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Boston 2014 - 370 Days later....

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Boston 2014 - 370 Days later....

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:39 am

Here is a copy of what I posted in my blog and I thought I'd share it here too:

As you all know, Boston for me was important this year more so than other years.  It is, of course, my hometown race and in light of my not being able to finish last year, it really meant a lot to be there.  I was given a provisional entry as one of the 5700 that did not finish and even though I earned that spot later in the fall at Indianapolis, I wanted to earn it at Boston as well.  My Boston races over the last few years have not been great.  The only year where I thought it might all come together (in the last decade) was 2012 and then the monkey wrench of 89F became reality.  Last year, I was grossly undertrained due to lots of issues and having surgery in November, so this year had to be mine.  Winter sucked as you all know, so I was a bit worried going in.  But I knew deep down I was indeed ready.

And finally, the day was upon us.   Diane and I woke up early and walked to meet Joe, Amy, and Brenda at the Boylston T-station to prepare to board the buses.  Diane, Joe, and I made sure to wear our "Jerry" bibs so we could carry him over the Boston course, and I made a special note on mine as a tribute to Rich as well.  (Thanks for the lift, RuFuS! - RIP)




Seth joined us shortly after in the bus line and we were ready to go.  Amy & Brenda were able to board before us, and we had to wait for what seemed like a long time and the bus ride took longer than normal as well with all the traffic (there had been an accident on the Zakim Bridge that had the city tied up in knots and it was a holiday! and school vacation!).  We got to Athlete's Village at 10 am, and the elites and Wave 1 had already left.  And it was warm, not 89F warm, but 63F warm.  And although that doesn't feel warm to most, 63F feels like 89F when the winter temps were in the single digits and below in Ohio.  (Since I was in Wave 3 and started at 11 am, the temps had already risen in Hopkington.)  Basically, the four of us had little time, so we immediately visited the porto potties, and then Diane, Joe, and I left Seth and were off to the start.  No waiting, no time for stressing, and no time to even find our corral as the wave was already moving when we got there.  We kept telling each other that there were no worries as the race is "chip times".  One of the last things that I said to Diane was to be smart, don't go out too fast, don't spend energy bobbing and weaving, stay in control and see you in 4 hours.




My goals for the race were: 1) Run even splits (or as even as possible), 2) Don't go out too fast something I am always guilty of, 3) Remember that "NO ONE KNOWS ME IN NATICK" as I always run way too fast through my hometown, 4) Make the hills my "BITCH", and 5) give it everything until the finish line.  With the warmth, I slightly dialed back my goal to 3:50 and I decided to use the successful strategy of walking through the Gatorade portion of the water stops in the early miles.  Gatorade is really sticky when you get it all over yourself.  I would then start jogging, grab a cup of water, drink some, and dump the rest on my head.  

8:49, 8:42, 8:48... Miles 1, 2, 3

The first three miles went by pretty quickly.  Joe & I had lost Diane but we were running together trying hard to stay smart.  Just after three miles, I had to stop and pee and we lost each other. Smartly, I did not try to make up any of that time and I just kept trying to stay in check drinking Gatorade as it was feeling warm.  The crowds were way more intense in years past and there were spectators in places on the course where there are never spectators like downtown Framingham.  I actually held back in those early miles (for once) and felt great when I got to Wellesley and my Mom.  She remarked that I was slower than usual, and I said that was the plan. I reached half way at 1:55 and change.  I had heard or saw on a sign near the 15k mark at Meb Keflezighi, a true American story, had won.  I honestly didn't believe at first, but my Mom confirmed it, and I know that I took inspiration from that.  Meb is indeed one of my running heroes after his silver in Athens, NYC victory, and London run.  May Nike once more eat their shoes.

9:25, 8:48, 8:41 (10K); 8:37, 8:48, 8:43 (15K , Natick and no one knows me here!); 8:31, 8:37, 8:48, 8:31 (Halfway 1:55:26)...

My next challenge was the hills.  I kept repeating to myself that I would get to that fire station at the base of the first hill, and then I was going to take that hill.  I rounded the corner and I seemed to just glide up - at that point, I knew it was going to be a good day.  While the body (my quads actually) were beginning to tire, I wasn't going to let anything get to me until I reached BC and then I was there.  (Along this stretch, a guy had a sign that said that Meb had won and in large letter - REALLY).  I smiled and kept chugging along.  I didn't break down like I usually do on those hills and I wasn't going to relent.

8:36, 8:43, 8:34, 8:56 (1st Hill!), 8:32, 8:24, 8:32, 9:06 (Heartbreak Hill), 8:29 (BC!)...

Those last 5 miles were electric.  I was in the zone and although it was tough, tougher than I wanted it to be of course, I knew that I was going to be at the "Fenway" bridge and to my daughter before I knew it.  Many times I repeated that I had run 5 miles feeling tired and a bit sore many times and today was just another day.  When I got to the bridge, I slowed a bit trying to find Shannon and her friends.  I spied them, waved mightily but I knew if I actually stopped it was over.  They screamed my name and I put my head down and went over that damn bridge into Kenmore Square.  


