Getting to the race definitely didn't start out the way I wanted it to, that's for sure. I am chronically late to everything in my life except for races, I like to be there at least an hour early. For a big race like the Boilermaker I am much happier with an hour and a half especially since I knew so many people running it. I really wanted to get to the start line and walk around, talk to people, take pictures of random things that I could then post on the various sources of social media I flood on a daily basis but that wasn't meant to be. The people I was going to follow so I could run with my friend showed up to the meeting place an hour later than I did and it was over a half hour still to get to the race (I live about an hour away). I was less than happy about it and probably slammed every door on my car several times when we arrived at the place we parked because I am super mature and am therefore a door slammer and have been for years. I know, I know, I'm not perfect. If I was what would I have to work towards for the next 50 years? The good news is I am usually only mad for about 30 seconds and then it's over. I am also notoriously grumpy on the morning of a race until I am parked and at the start line and then I'm fine, I just get really anxious until I am THERE. Consider yourself warned if you ever run a race with me.
When we finally parked it was about 7:10am (technically 10 minutes after the buses were supposed to stop running to take us to the start line) and the race started at 8:00am. Thankfully there were buses still running as there were so many people but we didn't get to the actual start line until about 7:40. By the time everyone else stopped at the bathrooms I got to the start line literally less than 10 minutes before the race started. To say I was unhappy about it is an understatement but it is what it is. I'll know better next time. I did somehow manage to see a guy I graduated high school with in the sea of 14,000 runners which is funny because the last time I ran it he was the only person I saw that I knew at the start line as well.
*Side note: My dad used to work for Utica Transit Authority for 30 years which then got bought out by Centro but he used to always run buses for the Boilermaker so when I was little I always got excited on Boilermaker day because he would bring home things that people left on the buses. Once he brought me a name tag from McDonald's and I think it was one of the best things of my young life since I only got to go there once every two or three months so it was a magical wonderland to me.
The race itself went pretty well. I got caught up in the crowd and went out way to fast and psyched myself out of the race within the first mile and a half. It was a total head game because I was so scared I would be almost dead last like I was at the Mountain Goat that I thought I couldn't do it and that I should drop out. I was actually thinking to myself that I hated racing and I have no idea why I keep doing it (which is a total lie but running is a mind game and that's why I like it so much). But my friend was awesome and stayed with me (I helped her through her first Boilermaker two years ago so she helped me through this one) and after walking for a bit I was able to find a manageable pace and run the rest of it.
The route itself isn't that exciting and if you remove the hometown appeal and spectators from it I would probably say it's one of my least favorite routes to run. Most of it is on flat road with no shade which is hard for me to run when I love hills so much. There are two hills, Heartbreak Hill and the hill behind the golf course that a lot of people say are hard but after training for the Mountain Goat for three years straight I don't think they're that bad. You are all formally invited to run the Goat next year and tell me what you think about Colvin ;) The best part of the road behind the golf course is the amazing view and the almost mile of race you can bang out going all downhill. What makes the race AWESOME are the amount of amazing people that gather to cheer on the runners. It is almost a solid 9.3 miles of bands and people cheering for you and belly dancers and Irish step dancers and it's such an amazing sense of support and community. Right before the last hill of the race there were a group of kids who had made up a chant and a little dance about it being the last hill which was so cute. I probably stopped 4-5 times to hug people that were either watching or volunteering and I would never try to run this race for time and cut that out. The best part is that my babysitter (aka my second mom, the most amazing woman I know) and her husband are in the same spot every year and they get so excited for my gross sweaty hugs and I cry every time I see them.
I made sure that I stopped at most of the water stations to stay hydrated and around the 6 mile mark I totally ran out of energy so my friend was sweet enough to share her Shot Blocks with me. It was the first time I had tried them and I was worried about how my stomach would react but I had no issues. I have been thinking about carrying gummy bears with me during long runs so I think I'm going to start since they really seemed to help. Overall I ran it pretty slow and conservatively which is what I've been training for anyway. My goal was to come in at around 2 hours and I came in at 2 hours and 14 seconds. I have this weird ability to predict when I will finish the race within 5 minutes and this one was no exception. When I ran it in 2010 I finished it in 1:45 but that was because I was with my friend who had never run 15k before that day and I am pretty sure I could have done it in under 1:30 (she could have finished this year's in much less than 2:00 but she stayed with me the whole way). My goal next year is 1:20 because I want to be able to finish the Goat in 1:30 (only because you get a medal). Lofty goals, I know, but I can do it.
After the race I felt sick like I usually do but not as awful as two years ago and I think it's because I drank so much water and ate the Shot Blocks. I am starting to figure out that if I don't replace my electrolytes then my heart starts acting up and there was no Gatorade on the route. I also has the biggest blister I have ever gotten in my running career when I finally sat down and took my shoes off. Not big in circumference, big in that it was probably a quarter inch high (yes, of course I took a picture of it but I am sparing you all, you are welcome). I wore my Mizunos and I officially HATE them. I am going to still get the rest of my miles out of them and then I'm going back to my Ravennas. My friend actually said she was surprised to see me wearing them because they are a lot more of a stability shoe than I usually wear and she's right, for some reason Fleet Feet always wants to put me in stability shoes and nothing good comes of it (I know my Ravennas are light stability but they don't bother me nearly as much).
|Right after the race hanging out on a random train caboose.|
I stayed for a little bit after the race but not very long, there are way too many people at the after party and I hate huge crowds. My back was starting to hurt pretty bad anyway so I went to my mom's instead (she lives about 20 minutes away) and laid in the middle of the back yard (literally) for a half hour while she tried to convince me that the frogs in the pond they built a few years ago answer her when she makes frog sounds at them. I wish I was making this up but she's a little crazy (it's a genetic thing that I clearly inherited).
This video will show what I mean by a lot of people, it's a time lapse video of the 2010 after party start to finish behind the Saranac Brewery and it's so cool! If you're wondering how many people wander into the after party for the free beer the answer is about 40,000.
Overall the race went pretty much as I expected. There were so many people I knew running it for the first time this year and it was awesome to check Facebook after the race and see my feed blowing up with people's times and pictures of the race. I am really happy that I was able to train for it in a conservative way instead of trying to push myself too hard too fast and I can't wait for next year. As for what's next for me, it looks like it's going to be the Wineglass Half Marathon in Corning, NY in September (mostly because of the medal, it's made out of glass because of the Corning Museum of Glass and I am obsessed with decorative glass pieces). In between that I have Beach to Beacon 10k in Maine in August (which means I get to run TWO races with Joan Benoit Samuelson this year, B2B and the Wineglass although she will be far ahead of me, she is the first women to ever win the marathon in the Olympics) and a 5k I am doing with some friends in Boston which will probably involve a lot of drinking and me trying to find my way to Sweet cupcake shop in Cambridge.
I'm sure there will be more races I'll add in but those are it so far. I am also going to start the Half Marathon training program with Fleet Feet on July 31 to try and reduce my times which will be my first ever coaching, I am SO EXCITED!!! (that needs more !!!!!!!!!)
By the way, does anyone else cry like a baby at the end of Undercover Boss or is it just me? It's probably just me but it really does get me every damn time.