Patriots Day is upon us!

Boston is but a couple of days away! I want to wish all those who are doing it the very best. Meg, Jill, Ana MariaLindsayGinny and Teamarcia in particular. I know I am overlooking others and I apologize. I will be thinking of you all on Monday and I hope to catch a few minutes of the elites on TV.

Monday will of course bring back my own Boston experience from 2007. I’ve qualified for Boston several times but have only done it that once, for a variety of reasons. My experience was definitely bittersweet.

Bitter, because:

  • I was still deep in the grip of my GI issues at this point. I had a really awful, horrible race. By 8 I knew I was in trouble. By 15 I was walking off and on. It was an ugly shuffle to the finish, which was a 3:56–way off of where I should have been.
  • I finished out in the med tent because my body had managed to dehydrate.
  • This was the year of the nor’easter and we all had to worry about how that would affect the day. In the end, the conditions really weren’t so bad–we got lucky.
  • All of my friends PRd that day but me. I was happy for them, but man, that made me feel all the worse for how badly I had performed.

Sweet, because:

  • Wellesley College–No matter how bad I felt, there’s nothing like hearing that wall of noise!
  • Heartbreak Hill wasn’t so heartbreaking; all of our hill training had prepared us well.
  • It was a really fun trip with my running partners, no matter what.
  • All my friends PRd–how cool.
  • It was Boston, for crying out loud!

I have such mixed emotions when I look back on that day. I definitely proved to myself that I can dig deep and see something to the end, no matter how much it hurts. However, it’s not the same as struggling hard to maintain a good pace–it was simply a struggle to finish. I always joke that it was the fact that I had already bought the stupid jacket that got me through it. I know it was something more, but I also know it’s something I don’t want to repeat.

I have yet to make up my mind as to whether or not I’ll ever return to Boston. One part of me really wants to go and have a great race, truly enjoying the experience. The other part of me worries about that 10 a.m. start–still not confident that my new approach to race-day nutrition, coupled with the peppermint oil tablets, would be ok with such a late start. The same fear keeps me out of New York right now.

Regardless, a part of me will be out there on the course on Monday and I wish all the best to everyone racing the 2010 edition. Tear it up!

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  1. ajh says

    How are the peppermint oil tablets working? Do you get them at a health food store? Enjoyed the post with both aspects of it!

  2. Anne says

    Sorry to hear you had a less than great experience in Boston…but, how cool that you ran Boston! I totally understand the mixed emotions.

  3. Barefoot AngieB says

    congrats on finishing Boston! Not many can say as much! I am looking forward to cheering them on in spirit monday too!
    I am curious about the peppermint oil tabs too!

  4. Ewa says

    Qualifying for Boston is quite an achievement in itself. I am sure you will BQ again and you will run Boston again.
    I will try to get livestream and will be checking how people I know are doing. This is one time of year when I miss living in MA. Another is autumn but that's a different story.

  5. Beth says

    Just qualifying for Boston and getting that jacket are amazing feats. And, I must say, your time was still very speedy in anyone's book. I know what you are saying though. I'm guessing someday you will know for sure if you want to do it again. I hope you enjoy the weekend and your trip down memory lane!

  6. Runner Mama says

    I agree with Beth—qualifying is truly amazing. But you got to trust and listen to yourself…I'm sure you'll do Boston again, when you're ready, on your own terms. I am still dreaming…

  7. Cynthia O'H says

    I'm right beside you. It's been years since I've qualified and years since I've run a marathon. I think this is going to be the year that I plan to run again – stay tuned.

  8. Petraruns says

    you've done SO well to qualify. And the problem with Boston is perhaps just what you outline – the expectation is sky-high and yet race day can do what it wants..

    due to all the airline stuff going on in europe i am not running boston this year but hope to be out there in 2011. would be good to see you out there!

  9. Laura says

    Like several people have already said just qualifying is an acheivment and finishing it when you had stomach problems is also a huge acheivment..

    I'm sure you can figure out what works best for you for long runs with late starts too if you ever want to go back :)

    Thanks for the advice on my blog btw!

  10. Char says

    Sounds like one race you'd like to forget. We all have them – mine was the Gold Coast half where I threw up a few times before the race, ran for 10k then walked the rest. I was beaten by walkers but I still finished and got my medal.

  11. Julie says

    Nice job on the BQ:) Qualifying for Boston is amazing and you should be so proud of yourself! Thanks for sharing! I have heard the same thing about Wellesley college….super fun and motivating! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  12. LMC says

    You qualified for it and you ran it. If you never even visit the city of Boston ever again, that's alot to be proud of! Good for you!! I'll be watching on Monday and cheering for everyone. I'm convinced they can hear us cheering from out here in the blogosphere!

  13. Black Knight says

    You will run again the Boston Marathon and your experience will be better, I am sure.
    I see that Full Monty is your favourite movie … and mine too. I like when they begin to dance listening the Donna Summer's song "Hot Stuff".

  14. Sherri says

    You are a true competitor! I loved your story of finishing…that is the hardest thing ever!!!! Amazing! I personally think you should go back and ROCK it! Your such an amazing runner…and achiever…you can and have done anything and everything!!!

  15. Janice {Run Far} says

    Oh my word. I ran Boston the year after you (2008) and also had a terrible Boston run. It was my second time qualifying time that I used. The first one we were poor (very poor) college students, no money. I ran in 2008 and had the stomach flu. I am itching to re-qualify and run in 2011… crossing fingers.

  16. lindsay says

    i hope you can go back for revenge if you want it! the 10am start does throw everything off, but maybe you can somehow practice that with weekend runs? i dunno. i need to train up and go out for revenge on boston myself!

    thanks for the good lucks and well wishes! :)