8:29, 8:43, 8:55 (Shannon), 8:21 and to the Finish - 3:51:38!

The last mile seemed like the hardest and as I turned onto Boylston St, the tears began to flow. I was both ecstatic and sad at the same time.  I passed the spot where I was last year, I slowed slightly (out of respect) and I made a sign of the cross and said a little prayer.  I then gave it whatever was left to cross that finish line.
 





And after 370 days and an extra hour, I finished both the 117th and 118th Boston Marathons.   And I finished in 3:51:38, the fastest time I had run on the course since 2001 when I was 39 years old (3:38).  I finished 15,753 overall out of 31,931 finishers, 5597th out of 14356 total woman, and 354th out of 1490 in my AG.  I finally mastered the course once and for all and I ran about an evenly split race as I could with a 46 sec positive split (even walking to get in Gatorade - that paid off).  My 5K splits were : 8:49, 8:58, 8:53, 8:50, 8:48, 8:47, 8:47, 8:48.  I really need to thank Coach Emily for the great training plan as well as Coach Greg and Coach Ian for all the pacing and nutritional advice.  I need to thank Meredith and Cindy for those killer core classes and Jake for pushing me to dead lift 90 lb kettle bells.  I know I did the work, but you all contributed more than you know.  

I re-qualified on Monday for next year's race, and I will indeed be there, hopefully sharing the experience with Mary Pat.  Don't think we will race, but more celebrate the achievement and the fact that we are indeed there another year.  Her daughter will be at school in central Massachusetts, so hopefully she can come and join my daughter and watch the festivities. The race will be back to "normal" next year, but we will never forget the events of 2013 and how it has brought not only the running community but the entire course and city together like never before (and it was always good).  2014 was like no other and it will always be remembered as the race for rebirth and the one won by an American (Meb! Meb!) after 31 years.  However, we will always be Boston Strong!

363 more days..............................

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Re: Boston 2014 - 370 Days later....

Post  Martin VW on Thu Apr 24, 2014 11:26 am

Michele, I had heard about the accident on the Zakim but hadn't heard about the delays it caused for the busses. People must have been freaking OUT when it got there so late!

i'm glad that the race provided some closure for you. Sorry to not be around, it being Easter weekend and all. Plus Patriots Day does have a deeper meaning in Concord than just the day the marathon is held.  Smile  Maybe next year.
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Re: Boston 2014 - 370 Days later....

Post  Seth Harrison on Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:40 pm

Michele, they may not know you in Natick, but this definitely was your day! You ran a pretty perfect marathon. Hanging out with you on the bus and at AV (mostly in the porta-potty line!) was part of what made the day so terrific for me. Congratulations on a great time.
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Re: Boston 2014 - 370 Days later....

Post  Alex Kubacki on Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:42 pm

Michele, once again great job. This is your course. You've got this thing nailed. A very special day. Congrats and recover well.
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Re: Boston 2014 - 370 Days later....

Post  Julie on Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:35 pm

Congratulations! You ran a smart race and just did amazingly well.
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Re: Boston 2014 - 370 Days later....

Post  Jerry on Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:53 am

Great race, Michele. Great finally met you and I will see you in New York where I will take down your PR.
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Re: Boston 2014 - 370 Days later....

Post  KBFitz on Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:38 am

Brilliant!

Just once I would like to rule this course like you did this year. Such performances don't get any easier as we reel in the years.

Jerry says he's gonna take down your PR in NYC this year. Go show him who's boss!
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Re: Boston 2014 - 370 Days later....

Post  nkrichards on Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:28 pm

Even though I knew the most of the details already it was still fun to read your report.  I'm still in awe of those splits!  Congratulations once again.
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Re: Boston 2014 - 370 Days later....

Post  fostever on Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:56 pm

Nice race Michelle, great tribute and closure for you. Glad we were able to talk Saturday at the dinner.
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Re: Boston 2014 - 370 Days later....

Post  Chris M on Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:09 pm

Such control of splits even with all those hills!  Now THAT'S how you dominate Boston!   Great job - not a surprise to me because I knew your fitness was good and getting better but great execution just the same.
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Re: Boston 2014 - 370 Days later....

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:39 pm

@Chris M wrote:Such control of splits even with all those hills!  Now THAT'S how you dominate Boston!   Great job - not a surprise to me because I knew your fitness was good and getting better but great execution just the same.
Thanks, Chris.  I swear I heard you in Wellesley (even though I knew you weren't there - but it helped).
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Re: Boston 2014 - 370 Days later....

Post  Dave-O on Fri May 02, 2014 12:36 pm

Congrats, Michele!  Fantastic race, one that you worked for and earned.
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