Back in October, with a 6 week old newborn, I excitedly signed up to run Boston’s Run to Remember half marathon. It was the first half marathon I had run and I remembered it being dead flat and a beautiful course. I couldn’t run during my pregnancy and was anxious to start back at it as soon as I got the go ahead from my doctor. Then the reality of sleepless newborn nights and a 104.1″ of snow winter hit and before I knew it I was 6 weeks out from the race and averaging one run per week. So when the race director sent an email asking if people wanted to switch to the 5 miler it took me all of 8 seconds to respond with a resounding YES!
My husband was running the half marathon and we both had woken up way earlier than needed so we headed in to pick up our packets and hopefully find a parking spot on the street.
The drive in was beautiful and we were easily able to find a spot on the street. The perks of waking up at 3:30am! Bib pick-up was a breeze so we grabbed some water from self-serve water station that was set up, found bathrooms inside the convention center (real bathrooms over a port-a-potty is a huge plus!), and kept warm inside the convention center before the race start.
The race was set up with both the half marathon and 5 miler starting together with pace signs for people to self-seed themselves. I lined up in between the 9:00 & 10:00 min/mile pace groups so I started in the 2nd pulse. The start is really congested and I was surprised to see a lot of walkers within the first mile since there were pace markers, but it’s also one of my favorite parts of the race. Going across Seaport Blvd with the Financial District in front of you, and runners filling the streets that are normally filled with traffic is such an awesome sight.
When I first graduated college I lived and worked in the city, but moved out to the ‘burbs 8 years ago. It was a gorgeous day and I loved running past highlights of my 20-something year old life – my first internship in the Financial District, the Public Garden where my husband proposed, the bars my best friend and I used to go to. There’s not a lot of spectators along the course, and despite there being 11,000+ runners it was really quiet during the race, so I enjoyed looking for the landmarks of my post-college days. A highlight was seeing kids out cheering for their mom or dad and getting to see when they spotted the parent they were out cheering for.
I missed the first mile marker, but the tall buildings must have been causing interference with GPS watches, because I heard watches beeping for about a quarter mile. I didn’t really have a game plan going into this run – should I run it as a long, slow run or should I try to run as hard as I can to see where my fitness is? Ultimately I ended up somewhere in between and ran at a comfortably hard pace. I felt pretty good so I tried to pick it up each mile. My watch was beeping well before each mile marker on the course so I just kept an eye on my overall time at each mile marker to calculate my lap pace. My last mile was my fastest at 8:11 and I finished the race in 44:11 or 8:51 overall pace.
Post-race, runners were ushered in to the convention center where there was an area stocked with bananas, oranges, tortilla chips, bagels, almond butter and various recovery drinks. I grabbed a couple things and set out to try to see my husband finish the half marathon. This was harder than I thought it would be. I tried 3 different ways out of the convention center to try to get to the bridge the overlooks the race, and each time was told I needed to go a different way. A guy who helps run the race took pity on my frazzled state and was able to let me take a short cut up to the bridge where I had a fantastic view of the finish line. Overall it was a great race and a fun day.