I finally got all my pictures from the Boston Marathon! The Marathonfoto link was emailed the day of the race but I wasn’t able to download them. After a few phone calls, I finally got it sorted out. And I think it’s fitting that this post goes up exactly one month from the day that I ran the race!
These pictures crack me up – my outfit is ridiculous and they’re so fuzzy and blurry from the rain. Major kudos to the photographers who went out there in the crazy conditions – 35 degrees, 30-50mph winds and pouring rain – with their nice cameras to take pictures. It’s amazing they got any pictures at all. I’m especially grateful for the race photos since I don’t have a single photo after the race since it was so cold and raining so hard when I finished that as soon as I found Tommy and my mom, we got to the nearest train station to get back to our hotel. But more on that below. Let’s start from the beginning!
converAfter I left Athlete’s Village to go to my corral, I only had about 2 minutes before the race started. I wish I’d had a little more time in my corral to look around, but it also prevented me from overthinking what was about to happen. I quickly stripped down, taking off my poncho, sweats and the bags on my feet, to get ready to race.
At the last minute, I decided to keep my beanie on since I thought it might keep me a little warmer even though it was already soaking wet. I turned on my earbuds and tucked them into my shorts so I could easily grab them when I wanted them. (Good tip from my friend Deveree!)
I had read multiple Boston Marathon course descriptions, and everything indicated the the first mile was a very steep downhill and to not go out too hard. I reined in my pace so I wouldn’t blow my race in the first mile but it wasn’t nearly as steep as I was expecting. It seemed rolling to me, but I guess when you mentally prepare for the worst, it can’t be that bad!
My first mile was a little bit slower than I wanted (8:03), but not too far off from my goal. I wanted the first 3 miles to be around 7:45 so I could make sure I wasn’t wrecking my quads. So I think I over-corrected my pace in an attempt to not go out too hard, but hey, there are worse things I could have done at the beginning! My next two mile splits were both 7:34, so I clearly started to relax a bit.
At mile 4, there was a pretty steep hill but race adrenaline got me up that, no problem. That, and all the training I had done on hills!!
I don’t have any comparison for the crowd support since this was my first year, but I was really impressed by the number of people who were out given the conditions. I ended up turning on my music by about mile 2 mostly to drown out the wind and the sound of runner’s ponchos, which were whipping and slapping all around me. MANY people ran with their ponchos for the entire race, and some ran with blankets around them, holding them in front to their bodies. I can’t imagine.
While I wasn’t planning to use my music until much later in the race so I could soak in the experience (no pun intended), the conditions were so rough that I wanted something to help distract me. I turned on my favorite running playlist and was instantly calmed by the familiar songs. The music took me back to my 20 mile training runs I had run in the wind and rain successfully and it gave me confidence I’d be fine in the race.
These miles are kind of a blur. I remember more rolling hills and some cute little towns. Again, I was impressed by the people who were out between the towns and super happy about the bigger crowds in the towns. I can’t remember which town I was in (somewhere around mile 7 maybe?), but there were two girls on the side of the road who cheered for me and called my name and I WAS SO FLIPPING HAPPY. If you’re reading this, THANK YOU!! It meant so much to me to feel like I had friends out there. I’m tearing up just thinking about how I felt when y’all cheered for me.
My pace on these miles hovered around 7:30-7:45 – perfect.
These miles started to feel lonely. There weren’t a lot of crowds out and the course flattened out, which I surprisingly didn’t like. I felt much more comfortable on the rolling hills and even on the uphills, probably because that’s what all my training terrain was like. The flat portions felt really long, and the wind and rain picked up significantly around this time so I couldn’t even take advantage of the easier terrain to pick up the pace.
Wellesley College was certainly the loudest crowd I’d gone through, but it wasn’t quite what I was expecting since I’d heard it was so loud it’s almost overwhelming. Regardless, I was grateful for all those girls out there in the rain with big smiles on their faces.
My pace on these miles was around 7:30 – 7:55.
