After the marathon, when I was on the bus back to CT I was thinking what could I write about this Boston that could be so different than any other Boston Marathon that I ran? The Expo is basically the same,
the challenging course, the crowds, they are similar in those aspects. There wasn’t a lot this year that was different. Then it occured when I woke up at 4:00 am of the differences that I had to jot down!
The Expo: This
year, the Adidas area at the Expo was total chaos this year. They somehow had changed the checkout area and the line to get to registers was backed up completely thru both sides of their merchandise areas. The line was backed up so far it took almost an hour
to check out. Hardly worth the wait to buy a hat that I didn’t even wear. I was saying as we got closer to the cash registers “we should be getting medal when we get to the cash register, I feel like I’m on mile 25!”
Weather: The weather seems to be the biggest pre-race challenge. When I started stalking the weather as soon as I was able to see the 10-day forecast I almost fell off my chair when I saw “70% change of frozen mix”! No!
Not another Boston like 2018! Last year was so miserable with the headwinds, sleet, rain, wet freezing conditions. Kim told me not to worry about the weather. He is always the optimist when it comes to this. He said we have a 30% chance it won’t
rain, and the weather will change. Every morning after I’d pull up the weather and it continued to change each day; the temperature and the % of rain also went. The day before the marathon I started to get some hope as the % of rain decreased at
the start and at the finish. This of course meant that the capris, hand warmers, gloves, new rain jacket, rain poncho, surgical gloves and all the extra layers would not be necessary. I went back to shorts and a tank top.
When we arrived
in West Hartford to pick up the bus for our ride to Hopkinton, the rain had just started again. I opened Facebook to waste time waiting for the bus and got an alert “Tornado Warning in Litchfield and Fairfield counties”. I immediately
checked Boston’s weather and it was still the same! As soon as the bus arrived the rain and wind started to pick up. We got to our next pick up in Manchester and the rain was coming down sideways and the people coming on the bus
We arrived in Hopkinton and the rain started to let up. When we walked outside the weather was relatively warm!
This year was special for my friend Rosanne who was running. She had decided early on that she wasn’t going
to run. She had lost her mom to a 2-year battle with cancer and was devastated and heartbroken from the loss. She missed a lot of the training. She messaged me one night that she was considering running Boston. I told her that all she
needed was one long run for her training and she could run it. I told her “do a run/walk”! To make a long story short, she committed to running and was on the bus! We all wore bibs on our back to honor her mom; #mimistrong and
before we left for the start we got a photo of our backs wearing the bib.
The Race: We headed to the start and I realized when we got to the corral I forgot my gloves. There was overcast and a slight chill in the air.
I figured as soon as I started to run I’d warm up. The gun went off and we were off! When you look ahead in the race you can see a sea of colors of all the different runners ahead of you. What seemed to be a very slow pace due to congestions
was pretty much a surprise when my watched chimed 8:17. My goal was to keep my pace at 8:30 until the 10K mark and then adjust if necessary. I wasn’t planning on getting a PR in Boston but it sure would have been nice!
Our first surprise
was seeing our friend Joyce Lee who we met at the San Francisco marathon 2017! We also “ran into her” during the San Francisco marathon 2018! (funny how we keep bumping into each other) We chatted, took selfies and continued running.
The miles were flying by and the crowd support was phenomenal! We had our friends at the mile 9 water stop that we were looking for our - Fleet Feet peeps. Running up to them and having them cheer for us was a great boost to keep going.
I got a hug from Anna and took off with her cheering!
The Heat: Around mile 10 is when I started to feel horrible. The sun came out and there was no site of rain whatsoever; it was freaking HOT! The tailwind that was predicted
never happened. In fact, there was NO wind! I went from racing to doing a run/walk. It’s funny, I’d focus so much on my watch waiting for the okay to walk that I wasn’t paying attention to what mile I was on. When
I got to the water stops I’d drink water and then pour a couple cups over my head and legs that seemed to be on fire! That helped me get running again but as soon as the water evaporated I would have to go back to run/walking. There was a
fireman that had an opened the fire hydrant for a nice cool shower. I ran right over and cooled off! That saved me for another mile.
Finally, we were on Heartbreak hill! I knew my friends were going to be there, so I pushed my way
up the hill and never stopped running until I saw them. I almost started to cry when I saw them. They gave me fig newtons and water. We stayed there a few minutes for some hugs and pictures while we regrouped. I continued up Heartbreak Hill
and by Boston College. I had finally gotten thru all the hills and now it was downhill as they say to Boston. When I got to Brookline it was then I noticed my friend Rosanne at mile 23. Kim noticed her too from the #mimistrong bib on her back!
Kim said “Wow” she is running really strong. Rosanne started after us and somehow caught up and passed us. This was truly amazing because she had her doubts on how she would run today
I ran up behind her and said “Kim, don’t
let Rosanne know I’m behind her” and then she turned and said “OMG, what are you doing here! You planned this didn’t you!”. She was running strong and I had a hard time catching up to her. Kim said “Jeanne, let
her go”, knowing that I was running on empty. Seeing her inspired me and gave me energy that I didn’t think I had left in me. My smile came back, and I started to feel alive again. We ran side by side silently and made the
turn on Boylston Street. Our pace picked up and Kim grabbed my hand. I turned and say my friend Lisa Butler and waved to her! She said she’d be at the finish. I just think it’s crazy to be able to find someone in that crowd!
Then we heard our friend Ed Sweeney cheering for us! Kim, Rosanne and I crossed the finish line. I grabbed her and hugged her, and I started to cry! Never have I been so proud of this amazing woman. What are the chances that we would meet
up with 30,000 people running Boston? I believe that this didn’t happen by chance. It was her mom that pulled us together on the course. What an amazing experience. Finishing BostonStrong with 4:00:50 (Kim's time 4:00:49 - he beat me!)