Another Wild Ride

by Christie Thomas #17658

“Boston, here we go again,” was my first thought on Monday morning when I attempted to leave my hotel to get my pre-race cup of Starbucks coffee. A torrential rain greeted me as I headed out the door, so I decided to forgo this trek and do without my coffee. {gasp} I rode the elevator back up to my room with Ben Rosario {another gasp}, and he assured me the rain wouldn’t last. In case you don’t know, this dude coaches Stephanie Bruce, Alphine Tuliamuk, Kellyn Taylor, Scott Fauble, and several more elite athletes. As I exited the elevator, I thought to myself, “A coach that good probably has solid meteorological skills, right?” So, I did what every trusting athlete does, I returned to my room and pulled up my weather app. After looking at the radar, I came to the conclusion Ben was off his rocker and we were in for a repeat of Boston 2018. (Spoiler alert: Ben was right. I was wrong. Ben, if you’re reading this, my doubt is to be blamed on the lack of caffeine in my veins.)


It was time to head to the buses dressed in Boston 2018 fashion minus a few layers. I wore a poncho, rain jacket, sweat pants, and throw away shoes on top of my race day get-up. The rain was falling and the wind was blowing. I just kept telling myself, this was perfect weather for a marathon. I was in my newly found comfort zone thanks to last year. Mind over matter, baby. BE THE STORM!

I had the honor of experiencing this race with my good running buddy, Deana. Fun fact, we both ran Boston 2002, but we didn’t know each other at the time, and now, here we were running Boston 17 years later as buddies.

Deana and I boarded the bus, and soon after our departure, we swore we were being driven by Jimmy Johnson, the Nascar driver who was also running the marathon. Had Jimmy missed his Wave 1 bus and needed to make up time? Seriously, our bus driver was a bit heavy footed. We passed no fewer than 10 buses. Just in case, we recorded a video telling our loved ones goodbye and we loved them. Hey, Nascar, we left your next star on bus #7 in Hopkinton

Upon arrival at the Athlete’s Village, the rain had slowed. Hats off to Ben Rosario once again for making an accurate forecast. Once inside the village, we immediately made our way to the porta-a-john line. We spent a solid 40 minutes waiting. By the time we finished our business, sat down in the tent, changed our shoes, and ate our pre-race breakfast, the announcer called for our wave. Last year, people must’ve gone pee in their pants vs. bothering with the port-a-john, because this process wasn’t nearly as time consuming.


Deana and I headed to the start which allowed for a second port-a-john stop. The two of us were in the same wave but different corrals, so we gave each other a hug and parted ways. Our race plans and goals were different, so we decided to run our own races. Deana has a saying, “All is fair in love and racing.”

I made it to corral 2 in time to do my band warm up and get ready to run. I decided to shed my poncho, rain jacket, and gloves. This was a gamble, but I went with my gut instinct which rarely fails me. I did keep my yellow kitchen gloves for about 10 miles. I didn’t wear them, but I held onto them because they get credit for saving my hands in 2018. It sounds silly, but I mourned the loss of them when I decided to toss them. I loved those things.

So Long Yellow Dish Gloves

Without going into too much detail, I was running Boston at about 80% strength. I ran twice during the last 4 weeks due to some hip pain. This wasn’t an overuse injury but an injury of stupidity. I made the mistake of going to a new chiropractor in the midst of high mileage training. I believe he did good work, but my soft tissue wasn’t prepared to handle my new alignment and 60 miles of running per week. As a result, my right hip flexor became pissed. I did rehab for about a month and promised myself I wouldn’t limp to the starting line. I wasn’t limping, but I knew I wasn’t at full speed either. So, my attitude going into the race was to see how it goes. If I felt like I was doing damage, I was prepared to DNF for the first time ever. My goal is to grow old with running, so I knew I was capable of stopping if necessary.

30,000 runners and I were on our way towards Boston. It was crowded and easy to control pace for the first several miles. I found a comfortable pace and settled in. I was hoping I could pick up the pace later in the race, but I quickly learned my favorite thing about the Boston course was my hip’s least favorite thing. The downhills caused my hip some discomfort, so I had to shorten my stride and take it easy. This is was disappointing because I know how to run downhill. I am strong at it. This is where I should be making up time, but not this year. It was where I would lose some time, but that’s okay, because the ultimate goal is to not only complete this Boston but to complete future Bostons. This helped calm down my competitive side, so I could work to enjoy the journey.

