Sunday July 10th, the 2nd Sunday of July means Boilermaker!
It is the biggest race I have ever participated in and is my favorite race due to the crowds that line the route the WHOLE way!
The weekend started on Saturday when I went to the Race Expo to pick up my bib and get some free goodies! I usually don’t spend much time at the expo because it can be very crowded, but this year, I stopped and got a picture, and even bought myself a running hat in case of rain.
After the expo goodies, I headed over to the Runner’s Forum to catch some tips for Roger Robinson, Kathrine Switzer, a PT and nutritionist. I was only there for the last 15 minutes, but my main reason for going was because I wanted to meet with Kathrine Switzer again. I had met her 3 years ago, and so was so nice I bought her book Marathon Woman- which tells her story of becoming the first women who officially registered for the Boston Marathon (yes Bobbi Gibb was the first women to run the Boston Marathon). If you haven’t read Marathon Woman, I HIGHLY recommend it. When I had my turn with Kathrine she was so nice to sign my racing bib and her book. She also asked where I lived in NY, and knew the area because has run the Vestal 20K, a race I just ran a few weeks ago! I wish I could’ve talked to her longer to swap stories about the race, but she had a line of fans waiting to meet her.
The next morning it was to the very crowded starting line. 15,000 runners in 5 corrals. I was in the last corral, but it was clear that some of those ahead of me where not honest about their predicted finishing time when I passed a lot of them during the first few miles. Next year I will be up further.
My goal was under 80 minutes, which meant I had to average 8:35/mile. Mile 1 was right on track, Mile 2 was 8:44 as I started the uphill climb. Mile 3 was 8:40 (5K split 26:55 ), then Mile 4 finished the climb in 8:45. As you can see from the race profile there was a big downhill and Mile 5 was a 7:57 mile. I was starting to feel good and Mile 6 was 8:20 (10K split 53:16), but right after 10K was a BEAST. It started going uphill again, my legs were getting tired and the wind was in my face, I wasn’t sure I would be able to keep up the pace. The next few miles were rough- Mile 7: 8:44, Mile 8: 8:07 (I was surprised when I saw this split),and as I approached Mile 9 my feet were feeling on fire and my legs were really hurting. I was looking for my family in the hopes I would get a second wind to finish strong.But as you can see from these pictures I was really hurting!
My Mile 9 split was 8:24, and then I hit the downhill to the finish, I tried to will my legs to go as fast as I could, but I forgot that this finish line is an illusion and it’s further down the hill then it looks. I was so ready for the race to be over and by the time I hit the finish line I knew I had hit my goal time but I didn’t know by how much. (Turns out I finished in 1:19:30!!!)
After I hit the line my memory is a little vague. I remember someone asking if I was ok, and I shook my head no. (As I looked at the finish line pictures today, the pieces make much more sense as I had my eyes closed and it was a wonder I didn’t fall over!) Before I knew what was happening I was whisked into the medical tent and laid down on a cot where the staff there laid cool towels on me and hooked me up to an IV.
I was so out of it that when my parents checked on me to see if I was ok, I couldn’t put together a proper text to them. Thankfully my Dad figured out the messages enough to come down and be with me until I was feeling better.
I can confidently say that I gave this race my all, and next year I just need to make sure I am better hydrated.
Once I was up and walking again, I made my way to the post-race party to get some much-needed food- but no Saranac Beer this year.
Needless to say I am excited that I reached my goal even though it came at a cost.