Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Home - a little sweeter

Today, we made it home from Boston.  
We are safe !  
We are blessed !  
We are thankful !  
We are praying for the victims !

 Bostonians are amazing and strong !  
We salute you !    
We pray for you !

When the bomb exploded, I was just down the road,  at the food/water area.  I heard the bomb and looked back to see what had happened.  I saw the cloud of smoke rising into the sky and  I immediately started walking to the hotel.  Immediately, the ambulances and police started to roll toward the bomb area.  We stayed at the Park Plaza hotel which is about a 1/2 mile from the finish line.  As I walked, my thoughts went to my friends in the hotel room.  I was in the 3rd coral, so I knew they should all be in the hotel and safe.  I knew they would be worried about me, so I walked as fast as I could, post marathon (not very fast).

When I arrived , one of my friends hugged me.  I thought she was hugging because of the bomb situation, but I quickly realized it was a congratulatory hug instead.  I immediately told them what I had witnessed and that we needed to turn the TV on.  We stayed together the rest of the afternoon, watching, worrying about the victims, and wondering WHY ?    Why,  we may never know.

My intention is to NOT let the terrorists change my way of life.  I will not fear the marathon, I will not alter my run, I will not let them win.  I will move forward and be thankful for my life.  I will continue to pray for the victims, their families,  and our country.   

In moving forward, I will celebrate the day, the awesome day, up until the time the bomb went off.  
Patriots Day in Boston is a super,  mid-April tradition,  that will not be destroyed by evil.  

Before the Bomb:

BQ 1 - 2010 - 4:08
BQ2 - 2013 - 3:57

Terri and I arrived in Boston on Fri night.  Sat. we spent most of the day at the expo and shopping at some of the sporting goods stores.  We had lunch at P.F. Changs, and then a little more post-lunch shopping.  We rested for a bit  and  went to dinner.  Sunday - we went to the 5k to support our friend J. who was running the 5k.  We left the cell phones in the room so we couldn't connect with J. prior to the race.  Terri and I tried to spot J. as all of the runners passed - fail !   We needed to run 3 miles, so we followed the 5k course.  We connected with our friends post-race.  J. ended the morning with a 5k PR - congrats J. !  G. - walk/ran the 5k and chatted along the way.   We met T. & M. for lunch at an Irish Pub.  The rest of the day, Terri and I lounged in the hotel room.  Sunday night was Panera Bread - and race prep.  

This is where the plan went awry.  Prior to our trip to Boston, I had printed pace bands for my A, B, and C goal.  
A -3:45 - based on my Top of Utah PR of 3:43
B - qualify for Boston on the Boston course,  (3:55)
C - run a "course PR" at Boston (2010 - 4:08)   
With all of the shopping and marathon chat, I got sucked into the danger zone - going for a BIG goal.   I even printed some new pace bands with faster paces/goals.  Sunday night, I totally changed my mind, went totally optimistic ( unrealistic & crazy), and printed 3:42.

As Marathon Monday unfolded, I was on 8:34 pace for 16 miles.  Early in the marathon, I was surprised.  Number 1 - surprised at how tough the course was, 
Number 2 - surprised how one can FORGET how tough the course is, 
Number 3 - and why did I want to do this again? 

By the time I made it to the Newton area, I was fatiguing. Although I was feeling some fatigue,  I thought I would be able to hold a pace to get me to the Boston course BQ,  with little doubt.  That was not to be.  As the hills continued, and increased in size, the fatigue grew.  I had made a big mistake, a rookie mistake.  Hindsight - had I gone with the pre-printed,  slower (realistic) goal, I have NO DOUBT in my mind,  I would have met my goal to BQ on the Boston course.  In many ways I'm disappointed.  This was marathon number 25 for me.  After 25 marathons, you learn some things along the way.  I learned LONG AGO, that for ginny, aggressive goals never work out.   It DOESN"T !  I do not have one marathon on record, out of 25, where going out too fast  has been good for me, and yet, I decided Sunday night to go for the BIG goal, which translated into too fast for me.  DUMB ! 

Mixed Emotions:
in many ways, I'm disappointed that I made the rookie mistake - I've already learned this along the way - going big - with fast paces early on, does not work for me.  (noted again :)

in some ways, I'm ok with it.  we often say, "you never know until you try."  I was going for the BIG race.  I went for it, and didn't make it.  I choose not to beat myself up for "going for it."  Yes, I was too aggressive with my goal, and yes it was not a wise choice, but I leave Boston, knowing that I "went for it" and "I tried." 
 (I was curious if I could "do it" - now I know - not yet - question answered). 