Enjoy the journey is exactly what I did. Holy cow! You guys, the spectators were out in full force. It was insane. It’s no surprise I wore a WAHOO! RUNNING shirt and trucker hat, and I absolutely LOVED hearing, “Go, WAHOO!” and “Go, WAHOO! RUNNING!” Hearing “WAHOO!” was way  better than hearing my name. Shouts of “WAHOO!” were like hearing people cheer not only for me but for every runner in our WAHOO! RUNNING community. They were cheering our mission of finding joy and speed in running. Speed and joy can coexist. I will never forget those cheers. It’s proof I am a part of something bigger than myself, and for that, I am thankful.

Carlee, Jessica, Lisa, and Tim were at Mile 16. I was looking forward to seeing their smiling faces and cheers of encouragement. I could see them from a ways away, so I started raising my arms in the air and shouting, “My people!” Some of the spectators thought I wanted to give some high-fives, so I got lots of those, too. Ha! Seeing them gave me a boost of energy, and I thought to myself, “Only 10.2 to go.” I was feeling strong, so I kept on running down the road.

After I left my people, the Newton Hills were there to greet me. I laughed as I climbed the hill over the highway. I couldn’t help but think of Mary Johnson’s Boston Marathon write up where she called this hill a “fucker”. It’s true. It’s by far the hardest climb, but I just kept pumping my arms and putting one foot in front of the other. The weather was getting warmer and more humid, but it wasn’t bothering me. I just kept telling myself that the weather was perfect. I took advantage of dumping water on myself at every fuel station and made sure I was drinking more than I felt like I needed.

I continued to feel strong but somewhat limited by my hip. It was a little frustrating, but the slower pace also gave me the opportunity to really enjoy the sights and sounds of the Boston Marathon. Boston showed up! Wellsley was entertaining, but in my mind, Boston College stole the show. These memories are embedded in my brain. I’m thankful for my ability to relax and enjoy, because when you are dialed into a goal, this doesn’t happen.

The miles ticked by and I continued to move closer to Boston. Lots of people were walking, cramping, puking, and dropping. It was kind of a scary scene at times. The medical team was quick to respond to the needs of the runners. The crowd was quick to encourage those who were struggling, too.

I failed to mention that I smiled the majority of this race. It was reminiscent of my 2018 NYC Marathon experience. My goal for NYC was to smile and make every spectator want to run a marathon. This thought popped into my head again during Boston, so I did it. I smiled from ear to ear for 90% of this race. I had a few moans and groans around Mile 24, but I regained my grin and took it on in to the finish. I hope my smile inspired some people. I know it inspired me. I tried to take a video of the final stretch along Boylston, but I botched it. Fortunately, the race photographer caught my failed attempt.


Running that final stretch and crossing the line, I will tell you, there is nothing like it. Once you cross that line, YOU ARE A BOSTON MARATHONER!

WAHOO!

Official Time 3:47:53, finished 13,948 (I passed a shit ton of people!)

Now, I am eyeing Boston 2020. There will be an army of WAHOO! RUNNING athletes, mark my words! Time to get to work, runnahs. 🙂

Boston Marathon 2019 – A Runner’s Perspective

2 thoughts on “Boston Marathon 2019 – A Runner’s Perspective

  • April 20, 2019 at 8:33 am
    Permalink

    Christie-this was such an amazing journey, from our early morning trek to the post-finish line celebration. I’m so glad I was able to share it with you and all my Wahoolibabes and Wahoorun team members. Even though my girls took a beating, knowing you were in front of me helped to pull me to the finish. Boston can eat you up and spit you out, but man, there is nothing like it. Can’t wait to do it again(sans girl trouble😂👊🏻)

    Reply
    • April 20, 2019 at 9:14 am
      Permalink

      It meant everything to me to have you by my side. You were with me even when you weren’t physically with me. WAHOO! We did it again.

      Reply

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