So this morning, when I headed out to meet my friend John to run 18mi on the course, I was mentally wrapping my head around the fact that I would run 14mi and then run the 4mi stretch that is the Newton Hills, culminating in Heartbreak Hill. In fact, all week I was trying to wrap my head around it. I was psyching myself up for it. And even as John dropped me off in Ashland, with a wave and a "see you in Wellesley!!" I was still trying to figure out if I might be able to beg off before we got to the hills...
However, I was feeling really good. I was feeling awesome coasting out of Ashland, through Framingham, into Natick. I felt great passing Wellesley College thinking about the throngs of girls that will be lining the streets and the sweaty dudes who will stop for kisses. I was thinking about how lovely a day it was (40, sun and moderately windy) as I passed through Wellesley Center, dodging shoppers and dog walkers.
It wasn't until we got to Newton (John met me just before Wellesley turns into Newton) that I started to feel...well, less than awesome. I started to get nervous but was still feeling okay. It was after that first hill, when I had to stop for a minute because I thought I might throw up (first time I felt like that in my 8yrs of running...), that I seriously questioned signing up for this marathon. I literally said to John, "WHAT was I thinking?!?!?!?!
I was able to keep the Gu and few sips of Gatorade I had down and we carried on to the next hill...which wasn't as bad, I started to think maybe, just maybe, I could do this. And then we came to Heartbreak. It wasn't so much steep as it was long. I was daunted but I wasn't going to let this hill, or any hill for that matter, beat me. I struggled, but I didn't stop moving. And finally I was at the top! I had beaten The Hill. The hill that everyone talks about. It felt awesome. As we made our way past BC's campus and over to Cleveland Circle where John had left the car, I began to feel like maybe I hadn't made such a foolish decision. The fact that I ran 18.3mi with a 9:58min pace blew my mind and further solidified my confidence.
The Boston Marathon is going to be incredibly challenging...but it is going to be SO AWESOME. And after today, my mind is prepared: I CAN and I WILL do this. There are still some grueling workouts to do, but I'm ready.
For your viewing pleasure, I documented a bit of the past 12hrs in photos. Enjoy!
Dinner the night before - pasta with butter, parm and basil. Breakfast - coffee, water and oatmeal with peanut butter and bit of brown sugar.
What I wore - maybe my Kalamazoo shirt brought me some luck. :)
Cool thing about the training on the course - the miles and all water stops are marked, year round.
Also, notice how happy I am to be finished!!!!
My running buddy and the lunch he made for me when we got back to his house. AWESOME.