Yes, I'm sad I missed the BQ, but I choose to focus on the more positive side of the day.
I train on hills the majority of the time, but our MS hills do not come close to the hills from Hopkinton to Boston.  Most reading about the Boston course focuses on the hills from 16-21, and make the rest of the course sound relatively easy.  This is so not true for me.  It wasn't true in 2010, and it wasn't in 2013.  For me, this course is 26.2 miles of hills, tough from mile 1 - 26.2.  

Lesson of the weekend - 
typically,  I'm a "realist".   For me, it's smart and works for me.   It's  how I live my life in general.   Sunday night I changed my realistic Boston goal, to a very aggressive & optimistic goal.  So I return from Boston with a reminder course in what works for me. 
Stay REAL ginny !   

So here's the thing:
 In 2010, I finished with a 4:08.    After Boston 2010,  I vowed to become a better hill runner. 
 In 2013, I finished with 3:57, a sub 4:00 on the Boston course. 
 CHECK !  Mission accomplished !  With this, I can not be disappointed.  
This is what I choose to focus on now. 

Thank you Soccer Locker & City Runners for giving me the opportunity to return to Boston and "go for it!"  I leave Boston 2013 knowing, without a doubt,  that I AM a BETTER hill runner than before. 

Terri - thanks for a fun-filled weekend.  Thanks for sharing my passion of training hard, and going for BIG goals.  fun adventures continue....  Thanks for your support ! 
Hattiesburg group - T & M, J, J, G - enjoyed it !  
Let's   ren·dez·vous again!   

Notes about Boston:
-bring a throw away blanket and throw away shoes
-the Boston course is hilly from 1-26.2 (uh, remember that ginny)
-if possible, locate a chartered bus that leaves Boston at 7:30
-bring toilet paper to the Athletes Village
-start out slower than you think/want,  for 1-10
-13 - prepare yourself for the Wellesley girls - awesome !
-Boston college - another great crowd boost area 
-extra lbs. are not beneficial to hill racing - seriously - it's NOT!   
-Au Bon Pain - yum !   (see the note above - lol )
-for me - "Stay REAL"

And now,  I will honor and thank my body for the ongoing work that is does for me, I will give my body and mind a 3 week break from running.  
Next run - May 6th 




Amanda@runninghood said...

A better comment soon for sure. But wanted to say congratulations and say how happy I am that you are safe! So close. So sad.

Gracie said...

Thank goodness you are safe!

Redhead Running said...

So relieved to hear you and yours are safe!

Happy Feet 26.2 said...


Congratulations Ginny and glad you are home safe and sound! Congrats on your time and stop being so hard on yourself. You are awesome and inspire more people than you realize. God Bless and so glad you are safe!

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

Hello Anonymous: Thanks for your kind comment. I've been told the same before. I do feel that I should respond to let you and others know that I am proud of all that I have achieved with my running. I work hard, and I have achieved more than I ever thought I would. However, when I miss goals because simple avoidable mistakes, that bugs me. I work too hard at my fun, to make simple errors that totally affect my outcome. ex. - remember recently, I achieved an 80 mile wk for the first time? with the decision I made to change my plan, that 80 mile week was wasted because of an avoidable pre-race decision. This is also what keeps me addicted to the marathon - it's really HARD to have great training, keep it all together on race day, have good weather, etc. etc. Be sure to know, I write to analyze, remember, and learn. I write to share the dumb and the smart. I also write because I am proud of my journey.

lindsay said...

congrats ginny! you certainly still deserve to celebrate your boston marathon - and focusing on the positives parts instead of dwelling / fearing the bad is a great attitude to have. so glad you are safe!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you made it home safely! Congrats on a course PR!

I don't even know what to say and I feel no matter what I say it is not the right thing. I'm still in shock about the bombing but at the same so incredible proud of the running community! If I wouldn't be a runner already, I would be one by now. Hearing all the amazing things runners did and still do gives me goose bumps!

Mindy Bobe said...

Congrats Ginny! You are an amazing runner! I am so glad you are ok! Laura called me on her way home from work that day to see if I knew anything about how you were. I checked your facebook page and saw a comment from someone that said you were safe. Music to me and Laura's ears! I hope you can celebrate your accomplishment despite the tragic events on that day.

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

I like to try for big goals, too. You never know unless you try! Congrats on a great finishing time on the Boston course!