Right after Wellesely, there was a very steep, long downhill I wasn’t expecting. It was a nice change on my legs after the flat portions though. Then came the hills. I’d heard the hill at mile 16, which goes up over the highway, was awful but I barely noticed it. I also barely noticed the first two Newton Hills; they were short and came around mile 17 and mile 19. But I definitely noticed the last hill — the infamous Heartbreak Hill — since it was just so long and I’d been climbing for a while.
The rain and wind got even worse at this point. And then my earbuds stopped working. But it was blessing to not have music suddenly because I was able to hear the cheers. I was able to hear one specific cheer, coming from one of my college friends, Brooke.
I don’t think we’ve seen each other since we graduated from BYU over 12 years ago. She messaged me before the race and told me she lived in Newton and would be out on Heartbreak Hill. I was so excited to know a friendly face would be there! I kept looking for her but figured she decided to skip spectating since the weather was just so awful. Then, all of a sudden, I heard “TeriLyn!!!” and saw her! It helped so much. And something about hearing “TeriLyn”, which is what most people from Utah call me (vs. “Teri”) warmed my heart so much.
Throughout this portion, my pace slowed to 7:40 – 8:10. I was definitely starting to feel fatigue and the hills were tough. But, more than anything, the wind and rain are what stand out in my mind. It seemed to be getting worse and worse.
I’m so grateful that I intentionally trained on hills, both short and long, rolling and steep, since there wasn’t a hill that totally intimidated the crap out of me. I kept reminding myself, “You’ve been here before.” When I came to a new hill, I pictured a similar hill at home, remembered how many times I’d run it and reminded myself that I had the advantage of being tapered, well-fueled and had crowds to get me up and over it.
Oy. This stretch of the race destroyed me. So many people told me that after mile 21, “It’s all downhill from there. Pick up the pace!” Now I’m thinking that they meant that figuratively and not literally because it did not feel downhill – ha!
But, the course elevation profile is downhill for these miles. My legs felt pretty good, but the rain and wind continued to get worse. The headwind seemed the worst it had been once we got into the city, almost like being trapped in a wind tunnel. It blew so hard that I kept tripping because the wind was blowing my legs into each other. I started to get cold so I tossed my beanie, thinking it would help since it was obviously soaked, but that made me even colder.
I think what I also struggled with is that I fully expected there to be a LOT of crowds from Heartbreak Hill until the end. But it felt so empty from mile 21 until mile 24 – or maybe I was too delirious to notice the crowds?? The weather was truly TERRIBLE at this point with heavy, heavy rain and ridiculous wind.
I started fiddling with my earbuds, trying to get them to work again. When I couldn’t, I tried to put them in my shorts pocket, but my hands were so cold that I dropped them. I knew it would be rough to get going again if I stopped to get them, so I thanked my bluetooth earbuds for all they did for me in training and left those $100 suckers on the road. Oof. They had been crapping out sporadically anyway. But man, it was rough to lose them at that point when I really could have used the boost of music.
At mile 25, we went under a little bridge and then back up. That, for sure, felt like the hardest hill of the race. 🙂 But then, it was the final stretch.
My pace in this section of the race had slowed to 7:50 – 8:15 minute miles.
I was looking for Tommy and my mom like crazy when I turned right onto Hereford. We had planned the day before for them to look for me here. I wasn’t sure what side of the road they would be on, so I was scanning nonstop.
Are you my mother? 😉 (I loved that book as a kid!!!)
Unfortunately, I never saw them and they never saw me! I can’t believe it! We were so disappointed, but I was happy knowing they were out there supporting me! (I also felt terrible they stood in the rain for so long!)
I got so overwhelmed with emotion as a I ran the final stretch of the Boston Marathon. I thought about how wonderful the last year had been since I qualified. Getting engaged. Planning a wedding. Buying a house. Getting married. I just had so much to be grateful for, and I was overwhelmed with how blessed I am. I was also overwhelmed with excitement to be DONE running in those conditions.
It’s kind of hilarious to look at my splits now because I felt like I was running a 6 minute pace down Boylston. I just felt so grateful to be finishing, happy and healthy. But my watch shows that I ran my slowest split at mile 26 – 8:24 and the last 0.2, I ran a 7:46.
