|Rest and relaxation|
|Still in a Boston state of mind!|
As I was running the race, everything felt surreal. It was hard to believe that I was actually running THE Boston Marathon after all these years. And it was hot! And even though I've DNF'ed several marathons due to the heat, I actually embraced the heat and found myself determined to enjoy the race no matter what. What a difference from my former self!
This may sound a bit cheesy, but it almost feels like I was somehow changed by the Boston Marathon-- "initiated" into the world of Boston Marathon runners. Between the time that Greg said goodbye to me at the busses in Boston Common and the time I saw him again in our hotel room, I felt like a different person. Of course, I was the same person, but now I was on the other side. In my book I talk "the haves" and the "have-nots" of marathon running, and I had always seen myself as a "have-not." Of course, that was not a healthy attitude, but now that I was a "have" it kind of felt different.
Another topic I discuss in my book is separating myself as a person from myself as a runner. I, Elizabeth Clor, am not defined by my running or anything I do for that matter. I'm definitely by how I do things. How did I run the Boston Marathon?
- Boldly. I know that I struggle more in the heat than the average runner, especially when it comes to long distances, but I only adjusted my goal pace by 20 seconds per mile. I had no idea if that would be enough, but I wanted to find out. Turns out, I probably should have adjusted my goal down by 40-45 seconds a mile, but now I know and I don't regret that decision.
- Passionately. Never once did I take for granted that this was Boston and I had earned it. I soaked up as much of the experience as I possibly could, and kept my eyes wide open to everything that was around me.
- Neutrally. Even though I ran the race with passion, my emotions were actually fairly neutral the whole time. I've learned to temper my emotions during races so that I don't judge any curve-balls that could get thrown at me. I simply accept what happens without judgement and do my best to adapt if need be. When I started to slow down later in the race, I wasn't upset, scared, or angry at the weather. I just thought to myself "ok" and kept running.
- Strategically. I had a pacing strategy for this race, and I executed it until I couldn't execute it any more. Once I couldn't execute the original plan, I developed another strategy, which was simply to focus on getting to the finish without stopping or walking. Aside from pacing, my strategy also involved using cooling towels at the start line, pouring water on myself at every possible moment, running with ice in my sports bra as it became available, and taking my UCAN fuel as I had in training.
- With Gratitude. As I mentioned in the "passionately" bullet, I was constantly aware of the magnitude of what I was doing. In addition, I was thankful for so many things. Thankful that I had overcome so many obstacles in order to qualify. Thankful for my loving husband and all of my friends and family tracking me. Thankful that I was healthy enough to train and run marathons. Thankful for my coach and how he's helped me get to a level I never thought possible.
I've been asked by several people why I don't try and qualify for Boston 2017 by running another marathon by early September. My response is that I want to spend the summer focusing on getting faster at shorter distances so that I can really crush a marathon in the fall. I'd rather run a really solid fall marathon with a proper training cycle than jump back into marathon training so soon to try and run an early September marathon. I don't want to get injured or burned out, and I find it difficult to do long runs in the heat.
Plus, I've already achieved my goal of running Boston, now I want to try and run a really fast marathon-- somewhere in the 3:20-3:25 range. I think I can do it if the weather is right, but not in early September temperatures. So, I have registered for the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon in November. It's been on my list for awhile and some of my friends are doing it, so I figured it would be a great year. Part of what I loved about training for Boston was "meeting" other local runners on Strava and virtually training with them. We encouraged and supported each other and it will be great to have that for Indy in the fall, too.
Having the vacation immediately after the race and then launching my book prevented there from being a "low" after the race, thankfully! I might not run Boston again for two more years, but there are a lot of wonderful things to enjoy and achieve in the meantime.