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Boston from the Sidelines

Once I had made it through my first trimester of pregnancy, it took me about 1 day to decide I would not be running the Boston Marathon in April. In my head I was nervous to make the decision that I wouldn’t be running because I couldn’t help but think constantly that I wasn’t sure I’d still be pregnant in April, due to my history with miscarriages. Once I felt I was in the clear and had realized I wasn’t running much at all because I was so sick and tired all the time- it didn’t take much to decide. No, you will not be doing a miserable run/walk at 7.5 months pregnant in Boston. I’ve only built up to 8 miles once since I ran the Monumental Marathon in November. This girl would be in no shape to have any part of the marathon. Beyond that had I planned on running we all heard about the extreme temperatures Boston had on Marathon Monday right? Yikes, I would have bailed either way.

So we headed to Boston on Friday- full of excitement for Glenn’s first Boston Marathon.

When we ran our first marathon in June, 2008 Glenn ran a 3:49. Needless to say there was a lot of learning and work to be done if he would ever qualify for Boston. Little did we know, he would get the job done three years later. What did it take for Glenn to get to Boston? What it takes most people- hard work, dedication, CONFIDENCE, (If I can scram up half of the confidence he has when he runs, I think I’d PR by a good 20 minutes….) experience and the desire to get it done.

We headed out to Boston on Friday and stayed through Tuesday, so it was a nice little vacation, before Hein #4 comes along.

The expo was completely obnoxious and a little annoying with overly excited runners buying millions of dollars worth of B.A.A. gear and chatting with each other about qualifying times. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good Boston sweatshirt, but the amount of money being spent on these items was just a little gross.

Glenn with his first Boston Bib- if only he’d had his Birmingham time for his qualifier… that bad boy would have been even lower. We all know runners at Boston are proud of their bib number.
I don’t think my shirt fit. I exchanged for a medium. People were looking at me like I was crazy picking up my packet… kind of wanted to have a sign that says… no I’m not that crazy. I’m not running this thing in 85 degree heat. 

Fast forward to race day.

I got up early and walked Glenn to the buses at 6am and sent him off like it was his first day of school. Peggy and I set up in an amazing shady spot on Boylston, just past the 26 mile marker at 9am and enjoyed the weather. We had a good bit of time to just relax and soak up the energy. Buying lawn chairs at walgreens was money well spent.

Ever since I realized I wouldn’t be running the race, I had been excited about being in Boston as a lover of running and spectator. It would mean I would get to see the wheelchair athletes, elite women, men, super speedy non-elites, average Jo’s like myself, BoMF resident and non-resident runners, charity runners, blind athletes, military men and women, athletes pushing other athletes in wheelchairs, people who headed to the finish line with smiles, grimaces, tears, looks of joy, disappointment, heat exhaustion, wobbly legs, fresh looking legs and the list goes on. If you follow running at all-  you know that times were slow on Marathon Monday in Boston. The winning times were almost 10 minutes slower than last years winning times and most “ordinary” runners out there were adding a good 30-60 minutes to their prize times.

First Wheelchair athlete in!
Women’s winner – Sharon Cherop
Running for Team Hoyt. You want inspiration? Watch something like this.
Heat getting the best of people. Bib # 393… trust me, this guy does not walk.
My favorite runner of the day. Here comes Glenn feeling and looking fresh. He ran very smart. I only told him 5,000 times to not race because I wasn’t interested in dealing with him having a heart attack in the heat.
Glenn’s support team.

We had a lot of fun adventures over the weekend, including running with Bart Yasso,(we actually got to meet and run with most of the staff from Runner’s World magazine), meeting up with BoMF Boston & hearing Joan Benoit Samuelson speak, eating at some amazing restaurants (we are just a bit obsessed with food), Glenn went to a game at Fenway Park, we got to see our good friends Erik and Lindsay, spent quality time with Glenn’s parents and enjoyed being a part of the marathon as both runner and spectator.

With Bart Yasso!
With Erik & Lindsay

Our original plan this year was to run together and that is still something I would like to do, but as for if we will go back next year- the last Marathon I raced was March 2011- therefore I would have to whip back in shape before September to qualify. (having baby in the beginning of July… not sure that will happen- aren’t you like not aloud to run for 4-6 weeks after giving birth?) The B.A.A. actually offered bib deferment for runners who chose not to race because of the heat, so I could do that – but after spectating on Boylston, now I’ve decided I want to run in wave 1 if we go back, then Glenn won’t have to run wave 2 with his kind of fast, but not fast enough wife. My bib number this year was 10,564 which put me about 2,000 away from wave 1. Guess I need to buck up and get a little faster.

When I ran Boston in 2009, it was only my second marathon and I was simply not an experienced enough runner to enjoy the ride. I was scared… small fish in a big sea of crazy runners. I was not prepared for the hills, my quads were ripped to shreds by mile 10, I was crying by mile 16 and ran a very sub par time. So, I’d like to go back as the runner I have become an will become. BUT, before I end this post, I just have to say- although Boston is great… I really don’t understand the crazy obsessed people. I get it. It’s cool to qualify for the Boston Marathon, it’s an honor to run the race. But when there are a ton of other great races out there, I’m really not interested in become one of the crazies that go back every single year. I’ll happily keep qualifying and improving myself elsewhere.

Perhaps we will head back in 2014, but who knows. I’ve never had a baby so I’m not sure how my priorities might change!

Hopefully you will see a post coming from the Hein that actually ran Boston this year in the near future. This was after all, the spectators perspective. 

Congrats to all the runners who braved the heat in Boston on Monday!

Happy runner – 11th marathon and 1st Boston!

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