After graduating in the spring of 2010, I was completely sold on the idea that I needed to train for and run a marathon. It was like the next big frontier for me to cross. My very first marathon was in the spring of 2011 when I ran the Lincoln Marathon. I was in the throws of my first public accounting busy season so I was not able to train as much as I would like, and a few weeks before I the race, I had already signed up for an October marathon in Chicago. It was the Chicago marathon that really cemented the idea that marathons equaled vacations to fun places and no location of any race I have ran met the atmosphere I encountered in Boston in 2012.
The picture above sums up probably the highlight of my trip: admission to a Red Sox game at Fenway Park. With so much history surrounding the park, this was a must-see for our Boston marathon group. We spent the day or two leading up to the race just enjoying the city. We tried to keep walking to a minimum with the purpose of our trip at the forefront of our mind. We hit the expo, ate some crab cakes and got ready to pasta load for the big Monday race.
If anyone was there that year, the race was hot. By the time we started around 10:45am, it was already 80 degrees and shortly after the gun went off, the temperatures steadily rose to 90 degrees. For me personally, it was THE worst race experience I ever had. I went in with the mentality that I was still going to run fast, and saying I struggled with dehydration over the last half of the race is a severe understatement. Again, the experience of the race was incredible but the race itself was not kind to me.
After race day, we hung around another day or two to enjoy the city. We ate a delicious meal in the North End (probably best seafood meal I've ever had) and walked around to see all the historic landmarks. The culture in Boston and all that goes along with it was more than enough to make up for the bad experience I had running the race itself.
Of course, this was a year before the bombings occurred, and since then, the race has taken on a whole new meaning. As I signed up for the Twin Cities Marathon this fall in an attempt to possibly get back to Boston, I am reminded and humbled by the running community and the reach it has across cities, states, nations and cultures.
Good luck to everyone running tomorrow, and remember, it's the experience! Happy Running!
**The picture below is me after the race. I was not properly prepared and didn't even think about needing sunscreen. I still have some weird skin left on my shoulders from the sunburn. I suppose it's a good reminder of the trip. :)