The Boston Marathon 2016 – Race Recap: Part 2

I probably had the best night’s sleep I’ve had in about a year the night right before the Boston Marathon. Who’da thunk it?

I was in bed at 10 pm. My husband mulled around a little longer but I think he turned off the boob tube at 10:20 pm. I don’t remember much else. The air conditioner was humming, the streets were quiet, unlike Saturday night, and I slept like a baby. I did cheat a little, and took some Advil and a half of an anxiety pill that my doctor gave me for my panic attacks years ago. I’m not even sure how potent they are anymore. Could have been a placebo effect. Whatever…it worked.

My alarm was set for 6:45 am, but I arose promptly at 6:00 am. I tried to go back to bed, but gave up after 10 minutes, and just decided I would probably feel worse if I did fall back asleep. So, I got up and got moving.

I did all the quiet stuff first so my husband could get a little more sleep, and started crossing things off my list as I got them done.

I checked my fuel, and double checked it, making a few last minute changes. I don’t use sugar or glucose during the race. In fact, I’m pretty consistent with my fueling, most of which comes in pill form. First thing in the morning, I take my vitamins. Normally I don’t take any Advil, but with the sinus headache, I didn’t want to risk it, so I added those. My vitamins include a multi by Life Extension, turmeric, fish oil, oil of oregano, ashwagandha, an adrenal support capsule, and a cinnamon supplement. The cinnamon is to keep my blood sugar stabilized.

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I have a pre-race pill bag which has 30 Energybits, 2 Sportslegs capsules, and 1 caffeine capsule. That I take 30-40 minutes prior to the start.

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Then I have a 3-compartment pill box. One compartment per hour, or about 8 miles. The first hour has 20 Energybits, 2 Sportslegs capsules, and an Amino Acid capsule. The second hour has 20 Energybits, 2 Sportslegs, 1 Advil, 1 Caffeine and an Amino Acid. The third hour has 20 Energybits, 2 Sportslegs, and an Amino Acid. For this race, I added a Hyland’s Leg Cramp tablet in each compartment…just in case.

I also like to have a cup of coffee in the morning. Usually I’ll do a bulletproof coffee, but my travel blender broke in Chicago, and my Bulletproof InstaMix didn’t arrive in time for this trip so I opted for a tablespoon of Bulletproof XCT Oil separately.

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I don’t eat. I prefer to run fasted. But I did pack a Quest Bar in case I got hungry before the race since it was such a late start. In my Nathan fuel belt, I stashed a UCan Cinnamon Superstarch Bar. I also carry a few peppermint tums as well as peppermint essential oil to rub under my nose for an instant boost. I always have tissues and a tube of Carmex, and a few new items in my arsenal this time around.

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In my two hydration bottles, I have a combination of a half pack of UCan unflavored Superstarch, a pack of Mestrength sugar free electrolytes, and half a pack of KetoOS mixed with water.

As I was getting that mixed up and ready to pour into my 10 oz belt bottles, my husband awoke and began his morning ritual. All I had to do now was fill up my throw away bag with the Delta blanket that I swiped from the airplane, my fuel belt, phone, earphones, Quest Bar, and  some extra water to take my pre-race baggie of stuff.

I couldn’t find my race tattoos…you know the ones that they put in your goodie bag. Gone…dang it. Good thing I’m not the superstitious type…not.

I affixed my Delaney Bib to the backside of my tank and proceeded to dress. I was sure to lube up with Vaseline at the same time. It was promising to be warm at race start. I wasn’t looking forward to that.

I put a little bit of tinted moisturizer on my face. I wouldn’t do that normally, but I didn’t bring any sunscreen and it was all I had in my arsenal that had any SPF in it. I wasn’t so much worried about anything other than my face. Call it vanity…but I decided the risk of stingy eyes was worth it. I also slicked down my hair with a bit of the Vaseline. Lately it has been sticking up in all directions thanks to my new influx of gray. I didn’t want it to show in my race photos. Yup, vanity again.

I tried to remain calm, cool, and collected. I was all ready to go. I sipped my coffee and checked my phone. I didn’t get too involved with social media because it zaps time and I wanted to savor it this morning. I didn’t want to feel rushed.

We watched the news, got the weather forecast, and unwound just a little before winding back up to head down to the bus departure area. It was 8:10 am.

I made the last minute sock decision, going with the compression’s and packing the toe socks just in case, but not without careful consideration. And I dreaded having to leave my eyeglasses behind. I had my sunglasses, but in dim light, like while sitting on the bus, I like to have my regular eyeglasses along. But I had nowhere to stash them during the run, nor would I have a hand off guy to give them to at the start. They would have to stay behind.

We were off. I tossed the toe socks back in the room. No sense in bringing them along. I committed to commit.

The bus hadn’t arrived yet so we went back to the lobby and mulled around a bit. Well, my husband sat down and browsed his phone while I mulled. This wasn’t doing me any good. After 5 minutes, I suggested we head back to the loading area, and the bus was there. My husband said “You better get on!”, gave me a quick hug and kiss…and that was that.

Before I knew it, I was aboard and seated next to a very nice young woman who immediately started a conversation with me. She was running alone, but was in town with her husband and mom. We had similar situations despite our age difference, and engaged in light-hearted running conversation during the entire course of the drive. This bus would only take us to just outside Athlete’s Village. We’d have to board a school bus from here that was authorized to take us inside.

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It was rather different from the first time I ran Boston. We were dropped off AT the corral entrances that time. This time, we were dropped off at the Village where we were requested to wait until our wave was called up to walk to the corrals. And there wasn’t much leeway. In fact, I had just enough time to wait in line at the porta potties, which were moving notoriously slow, go, and walk to the corral area. I didn’t get the time to look for or meet up with any of my friends from the previous day. That was a bummer. But again, I was grateful that I didn’t have time to do anything else other than what I intended to do…which was run.

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Athlete’s Village looked like a scene from the 70s. I had to snap a few photos. It just cracked me up!

As we entered the main loading area, the announcer was welcoming us, congratulating us, and then God Bless America began to play. As it did, I got extraordinarily emotional and began to weep. And I mean real big wet tears. What the hell? The entire scene…the moment…got to me in the biggest way. Perhaps it was relief that I made it. Perhaps it was the reality of it all. I was back in Hopkinton and I was ready to run. More ready than the first time.

As we were ushered into our corrals, there was a sweet older volunteer inside the gate. I caught her eye and asked her if she gave out hugs. “Oh, I most definitely do, dear. Are you OK?” I explained to her that I was just emotional. She asked me my name, then said, “My sister’s name is Theresa, too! And she spells it like you do.” She hugged me again and asked if I knew of St. Therese, the little flower of Jesus. Of course I did. That is who I was named for. She said “St. Therese is with you, dear. Just call to her when you need her.” It was the most comforting thing a perfect stranger ever said to me. I held both her hands and thanked her. And then we were off to the start line.

Final pre-race #selfie

Final pre-race #selfie

Stay tuned for all the race details in The Boston Marathon 2016 – Race Recap: Part 3.

Go back to The Boston Marathon 2016 – Race Recap: Part 1.

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