Running the Boston Marathon was an incredible experience. Being part of a 118-year old tradition was both amazing and emotional. I qualified for the Boston Marathon in Paris in April 2013, a week before the bombings happened in Boston. I was still determined to be a participant in 2014.
I arrived in Boston on the Saturday before the race, and I will say the city was alive and ready to take on the 37,000+ runners. I had been unsure about how I felt up to that point, but after being surrounded by all the positive energy on the streets, I began to get more and more excited about the upcoming run on Monday.
Training through the Wyoming winter for the Boston Marathon had been challenging. The snowfall in Jackson Hole was unstoppable in February. To top it off, I was fortunate enough to get a new job – one I had been striving towards – but it threw a major wrench in my running program. Since I had run marathons before, I knew I needed to get my mileage up so I wouldn’t get hurt. Fortunately, I was able to do that regardless of all the mini hurdles life put in my path. The one part of my training that stayed consistent was working out with Crystal Wright at Wright Training in Jackson. I am happy I did!
The race began Monday morning under sunshine and blue skies. I felt both under-prepared and at the same time ready to run. I knew my strength training at Wright Training would come in useful during the long down hills and up hills the crazy Boston course has to offer.
When my race started I went out too fast. I was fully enjoying the crowds and the benefit of the downhill. I felt emotional thinking about the events of last year and fully absorbed my surroundings. The heat kept rising throughout the crowded course. Seventy degrees is hot for a girl fresh off of snowy April nights in Wyoming! I began slowing at each water stop to splish-splash myself and refuel as much as possible.
I knew I was going out too fast. In the heat, it would catch up with me. It did a little after the half marathon point. I believe the hardest part of a marathon is between mile 17 and mile 20. I knew I could still finish strong – that was what I kept telling myself. The crowds in Boston were very helpful. They recharge you if there are any doubts about why you are doing such a silly thing as a 26.2 mile timed run! There really is no crowd like a Boston Marathon crowd!
Running through streets lined with excited, shouting people is like no feeling I can describe. It makes you stand taller, breath deeper, and run faster! You spy the famous CITGO sign and know the finish is so close. The energy on the Boston streets almost propelled me there. As I pushed myself across the finish line, I was happy to be done and excited to meet up with my family.
I hobbled through the finish line procession and retrieved my belongings. I called my sister and found out my time. I had qualified for the next year!! However, I missed my personal goal with my crazy excited legs at the beginning.
I was already looking forward to the next year’s race in Boston. I had learned a lot about myself and my training. I knew two things I would change: One, wear a watch; Two, run all winter no matter what the weather! Just run! But the thing I wouldn’t change for 2015 was my strength training with Crystal at Wright Training. It had helped push me through the hard parts of the race. I would continue to do that all year and for every race!
A year later, my second Boston Marathon was a rainy, windy, and chilly run, all the way from the start in Hopkinton to the finish on Boylston Street downtown Boston. The elements of the weather just added to the excitement of the race.
Through the all streets and puddles Boston had to offer I was able to run my personal best time. I had set a goal for myself and even though I was two minutes away from my mark, I was eight minutes faster than I had ever been before. Pounding the pavement for 3 hours 22 minutes will shake your body, but with the help of Wright Training I felt strong and prepared for whatever Boston threw at me. Another thing the pavement does is kick your butt after the race. However, the recovery was so much smoother with the base Wright Training squatted, Jane Fonda’d, and box jumped me into!
[Learn about Hannah’s Paris BQ on the “Wright Training: Strength, Performance, Prevention” website.]