I wanted to re-qualify for Boston 2013 at Boston 2012 but with the temps in the upper 80s, I realized a 3:34:59 would be impossible and stupid to even try. I tried again at the Providence Marathon in the beginning of May but ended up running 3:41:00. After Providence I accepted that fact that I would not be running the Boston Marathon in 2013, but then I decided to give it one more shot so I signed up for the Around the Lake Marathon in Wakefield, MA. Didn't happen there either.
Luckily, I signed up for Smuttynose back in the spring with hopes of qualifying for Boston 2014. I wasn't even thinking about 2013 because I figured the race would be sold out already. You can imagine the pressure I felt when I learned I would be (unexpectedly) getting ONE more chance at qualifying for 2013. A chance that I never saw coming and never thought I'd get. The opportunity was just too perfect to pass up. Yes, I was going to try and BQ for 2014 anyway, but once I learned that Boston 2013 was STILL open, it just made things more real/scary.
I ended up running 3:33.04 and I managed to run dead-even splits the entire way. My second half was a few seconds faster than my first half, but for the most part all my splits were even. This was my 2nd fastest marathon and my 5th BQ. As some of you know, I LOVE racing with a pace bracelet and I HATE racing with my Garmin. After Sunday's race, I can say with 100% confidence that as long as I live I will NEVER EVER try and qualify with a Garmin again. I can't even tell you the peace and relaxation that pace bracelet brought me.
Here's a list of what worked well for me at Smuttynose:
1.Training. I didn't do as much running as I've done in the past, I averaged around 35-38 miles a week. It was all the work I did at the gym that was my secret weapon. I worked out with a trainer 2x a week doing all sorts of crazy hard drills, mostly for my legs using weights, the agility ladder, TRX, etc. I actually wasn't able to run fast during the week because my legs were so sore, probably not a good thing but it worked out for me.
2. Pace Bracelet. I always knew my TRUE PACE. No one cares what your pace was for 26.4 miles, it's the 26.2 miles that count. I hate looking at my average pace and seeing a faster number than I
get credit for. I also hate thinking I'm at mile 19.9 when really I'm at mile 19.6. And I hate looking at my watch 50x per mile. The pace bracelet is just so relaxing to me and, in my opinion, it's more accurate. I can also evenly pace myself though, so that's probably another reason why I like the pace band so much.
3. GenerationUCAN. Most people have never heard of this before...it's the drink that Meb uses. It uses slow release technology so there's no sugar spike and crash like other products. Ryan has sworn by GenUCAN for years, but for some reason it took me awhile to try it. I've used it about 7 times now and each time I had a strong run and times way faster than I expected. I should do a whole separate post on this stuff, it's amazing!
4. RYAN. OK, so Ryan should be #1, not #4. He was so supportive and never stopped believing in me. A few nights before the marathon he had me sit and watch motivational/inspirational videos on YouTube, lol. He even downloaded the top 100 pump-up songs for me and prepared a pre-race pep talk. Throughout the race I kept visualizing his face when I told him I BQ'd. Ryan also ran the marathon, he finished in 4:17:00. Waiting for him after the race was so hard!!!!! But his face made it all worth it :-)
5. Karmin. Not familiar with them?? Click HERE. I had lots of music on my ipod but 2 of their songs really kept me going. "Just Saying," and "Hello." Honestly, I listened to "Hello" on repeat from mile 17-23. True story!! It was just working well for me so I kept replaying it.
6. Sparkleskirts. Have you heard of sparkleskirts? If not, you are missing out. I own 7 of these babies and they do NOT ride up. Aside form that, they have 3 HUGE pockets which hold all your food. I wore my bright pink and glitter sparkle skirt, it's my favorite! I can't explain it but those skirts make me SO happy. I checked out my reflection in every car I ran by. I love the way the skirt moves when I run. Check out Sparkleskirts HERE.
7. Mom and Dad. I can't explain it but there's just something about seeing your family mid race. My parents surprised me by showing up at the marathon. I saw them at mile 3, 11 and at the finish. Running past them at mile 26.19 and giving them the thumbs up and saying "I made it," was by far the proudest moment of my life. It was SO cool to qualify in front of them and it was awesome to see their excitement.
I signed up for Boston about 30 seconds after I finished the race. I'm still waiting to hear back about my acceptance but it should be fine. Thanks to everyone who believed in me!