get back up to just yank me up. It was a serious concern.

I shuffled through the medal, food and heat sheet lines. It seemed to take me forever to get to the family meet up area. It was hard to believe that I could go from running 8 and 9 minute miles to barely being able to walk.

The wind was whipping all around.

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Nicole helped me put on my sweats. As she was helping me with my sweatpants my foot started to cramp. Later that night my hamstring went into a series of cramps at dinner and when I bent over to pick something up my left hip seized up. It was kind of hilarious. I have never cursed so much.

Cathy headed home immediately after the race. Seriously the best friends you could ever have. Nicole and I met my son and his wife for dinner.

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After that Nicole and I went to the 27th Mile party at Fenway and then to Yards Brewery.

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In the morning we recovered with some donuts and went for a walk around Boston Commons.

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Before heading out we stopped at Harpoon Brewery for one last celebration.

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Did I mention my time is a BQ - 6? Same time next year? ….maybe. Only if I can train better. So.much.pain!

Edited by ocrunnergirl

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What a wild ride! You look great in all those pics, though. THRE CODE ABBYS? That's nuts.

Sorry I missed you with everything else going on. DS really smoked the course and we were scrambling all morning, trying to keep up with him. Maybe this ITB will heal and I can join you next year.

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1 hour ago, Dave said:

What a wild ride! You look great in all those pics, though. THRE CODE ABBYS? That's nuts.

Sorry I missed you with everything else going on. DS really smoked the course and we were scrambling all morning, trying to keep up with him. Maybe this ITB will heal and I can join you next year.

Yep, it was crazy. I’m super happy but if my stomach had cooperated it would have really been perfect.

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13 hours ago, Cliff said:

Congrats!

Did you see Tommy Rivers?

I didn't see him but Cathy may have. We saw Knox at the expo.

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Awesome!  Congrats!  Sorry about the code Abby, but hey - still a BQ! You look better in the pics than most people do during a marathon!

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On 4/22/2022 at 12:50 PM, Slow_Running said:

Awesome!  Congrats!  Sorry about the code Abby, but hey - still a BQ! You look better in the pics than most people do during a marathon!

Thanks, John! I'm hoping to never get another PR of Code Abbies again.

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