I honestly don’t even know where to begin when it comes to the Boston Marathon weekend Recap. The weekend was so busy, so inspiring and SO MUCH FUN. Marathon Monday started early, lots of running around and coordinating things before making the trek out to Newton to spectate and meet Noel. Eeeeek!!! I apologize for how long this post is, I swear I will stop being THIS excited eventually, but the Doctor says that this obsession will probably stick around for awhile.
After seeing Kate on Saturday, I called her Sunday night and asked if she would have any interest in spectating and potentially running in with Noel. She immediately answered yes and that she was secretly hoping I would ask. I <3 running friends!
We met in the Back Bay and then hopped onto the T around 9:30. Since the Red Sox game starts at 11am and there are so many folks in town for the marathon the MBTA is a disaster. We shrugged our shoulders and just went with it.
We ended up getting on the C Green line train which was on the marathon route, which made for some fun wheel chair racing spectating. I am so in awe of the wheelchair athletes, especially those who participate in Boston with all of those hills! From there we began our trek from Cleveland Circle back to Mile 19ish.
Walking through Boston College was SUCH a trip. There were drunk kids everywhere and their excitement for the race was papable. Once we maneuvered the crowds we found a great spot near the 21 Mile marker and decided to hunker down for a bit and watch the elites come through. Since we were out there so early we scoped out an unbelievable spot. Even though I had told Noel I was aiming for 18.5, we ultimately decided trying to find her at 21 was better than risking a tough spectating situation on the Newton Hills.
While waiting anxiously for runners we chatted excitedly about races, training and life. I love the vibe the entire weekend, but nothing compares to Marathon Monday for a boost of inspiration to achieve your athletic goals.
When the lead women came through we were FREAKING out. I think I still have a blister on my hand from banging my tiny cowbell so hard. Spectating is hard work, clearly.
Making it look easy
Ryan Hall, looking like a horse with that stride.
Shortly after the men the masses came! This is where the real fun began, trying to pick out all of the people I knew who were running! I missed several people but I did see Emily, Corey & Molly and Skinny Runner. Oh and this man who ran in a Tutu w/ a wand.
Foxy was stuck at work, but he was manning the “command center” by continually texting updates of Noel’s splits throughout the race (I never rely on text alerts, these have absolutely never work for me!) Noel’s big goals were to negative split, feel good and not die. Her first 5k she was pacing 9:15 miles, which is a far departure from the 8 minute miles she was pacing in 2010. With each split she got faster and faster, and knowing her style, she was only going to be hammering down like crazy as she approached the end. Foxy sent out a text with an update from her 30k splitKate and I anxiously waited. After a few false alarms, I saw her neon pink get up about a 100 yards away and I went crazy cheering & hopped in with her.
Her first words? “FINALLY!!!!!!!” Kate and I hopped in and asked how she was doing. She said she felt great and she was really enjoying herself. Her second question was “Wait, was that Heartbreak? Is it over?” I just said “YES!!!” Too much, love it. I then proceeded to force feed her gatorade and Kate and I gave her updates on who won and how Kara Goucher looked. She did say that focusing on meeting the two of us in Newton helped miles 10-20 speed by, thank god we met her! She also said she was making sure to really soak of every moment and that she thoroughly enjoyed all of the signs in Wellesley, which last year she didn’t even remember.
I realized about a half mile in that I never started my gamin, so I quickly started it and noticed we were pacing 7:30 miles. I warned Noel several times and she would pull back for a 30 seconds and then speed back up. The excitement was so intense at this point that it was so hard to hold back!
Somewhere around mile 23 we ran into Janna, who was also running for the American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation Program.
I LOVE this picture. I was so happy I was able to jump in with Noel & experience some of the madness of Boston 🙂 I joked that we were the pit crew, but this probably helped her kick it up and notch seeing as how she was able to blow by water stops when she was feeling so great.
As we tore through Brookline the crowds kept on getting bigger and bigger. Noel’s outfit was in fact neon, but I felt like everyone around her was screaming “NOEL, NOEL, NOEL!!!” At one point I said to her “wow, EVERYONE loves you” 🙂
Near St Mary’s street, which is just before Kenmore Sq and mile 25, Noel was really in the zone and pacing well ahead of us. Kate & I had a quick pow wow and decided to send her on her way and finish hard. Kate and I ran the rest of the course on the side walk weaving in and out of drunk college kids and Sox fans. Fun times.
By the time we got to the Back Bay, Rob texted me and said that Noel had finished in 3:38:00!!! I was soooo happy for her I just wanted to get to give her a huge hug! For someone who had such a bad training cycle, that is an IMPRESSIVE race. I was so proud of my friend and seriously could not stop talking running craziness. Sorry Kate!
I met her at the Park Plaza hotel with the DetermiNation team event. It was great to see her and the rest of the runners to check in and see how their faired. Overall, everyone had awesome races.
Molly Berries! This girl dominated Boston and got a PR of 3:29, awesome job girl!
From there we walked over to Noel’s hotel to shower up and get ready for the celebration dinner at Toro. We were walking along when I saw the CUTEST yellow lab puppy that I’ve ever seen! The owner was actually on the phone and I basically asked her to hang up so we could stalk her puppy.
When I finally pried myself away from the cutest little puppy ever (I say this about almost every dog I see, but this one it a contender for “cutest dog ever” in my book) We then showered up and went to dinner at Toro to celebrate!
Overall, 2011 Boston Marathon weekend was action packed and oodles of fun. Meeting bloggers I stalk everyday of my life and learning that they are in fact the bomb.com in the flesh?! AWESOME! Spending quality time with one of my best friends and running a couple miles of the marathon with her? Ummm, amazing. I’m so sad the marathon is over, but I’m so proud of everyone who raced, whether you had the race of your life or not, you conquered Boston!