We arrived to the location with about 45min to spare before the start. Got a good half mile warm up in, did some stretching (while I went to get safety pins...) and then tried to find the shortest line possible for bathrooms. There wasn't one. Each of the three lines were at least 50 people long...we just didn't have that kind of time. Desperate times call for desperate measures, my friends. That's all I'm gonna say...
We made our way to the start corral, bid farewell and good luck to Kirsten and jumped into the crowd. There was about 3000 people doing the half marathon, another 400 doing the full marathon and another 600 doing the 10k. All crowded in at the start! The gun went off shortly after 10am and we were on our way! It's hard to contain excitement as you first take off but also in a distance race to remember to stay slow for the first few miles. We wanted to go faster but kept our pace between 10:00-10:15's for the first 4-5miles. We slowly started to gain speed as we progressed through the miles.
At mile 6 we got to see our friends who were waiting there for us. It is no small thing to get some encouragement along the way and I was SO excited to see them! We ran over and got some high-fives and continued along the way.
The course was very scenic and not too hilly...just enough to keep it interesting. The downhills are always the worst for me. I love powering up a hill but coming back down just hurts... And I noticed this particularly in my right knee. Around mile 8ish, it started to feel a bit sore. With only 5miles to go, I knew it would be okay but would hurt at the end (and for the next couple of days).
At mile 8.5 we consumed the Gu we brought along. It wouldn't seem like a gel substance with only 100 calories would do much for you...but honestly, it makes a huge difference and gives you the energy to make push through the final miles. Lauren even pushed the pace after taking her Gu and our mile 9 was completed in about 9:10!!
Mile 11 brought the biggest up-hill on the course. I learned that leaning into the hill just a bit will help in getting up while maintaining speed. So that's what I did. Passing people left and right. That is always a good feeling! I stayed focused on maintaining a good pace, at this point we were doing about 9:30's, and Lauren stayed focused on my pink shirt, she was just behind me.
At 12.5, we saw the father-son team, the Hoyts. What an inspiration they are! Dick Hoyt pushes his son, Rick-a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy- in a specially designed wheelchair. They have done many, many Boston Marathons, Triathlons and a great number of other races. Their story is very inspiring...it was awesome to see them at this race and give them a fist pump as we passed. They finished just behind us...no doubt this was simply a training run for them as Boston is coming up soon.
Finally we saw mile marker 13...which means it's time to kick it into high gear. I began sprinting towards the finish line and was excited to see Lauren right next to me. We crossed the finish line together! It was AWESOME! I've never had a consistent running partner and to have one for the entire half was so encouraging. I knew that not only did I not want to let myself down, I didn't want to let Lauren down. So, with that pushing me, I ran my way to a new PR. And I am pretty darn proud of that.
Here are some pics of race day: