Is it really only 8 weeks until the Boston Marathon? Wooo weee! I remember saying that it was only 20 weeks to go and that just seems like yesterday. However, it seems like forever ago that I ran Boston in 2004. And I don't remember much AT ALL. People ask me about the course, what I did before the race started, good restaurants and hotels, the expo, etc. and I really can't tell them much. This is pretty much all I do remember:
- I didn't know anyone else running.
- It was my second marathon.
- I had just found out what the Boston Marathon was only a year prior to running it.
- The expo was really cool. I had never seen so much running stuff on sale. And it was like a world created entirely for people like ME. In fact, there were tons of people there that looked just like me...the runner look. So exciting!
- Some little kids handed me orange slices and some college girls yelled really loud when I passed their college that started with a W.
- I took a bus ride on the way to the start and talked to an old man who had done this ride many times.
- I was handed a sharpie marker while sitting on the grass waiting to start the race and was told that the cool thing to do was to write my name on my legs and arms. It was similar to what I imagine it being like at a concert when a joint is passed around. Only it wasn't a concert and we were passing around a marker. But everyone was really cool about sharing the black ink. Ha!
- It was 80 degrees. Record breaking heat for the Boston marathon.
- I had NO plan. None. I was there to have fun.
- I could barely hit what felt like a 10 minute mile pace when I was finishing but I didn't keep track of my splits then and I surely didn't own a Garmin.
- Instead of an ice bath, I took a hot bath and then went out and partied after the race. My husband almost had to get me a wheel chair in the airport the next day in order to make our flight. But I got really pissed and yelled at him not to even DARE. How embarrassing. Took me at least 5 minutes to sit down in my seat on the airplane.
- When I got back to my third grade class, they all cheered and told me that they taped the race and hoped to see me. They asked if I won. They thought I was a superstar. I loved them for this.
- I bought a really expensive jacket in a size or two too big since apparently I thought I was a medium or large back then or maybe it was the style to wear oversized clothing. Anyway, I never wore the jacket because I always felt funny about wearing a jacket with really big lettering that said BOSTON MARATHON 2004 on the back. Or at least it felt very big. Not subtle. I felt silly wearing it to races and stretching out and doing drills so I would save it for when I'd run around my neighborhood. But now I would wear it with pride and plan on getting another one. Luckily, it seems that they make the jackets a bit more on the modest side now.
- I don't remember the race really. What is happening to my memory? I remember one mile before the finish line but not the finish line. I remember being at the top of heartbreak hill. And I remember the start and some random parts of the race but not much more. Oh, and I remember starting with a woman with a really nice body and being in Absolute AWE that she had three kids at home!!! I didn't understand how someone with three kids could be running the Boston Marathon and look like her.
Well, that's about it. NOT very helpful information if I were to be giving advice to someone who was heading to the Boston Marathon for their first time. In fact, I'm hoping some of you have some helpful tips, advice, or useful pieces of information to share! Even if you've never run the Boston Marathon but know about it.
What Will I Do With Your Information??
I thought it would be great to get as many useful comments about the Boston Marathon as I can and then compile everyone's comments into one post that can be used by everyone that is heading to Boston this April or in the future. Even the funny random ones that have nothing to do about the race itself but might be fun to know while we are in Boston. Like a certain stop light that drives you nuts or a good place to get bagels and cream cheese. Or the best place to drink a nice cold beer after the race. Or what NOT to do on the Newton hills. So....
- What are some great places to stay?
- Where are the most affordable places to stay?
- Tell us about the most ideal spots to be near.
- Tips about public transportation.
- Where are your favorite spots to eat? Drink? Shop?
- Where do you run before the big day?
- Do you go early?
- Favorite mile in the race?
- Race strategy...this one is BIG!
- After race ritual?
- Good place to celebrate?
- Fun restaurant to carbo load before the big day.
- Things to PACK in your race day bag to take up to the starting line!!! I want to know this one.
- Whatever else you can think of to share. Even your favorite kind of bra to wear or some kind of superstitious routine.
Please share as much or as little as you have to share. Contribute to this bloggy conversation! I want to hear from you way more than I want to spend time googling Boston Marathon tips and advice and reading long articles by people I don't know. I want to hear from the people just like you, you and you that have, want to, or will run the Boston Marathon! I hope to get lots of serious, funny, fun, useful, and wise words that I can share in one big post in a few weeks that we can ALL enjoy. So, send your running friends over so they can contribute to this too.