I had a huge smile on my face when I crossed the finish line, but apparently my mouth was so frozen that I couldn’t smile in any of the pictures. Ha!
The close-up cracks me up! I thought I was gonna be all cool and raise my arms in my photo like all the epic race photos you see (vs. my typical looking down to stop my watch pose). And it looks like I am just suffering so much. I can’t look at these without laughing; I love it so much because it really captures how I actually felt, inside and out. THANK GOD THAT’S DONE!
I wanted to hug the man who put the medal around my neck, and I would have given anything to rip into the Terra chips in my finish line food bag they were handing out. But uh, the rain would have immediately ruined the chips. I shuffled through the finish shoot, getting my picture taken along the way. My frozen smile just kept getting better and better. 😉
Next I headed to get my gear bag I had dropped that morning. Once I got my bag, I popped into the next tent over which was empty since that wave was finishing after me. There were two other women changing in there, and I ducked back into the corner with them to change as well. I knew I needed to get my wet clothes off ASAP since I’m prone to hypothermia if I stay in wet clothes even in hot temperatures, let alone those conditions.
It was so hard to get my wet clothes off, but putting on dry clothes and shoes felt AMAZING. I wish I’d packed more clothes for the finish line, including an extra poncho, because I was cold and soaked again by the time I found Tommy and my mom in the family meet up area. We walked to the closest train station to try to get back to the hotel. I grabbed Dunkin Donuts while my mom and Tommy bought their tickets. (Marathoners ride for free on race day.) Coffee has NEVER tasted so good.
We got back to the hotel and finally took some pictures! We stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge and they had hot coffee and warm towels waiting at the entrance. And all their employees cheered whenever a runner walked in. 🙂
Once we got to our room, I took a long HOT shower. Then, I popped on my favorite PJ pants, grabbed a kombucha from the fridge and watched the race coverage on TV.
I also caught up on text messages and instagram messages. I had over 50 texts and over 100 instagram messages – people were SO incredibly thoughtful. It meant so much to me that so many people reached out to congratulate me and tell me they tracked me.
I also realized that it had been a long time since I’d finished and hadn’t posted anything because I had a number of texts and instagram messages asking if I was okay. I was SO touched by people’s concerns, and also felt terrible that I worried people. So I got a quick picture up on my stories!
|In Gender||1517/11604 (Female)|
|In Division||1290/5783 (F18-39 Age Group)|
Considering the conditions, I’m really happy with my time. It was a PR by a little over a minute, but I was hoping to run much faster. My training indicated that I had a 3:17 – 3:23 finish time in me. But hey, I’m still really happy with 3:27 and I learned a lot about how I could finish stronger.
That night, we got dinner at Terramia Ristorante in the North End. It was the coziest spot in Little Italy and we had a great table in the corner by the window.
I was in the BEST mood that night, after all the stress leading up to the race was gone. And the waiter could clearly tell I was celebrating and handed me a huge pour of red wine!
Tommy and my mom also deserved to celebrate their accomplishment. I honestly think standing out in the rain spectating would be MUCH worse. And they were out there ALL DAY. I don’t even know how to express gratitude for that kind of support.
After dinner and a chocolate torte dessert, we walked around a little bit and stumbled upon Bova’s Bakery. While I was too full to eat anything else that night, I knew some Italian goodies would be a perfect treat the next day. (I don’t have much of an appetite the day of a race, but the next day, it’s ON.)
I didn’t know I loved Italian cookies but, um, they’re my new favorite thing. And I Iove that they’re not too sweet. (OMG when I pulled the link up, I just realized I can order their cookies online!!! Probably needs to happen.)
And after the crazy weather for the race, we had a perfectly gorgeous night to walk around the city.
Thank you all SO MUCH for your encouraging comments, text, instagram messages, Facebook comments, everything leading up to the race. And thank you for following along and supporting me on race day. Thank you for checking on me and for all the congrats. I was blown away by how much people cared. (And thankfully I wasn’t literally blown away on the course. 😉 ) In all sincerity- thank you, thank you, thank you! It means more than you know.
And hey, I qualified for Boston again while running Boston. So I guess I get to do it all over again next year! 🙂