Boston Marathon 2018, an adventure to remember for a lifetime. A special memory with my soulmate and and according to a summary from a news anchor – “not a race, but an epic test of wills in frigid temps.” A friend of mine shared that statement with me, and it pretty much hit the nail on the head.
The conditions for the race couldn’t have been worse. They say it was the worst in 30 years. Just my luck right? And coming off running the Crown King 50k three weeks earlier I hadn’t gotten much road running in, so I knew I was in for a tough run.
But I looked at it as an adventure. The worse the conditions the better the story right?
From the start I looked like a maniac covered in trash bags to keep the heat in and rain off me. Mainly my head and my core.
The bus ride to the start was just over an hour, but I was glad. Less time sitting in the cold rain and wind.
Charlie started about 40 minutes before me so I had to say goodbye to him and hang out in the tent by myself. I was just thankful there was a tent to keep the rain off me for a while. Still cold, but tons of people in there kept it a little warmer than I’d expected.
Usually on my trail runs, I encounter mountains. Climbing steep slopes, rocks and things like that. But here in Boston on Marathon Monday, the mountain was the weather. I had to tap into the ultra runner in me and square off with Mother Nature.
At the start, a funny thing happened, I didn’t realize I’d crossed the start line. **DUH**
I was a little confused on the waves vs corrals, thinking, “Oh, wave three is next, I’m wave seven, so I have time.” But… I was wave three, corral seven, which meant, when wave three started, we all started.
Sooo….I stepped over the start line, then stopped and spent about six or so minutes taking off most of my six layers.
The first 10k was pretty fast. I had to keep my pace for sure, slowing myself down a few times. Lots of people around me, too, which is strange for me since I’m usually out on the trails alone or with a couple of people. Not thousands.
One thing I’m really sad about was that I didn’t get to take pictures and videos like I’d hoped. Just too stinking wet. And my fingers were so cold, I couldn’t use them very well. So, I just hunkered down and ran.
I’d kept hearing about the Newton Hills and Heartbreak Hill. Wasn’t too worried about them since I’d just climbed 6500 feet in Crown King, but they were on my radar.
Or at least I thought. I got to the top of a hill and saw I sign that read, “You made it up heartbreak hill!”
I was like, “Really?” But I was glad. Because now it was “downhill” except a few minor inclines. I started thinking, “Wow, this might be over soon.” And boy was I ready. The wind had me leaning forward several times. And the fat drops of rain stinging my skin…Jeepers! I’d never run in conditions so horrible.
Heat, yes. But this cold, rain, and wind…that’s a whole ‘nother beast. One I hope to NOT face again any time soon. LOL.
As far as figuring out what to wear for the race: Predicted 30 degree weather, rain, sleet, and wind, I stuck to my original clothing: Shorts and a tank with arm warmers. I did change to the tall compression socks, just to get more coverage. But as I thought more about it, I did end up wrapping a trash bag over my head, then putting my trusty Trail Sisters cap over it to keep it in place. I’m really glad I did that. Kept the heat it and water out. Keeping that noggin warm is key!
I had another trash bag over my core, tight at the waist kind of like a skirt while I was waiting. But I ended up keeping that on the entire race. I’m glad I decided to that. I think it really helped.
Overall, I was a little cold, but never started shivering during the race, which I was thankful for. Once you start shivering, it’s hard to come back from that.
Now that it’s done, I probably would have worn a T-shirt instead of a tank, worn a poncho over that, and also worn those plastic gloves (the ones you wash dishes with).
Back to the race:
When I hit mile 24, I was about done. Felt very heavy and tired. My legs and toes were pretty much frozen, and that was a good thing, actually, because I could tell they were tightening up. They felt heavy, but I just kept telling myself, “Almost there. I’ve come this far. This is for you, Mary Sue.”
Quite a few times during the race I glanced down at my shoes and smiled. You all were such an encouragement to me. Not just the names written on the shoes, but the fact that you came along side me and supported me this past year while I was running for Mary Sue. It was such an honor.
The last mile….. This was when I really wished I could have had my phone out to record this. It was raining pretty hard, but the crowds still lined the streets. Sure, they weren’t ten deep like normal, but still four or five people deep, both sides. The Boston Fans are amazing.
They energized my tired muscles, carrying me that entire last mile. Tears stung my eyes. I could see the finish, hear the loudspeaker. Goosebumps covered my skin, and not because I was freezing—which I was—but from the encouragement and support these guys were giving the runners.
The police, volunteers, and fans, facing the elements to give us an amazing experience. I can’t put into words how amazing that was.
Crossing the finish line, there was a girl beside me. She was alone, looking around. So was I, since Charlie had already finished and I couldn’t find him. So I patted her on the back and said good job. Then the tears came. She was just so happy! I had to give her a hug and we enjoyed the finish together.
I never did get her name. But it didn’t matter. We’d done it. We’d finished the Boston Marathon in some of the most grueling weather in 30 years.
Oh, and then to find the hotel? I was shivering so badly I couldn’t hardly talk. And, I forgot the name of my hotel.
I was so done. LOL!
The hotel was a block or so from the finish, I just didn’t know which direction. HA! So, I wandered, kept asking people where the Copley Plaza Hotel was, and I eventually made it.
Charlie was in the lobby waiting for me. He got me to the room and I pretty much went right into the shower to try and warm up.
I was shivering pretty violently. It started about two minutes after the finish….And I still couldn’t feel my feet. So, I slowly warmed up and rested. Then it was off to Max Brenner for an adult beverage, burger, and chocolate!!
We were able to meet up with several other runners, a mix of Cadence athletes and friends. It was a perfect end to an adventurous day!
In the end, we raised more than $4,000.00 for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, and that makes all this worth while. I appreciate all your encouragement and support through all my adventures this past year. Running up Pikes Peak, Cave Creek Thriller 50k, the Crown King Scramble 50k and now this Boston Marathon. You guys are awesome!
A huge thank you to the following people/companies for supporting my adventures and some directly involved in helping me raise money for the #IRun4MarySue.