Guest post today from my mom! Here’s her take on marathon #3 and her close call with a BQ.
So I’ve been putting off writing this entry because it took me a while to process this race and to decide how I felt about the whole idea of trying to run 26.2 miles – with a challenging time goal in mind.
Not to repeat everything Nora already mentioned, but the weather, which started off cool and cloudy and in the fifties, eventually turned to hot, sunny and about 70. Not the best conditions for a marathon, but probably not the worst.
And yes, the course was a bit strange and congested in parts but there were some pretty areas, too. Anyway, this was a strange marathon for me, even from the start. I’m not sure I was as comfortable early on as I had been at the Bay State Marathon. If I didn’t start out quite as slow in those first few miles, as my “Big Blue Book…” recommended, I was also not hauling. I finished the first loop of the course, 13.1 miles, in 2:03, a 9:25 pace, which was only five seconds faster than my goal pace for BQing. But I didn’t feel great at this point, and I realized I was probably not going to be able to keep up this pace for the second half, which meant I would most certainly wind up with a time over 4:06 (I need a 4:10 or faster to qualify for Boston in my age group). Still, I kept running, even up the long hill we had to climb for the second time (I think about mile 16, given my splits for miles 16 and 17 are 9:43 and 9:45) As Nora mentioned the course was a bit odd, and in some areas there were cones, but it was still hard to figure out which way to go. The runners were few and far between at this point and I ended up going the wrong way for a bit before hearing someone yelling for me to make the right! I think I was hoping for a miracle so I kept running, walking just long enough to sip some water and suck down a GU. But I was not having fun, and like Nora, my feet felt terrible. At this point, I was trying to figure out how to tell Nora I would never run another marathon again!! I was also looking for that left turn that led to the finishing chute and finally saw it and ran as fast as my twitching muscles would allow!
I saw the clock was at 4:15 as I stepped over the mats, and I think I was surprised ( it was better than I expected considering how I felt) and disappointed at the same time – even though I knew I could not have run any harder. (Boy did it feel good to stop!!) I was handed a bottle of water and a finisher’s medal and then my phone rang. It was the EMTs telling me they had Nora in the medical tent. As you know from Nora’s post, everything turned out fine, and she was released after a few hours (and an IV) in the ER, and we eventually made it back to our room. After showers, we limped out for ice cream and lemonade, which really hit the spot.
So how to look at this race… Despite our PRs and age group awards, I did feel sad for several days… It was so much training and having come so close, I kept thinking that if it had been a bit cooler, things might have gone a bit differently. But then I went for a run Sunday morning with my friends from our running club. I don’t know if it was those endorphins, but I felt so much better. And I’ve been reading the wonderful book Nora gave me, First Ladies of Running, which is so inspirational.
And I realized that if anyone had told me back in 2012, when Nora and I were training for our first half marathon (it was a May race, so almost exactly 4 years ago!), that I would run a full marathon in 4:15:14 and come so close to a Boston Qualifying time, I think I would have called them insane. So I know it’s amazing how far we’ve come in! Of course, my husband now calls Nora and me insane, and I think we are. Because once we’ve recovered, (and learned how to pay better attention to our body’s distress signals, *cough Nora cough*) I think we will probably do it again. But not for a while. 🙂