Sunday, April 14, 2013

Boston, running capital of the world?

Being here in Boston for a few days before the big race has been a blast and getting to soak in all the pre-race excitement has been inspiring. We went to the expo on Saturday and the environment was electric. There were hoards of people all milling around the massive convention center creating a happy, anticipatory buzz. Runners and their support crews filled the different stores and exhibits and it seemed like everywhere you looked people were smiling and enjoying themselves. 
Graham and I visualizing my start...

Then my father-in-law and I watched my husband, sister-in-law and her husband rock the 5k run this (Sunday) morning. The whole race was incredibly cool to watch. The wheelchair racers kicked things off, leaving the Start line only 2 minutes before the elite racers. Then the elites stormed off and the leaders knocked out a 4:24 first mile and finished up their second mile at 9 minutes even. They came in with a total time of 13 and a half minutes for the 5k (or 3.1 miles)...impressive. Watching them basically sprint/run hard for three consecutive miles was pretty awesome, but I kept thinking about the elite marathoners who run 26.2 MILES with just over a 5 min/mile pace. Yeah, that's a tiiiiiiiny bit faster than what I'll turn in tomorrow :) The winner of the 2012 Boston Marathon, Wesley Korir, finished the marathon in 2:12:40, which is an average pace of 5:04 min/mile. That is flat out amazing.

All in all, I have been massively impressed with the way that all of Boston gets hyped about the marathon weekend. There are signs everywhere welcoming runners and offering words of encouragement. Adidas, New Balance and Nike paraphernalia decorate the city and the streets are flooded with people clad in the yellow and blue 2013 Boston marathon official jacket. Porta Potties line the course and each mile is permanently painted into the double yellow lines on the roads of the course. I always wondered how and why my sister-in-law and her husband got so into running while residing in a city that endured such intense (aka crappy) weather. Running seems like one of the last sports that would thrive in Boston, but it has...and now that I've been here and witnessed the incredible enthusiasm and support that the city throws behind the marathon and sport in general, I totally get it. Is Boston perhaps the unlikely running capital of the world? I think you could make a case for it. 

Anyways, tomorrow's big race will be a lot of fun. I'm honestly not sure how well my still-ailing granny hip is going to hold up for the full distance (bursitis and IT band issues), but even if that goes to h*ll and I have to walk, who cares? The experience of being here and being a part of it all has exceeded any of my expectations and simply completing the marathon will be an awesome feeling. Now, would I love it if I turned in a solid time? YES. Will I be disappointed if I don't? Sure. Do I wish I was coming in totally healthy? Absolutely. But like Graham said, that's sports for you and you just do what you can when you can. So that's my plan tomorrow...and I'll let you know how it goes!!

8 comments:

  1. Good luck tomorrow! Have a wonderful time!

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    1. Thank you! I was very grateful to run a good race and get to finish. My family and I were all safe and able to get out of the city quickly after the explosions. Thank you for all the support.

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  2. Good luck tomorrow and enjoy the experience! You'll never forget it!

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    1. Thanks Jim! The whole weekend - the expo, the 5k and the race itself - was a wonderful experience though obviously tainted at the end by the tragic events. Sending a lot of love out to those who were directly affected.

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  3. Good luck tomorrow! I'm so excited for you!!!

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    1. Thank you so much for all the support!

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  4. Britsy,

    I came across your blog while looking for information about the bombing at the Boston Marathon. I don't know you but I sincerely hope you're safe and that you weren't directly affected by the incident. I've never done a full marathon, but I have done a half marathon and know the pain of getting ready for a long race. I'm so sorry this experience was tarnished for you! Please take care of yourself and get home safely!

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    1. Hi Nick, Thank you so much for your heartfelt concern and well wishes. Fortunately I had finished the race and was well clear of the finish line when the explosions happened. My family and I were all safe and able to exit the city quickly thereafter. I sincerely appreciate your concern and empathy.

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