Today I ran half marathon #5! The Boston’s Run to Remember, it’s in memory of all Massachusetts Law Enforcement Officers killed in the line of duty. It always falls on Memorial Day weekend. I ran this race for the first time last year and I really loved the course and the fact that it was close to home. After the race my husband suggested to make this race a yearly regular one. I thought that was a fantastic idea and here I was again today at the starting line of the Boston’s Run to Remember. I went into this race with no expectations, just wanted to finish in a decent time. I actually went into this race with the security of getting a “personal worst” half marathon time. In the last month, my running has been very sporadic. I had wanted to train hard but the marathon recovery, my pulled hamstring, my vacation to Italy, the very bad cold and the pollen allergy got in the way, and I didn’t quite get in as much training as I hoped. I haven’t done a tempo run or a couple double digit runs since the Boston Marathon, therefore I wasn’t sure what my legs and lungs were capable of at this point and I was hoping that I would be able to hang on.
Before a race I am usually very nervous but confident about my training, this time was different. For the first time since I started running,14 months ago, I wasn’t nervous at all but not so confident about my training. Thinking back to last year, when this race was my second half marathon ever, it was interesting to compare the different approaches I had for the two events. Last year, for the whole week before the half, the race was the only thing I had in mind, I planned way in advance what I was going to wear and prepared all my running gear the night before the race, I picked up my number the day before, and I didn’t sleep much the few days before the race. This time it was the total opposite. I didn’t think much about the race, I picked my running clothes the morning of the race, I got my number the morning of the race and slept pretty good throughout the night. I am not sure if the more relaxed attitude this time was due to the experience of having run a few races or to the fact that I wasn’t really into this race as I didn’t feel that prepared that I just winged it.
My friend Gina was doing this race too so we planned to meet at the starting line around 7 AM with our two boys, Matt and Dustin. When we met outside the WTC it was already hot and humid, the pollen was really high, and to top it off that morning I got my period that came with really bad cramps. I was really out of it, I felt like I was walking on clouds ha ha
The gun went off at 8 AM and we were off! Usually in races I start off too fast and it feels easy, this race was different. There were a lot of people around me and it was hard to get around people for the first mile or so. After the first mile I looked down at my Garmin and it said a 7:49 minute mile. I was a little shocked as I usually run more than a half minute faster than that. I found out later that over 5,200 people run this race. After the first mile and a half I was finally able to find my pace.
The course went from the Seaport in South Boston up to about Harvard and back. Much of the course was an out and back on Memorial Drive, and with a cooler temperature and less humidity, I would have enjoyed much more the phenomenal view of the Charles River. I remember perfectly in mile 6 or 7 feeling getting warmer as the sun would come out of the clouds, and it was making me really hot. Half way we turned around and after few minutes I saw Gina coming from the opposite direction. She looked hot too. We waved to each other and I just kept on going trying to hold the same effort. I was going at a pretty decent pace and I was pretty happy with where I was at. At mile 11 i started getting tired, thirsty and I really wanted to be done with the race. The heat was taking a bunch of my energy and beside the first mile, mile 12 was my slowest mile of the race, but I pushed away any negative thoughts I had and replaced them with positive ones. I just told myself to keep pushing, after all I was only a couple miles away to see Dustin and to get rewarded with a fun afternoon.
FINALLY we turned left into Seaport Boulevard and a man running next to me, who was clearly from out of town, asked me: “ Is there it?” I happily replied “ It is!” And in a more enthusiastic tone of voice he said: “Let’s do it!” So, I picked up the pace and pushed it through to the finish line. We were .7 miles away from the finish line and it was fun seeing all the spectators cheering. Closer to the finish line I spotted Dustin getting ready with the camera, at that point I knew he saw me and I just focused on finishing strong. Dustin told me later that he never saw me in so much pain ha ha I usually smile and goof around when I see him, this time I was only able to deliver a shy smile for him before heading to the finish.
My official result was 1:37:49/7:28 avg pace. I placed 7th in my age group and came 223 overall out of 5227 runners.
Once across the finish line I got my metal and waited for Gina to finish so we could go meet the boys together. She also had a rough time out there with the warm temps and the humidity, so I was actually pretty happy with how i did, I gave the best I could give for today and that is the most important thing.
I hope everyone one had a great Memorial Day!