During my taper for the Boston Marathon, I was probably the biggest caricature of a tapering runner that I have ever been. And as soon as I exhibited one of the taper-crazy symptoms, I immediately started beating myself up for caring too much about a race that I was just going to fail at because the weather was going to be so hot and why do I even run marathons when there is so much I can't control and this is definitely going to be the last marathon I ever run where I care about my time!
|I was due to take off from Hopkinton at 10:50, and arrive hopefully around 2:30.|
As I loaded my suitcase into the airport limo on Saturday morning, I basically felt like I was jumping off a cliff. I had little to no idea about my race plan, and felt incredibly guilty about leaving my family in order to jet to the East Coast to have no fun. It didn't seem the least bit worth it. I'm telling you, the taper crazies were playing with my head BIG-TIME!
Fortunately, when you are flying first class, things often seem a lot better. Thank you, airline credit card miles!
It also helped to see this blog post from a local Boston weather station while I was sitting at the gate. It said that the forecast was calming down in a major way. Spoiler alert: At least with regard to the start line temps, this weather guy or gal was completely clueless, but it helped me to enjoy my travels a bit more!
|I was in Wave 3, so you can see why I almost cried with happiness when I read this! Too bad it was completely delusional!|
Saturday in Boston
Most of my Saturday was taken up with travel. By the time I picked up my bags, took a cab to my hotel, and checked in, it was already after 4:00. I could have made a quick trip to the Expo or done some sightseeing, but my heart was missing my family and not completely jazzed about running a marathon in less than 48 hours.
There was no grocery store nearby, so I spent a small fortune at the hotel gift shop on a ton of bottles of water, so I could continue hydrating like a boss. I ordered some room service, texted with my awesome friend Wendy, and tinkered with my race playlist. I was asleep by 9:30, and slept pretty soundly.
|Wendy texted me a bunch of these photos in an attempt to cheer me up. And it worked; I decided to try to have fun for her, if for no other reason!|
Sunday in Boston, AKA EXPO DAY!
I woke up at about 7:00 a.m., feeling very rested. The sleep had improved my mood enough that I was finally excited about going to the Expo. But first, a little weather stalking. I was glad that they were now predicting the temperatures to top out at 70 rather than "in the 70s." Perhaps all was not lost!
|Don't get me wrong, this is still kinda warm..|
By a little after 9:00, I was in a cab on the way to the Expo. I'm pretty sure the cabbie spotted an out-of-towner and took me the scenic route in order to rack up the fare, but there was no way to be sure so I didn't say anything. As soon as I stepped out of the cab, the atmosphere was electric. This was definitely runner's mecca!
Once I entered, I resisted the urge to shop, and went upstairs so I could get my packet in my hot little hands.
The pickup went super-smoothly, as I expected for a World Marathon Major, and I got my bib and shirt (a sweet long-sleeve in the traditional Boston colors) in record time. One thing I noticed is that more than a few people seemed to be outwardly freaking out when they got their bib packet. Like jumping-up-and-down and squealing. I kept my cool and got the heck back downstairs to the shopping area.
|Even outside the building, the vibe was all-running, all-the-time!|
|I was in such a hurry to get my bib, the picture is out of focus!|
|Can I say how much I loved this #RunBold marketing campaign? What a great celebration of the boldness it took to get to Boston, and an important reminder for race day!|
I'm going to apologize in advance for the lack of pics. My phone had trouble getting a signal, and by the time I struggled to send a few texts, my battery was on its way to dying. The Expo was the largest I have attended, with two adjoining convention halls full of exhibitors. I actually got turned around and had trouble finding my way out!
I decided to roam around one of the convention halls to get the lay of the land before I started to spend my life savings in the Adidas "official race merchandise" area. I was stoked to see Michael Wardian in the Hoka booth, just shooting the breeze with whoever wanted to do so! What a personable guy. I didn't know what I would say to him, however, so I just took cell phone photos from afar like a stalker. After I left, I realized I could have bonded with him over treadmill running!
|An amazing world-record-holding runner, just standing there waiting to talk to people. No biggie.|
When that was over, my phone battery was dangerously low. I put it on low-power mode and soldiered on to check out the booths in the other convention hall.
When I had heard earlier in the week that my favorite runners Shalane Flanagan and Desi Linden (not to mention Amy Cragg and Ryan Hall) were going to be at the Expo, I couldn't believe my good fortune. I packed my Running Times and Competitor magazines with Desi on the cover, in preparation for getting her autograph, and I carried them to the Expo with me.
|What an honor to see Dick Hoyt in person!|
|I follow the marathoners at the front of the pack very closely, so this was my dream come true!|
|Talk about a tiny runner -- she is literally pocket-size in person (the Internet says she is 5'5", but she looked much shorter)!|
Before I left the expo, I had two more orders of business: I circled back to the Brooks booth so I could get my photo taken with my bib (the glare from the flash conveniently blurred my bib number to prevent bandits):
|I'm glad this booth was there, since it saved me from having to ask a random stranger to take my photo!|
|Right on Hereford, Left on Boylston..one of the most famous intersections in running!|
The Expo had definitely gotten me pumped for the race! Once I was back in my hotel room, it was amazing how fast the time went. My first order of business was to pin my bib on my tank and lay out my "flat runner"...after a selfie, of course...
|As ready to rock as I'll ever be!|
I retired to my bedchamber, ordered some more room service, called home, and then signed off social media for the evening. I got a little sucked into a replay of the NCAA Women's Bowling Championships on ESPN2 (awesome comeback, Stephen F. Austin University!), and I was asleep by 10pm.
To be continued...