Boston pre-race

Marathon Monday started with a 5am alarm, which turned out to be unnecessary. I woke up at 4:59, typical. There was a minor coffee emergency on Sunday night when I realized that both of the in-room coffee pods to use with the coffee machine were decaf. Um, that’s not gonna help. Turns out the hotel ran out of regular coffee. After a serious slight  freak-out on my part, I realized that the CVS Pharmacy that was attached to the hotel would be open for seven more minutes. I ran down and spent nearly $10 on an 8-pack of Starbucks VIA instant coffee. Crisis averted.

Upon waking, I used the coffee maker to produce some hot water for my Starbucks. As I drank my coffee, I made up a peanut butter bagel to go. I have never had the experience of being awake for over five hours before the start of a marathon, and wasn’t sure exactly how much to eat and at what time. I decided I would eat the bagel on the bus to the athlete’s village around 7am, and I brought a banana to eat closer to race time. I put on my race clothes, bib, and warm clothes, and was ready to go.

James and I walked the few blocks to the T and boarded with a bunch of other runners. It was a short ride to Boston Common where we needed to get on the bus to the start.

There were masses of runners everywhere and what seemed like hundreds of yellow school busses.

We waited probably about 15 minutes for a bus, not too bad. The bus ride took a little over an hour. I used that time to eat my bagel, relax, and take in the scenery.

We finally arrived at the athlete’s village and headed straight for the port-a-potties. After that long bus ride my bladder was full! It was very chilly and windy out, and the ground was wet from the rain the day before. Lots of smart people brought garbage bags and tarps to sit on. We were not so well-prepared.

James and I took a bit of shelter from the wind next to a fire truck.

James is much faster than me, and qualified to start in wave one, while I was in wave two. The day before the race, he decided to drop back and run with me since he hadn’t been doing much in the way of training. I was very happy to have someone to run with, especially since James has pretty much paced me to all of my marathon PR’s, including my Boston qualifier last year.

With about 20 minutes before we had to leave for the corrals, we checked our bags and hit the port-a-potty one last time. We left the athlete’s village around 9:45 and headed for the start. Everything was really well-organized, and we were able to enter corral number six without a problem. We chatted with one of the volunteers about the race, baseball, and cheese as we waited for the 10:20 start. Before I knew it, the race was underway. Then it hit me. Holy crap, I am running the Boston Marathon. Soak it all in right now, this is it...

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