We arrived at the starting area in the Fens around 7:30 am. Maggie was there to support Mark and agreed to hold our clothes. This was a great help. I got to keep my sweats and jacket on as long as possible and avoid the cool morning air. We hung around and attempted to stretch. There were LONG lines for the Port-a-Potties so I was really glad I went at home.
My biggest worry before the race started was that all of the runners were supposed to finish in 2 1/2 hours. I was scared that we wouldn't be able to make it that quickly and the course would close.
The Elite Runners started ahead of the rest of the group. It was after 8:05 am by the time we crossed the starting line.
We were stuck in the pack and it was really crowded. I was really surprised when we passed the first mile marker and we had run just under a 10 minute pace.
Jared was darting through the crowd, trying to keep up with Chris. It was too difficult to stay together as a group of 3. Plus it was too early in the race to keep speeding up. I wanted to save my energy and run at a steady pace.
My parents were waiting for us at Mile 3. I think we surprised them. They thought our pace would be a bit slower, but we were running at a good clip. We were still in a big crowd. Sometimes people passed me and sometimes I passed them. But I didn't let anything bother me. I just listened to my music and kept going at a steady pace that felt comfortable.
The race course required runners to turn around and double back. By mile four, we saw the elite runners on their way back to the Fens. It wasn't discouraging to see them sprinting by, heading in the other direction. It was actually inspirational! All of the runners on my side of the road clapped for them. It made me want to keep going and get closer to the finish!
During the fifth mile, I started noticing that all of the comfortable downhills we were running were going to be difficult uphills when we had to turn around. I had taken 1 cup of water a few miles back and I was looking forward to the next water station, and goo for extra energy.
I grabbed a packet of green apple goo and a cup of water just before mile six. During this mile, we entered the Franklin Park Zoo. We ran by sets from the Zoo Keeper movie that's being filmed there. We also saw camels!
Jared and I were high-fiving at each mile marker. At mile seven, I was happy because we were more than halfway done with the race.
My longest training run was eight more mils. Once I hit this mile marker, I reminded Jared that anything we ran after this point was farther than we'd ever run before. Quite an accomplishment!
My parents were waiting at mile nine, camera ready for more action shots. My mom was surprised that we were still smiling.
It was the perfect weather for running. The air was crisp and cool. It wasn't windy. I couldn't have asked for a better day!
Mile 10 and Mile 11
It was a challenge going back uphill as we headed back to Boston. I pushed really hard at each hill and my legs were really tired.
My hips started to get sore and tight. My legs still felt heavy from the hills. Even though I was getting tired, I didn't feel bad. I just listened to more songs on my Marathon playlist and kept putting one foot in front of the other.
We had to circle around the Fens for the last mile of the course. I could hear the crowd at the finish line and that was enough to make me keep going. Jared was breathing heavy and seemed like he was struggling. I kept offering words of encouragement and motivating to keep running for 10 more minutes.
There were crowds of people along the sides of the road cheering and ringing cowbells. This was really motivating! My legs were tired but I was able to pick up speed and lengthen my stride. I felt great when I crossed the finish line. I was happy I didn't have to run anymore and thrilled that I accomplished a major goal!
My mom was so proud of me for finishing. In elementary school, she helped me run one mile so I could earn a Physical Fitness award.
After getting drinks and snacks, we crowded around the official times to see how everyone had done.
Mark, Jared, Chris, and I successfully completed the BAA Half Marathon!