Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Boston Marathon

An AMAZING experience that I will never forget!
I prepared so hard for this marathon and not only for this marathon, but for the previous qualifying marathon and I finally received the benefits from the hard work!
We loved everything about Boston (first time to the East Coast). The city is just amazing in their support for the Boston Marathon. The entire city just shuts down in preparation for the event. There were runners and supporters everywhere with such positive energy. People were happy and friendly. It was just so nice to walk around and see all the people preparing for this race.
We stayed in a condo in "Little Italy" which is the North end of Boston with so much charm and original brick buildings. We ate at an amazing Italian restaurant and got pastries from little pastry shops, which were all around. Austin and Jesse would venture out after dinner and visit a new pastry shop almost every night, they were delicious!

The days leading up to the marathon and especially the day of, my nerves were out of control. I started second guessing everything I had done in training and worried if I was even ready. I was concerned for the feared "Newton Hills" with big concerns for heartbreak hill, but being with Lynn and Tara who were feeling the same things, made it manageable and we talked through our fears together. And we had our AMAZING support of spouses that have been with us every step of the way and deserve so much recognition for their love and support with us crazy ladies.

We all started the marathon in different corrals and decided we would all run separate and do our own race (marathon running is very much a mental game). The weather conditions were perfect for running and I was excited and ready to go!

The gun went off and I forced myself to GO SLOW at the beginning and save my lactic acid and energy stores for the end of the race and the Newton Hills, which start at mile 17. My first mile was an 8:30 and I was happy because I was on track with my goal of starting very slow. Second mile was 8:12, still on track. 3rd mile was 7:54, and I told myself to slow it down a little and stay on this pace from here until after mile 21, then if I had legs and energy left, I would allow myself to GO.
I had to keep my emotions in check because if I allowed myself to think about the fact that I was currently running the Boston Marathon, I got all excited and had like butterflies in my stomach and I knew that would be wasting energy, so I had to tell myself to remain calm, keep is slow and steady and stay focused!
Staying focused was not an easy task though as there were spectators everywhere! I could not believe the crows of people lined up on the side of the road for every single mile of the marathon! Everyone screaming, cheering, noise makers, bands playing, a group of people jumping on trampolines, sitting on top of their houses, everyone having their own little parties and BBQ's as they watched the runners. I saw just about one of everything! Although, as a Mom, one of my favorite things was the kids on the sidelines. Some had posters supporting their Mom or Dad and I could not help but think of my own two kids at home cheering for me. So many little kids were handing out water, bananas, orange slices, and wanting high fives, they were just adorable!

I was anticipating mile 10 as that was were my husband and other support crew was going to be hanging out. As I approached mile 10, again I had to keep my excitement in check because I was so excited to see Austin. I was looking for him through all the crowds of people and when I spotted him, I was so happy, although it was short and sweet and a yell of "I love you, I am doing great", it went by way too so fast!
My next anticipated mile was 13, as that is when I allow myself to turn my music on and really get into the mental state of getting through the last half. So far, I was keeping well hydrated, not sweating too much, taking my GU with no trouble, and my pace was pretty steady.

mile 4: 7:49
mile 5: 7:54
mile 6: 7:53
mile 7: 7:56
mile 8: 7:51
mile 9: 7:59
mile 10: 8:00

Another very cool part of the race was going past Wellesly College. There is a line of all girls just screaming and cheering. It's called the screaming tunnel of girls, and it lived up to the expectation and was just so fun to run through.

mile 11 8:05
mile 12 7:58
mile 13 8:02
mile 14 7:58
mile 15 8:02
mile 16 7:50

Now I was gearing up for the beginning of the hills at mile 17, but I was not tired, I felt really, really good and kept telling myself to keep it slow, stay in check, stay focused... Oh the things you tell yourself while running a marathon.. just me and my crazy thoughts for 26.2 miles.

I loved crossing all the checkpoints and thinking about who might be watching my progress on line. I knew my mother was, and it was 2 am for her in Malaysia. I though about my amazing family and their love and support, and I knew they were cheering me on.

Mile 17 was a good hill, but I was managing very well and recovered just fine.. then mile 18-21 I could not really tell where the other 2 hills were. I wondered if I had gone over heartbreak hill and tried to keep energy in case I had not gone over it yet. The I saw this big blow up sign that said "You Made it Past Heartbreak Hill". That is when I realized I had made it past the hills and I was still feeling great, so now was the time to step on the gas! I had to go all out and try to make up some of my time.

mile 17 8:14
mile 18 8:14
mile 19 8:02
mile 20 7:59
mile 21 8:12

The crowds were now just crazy and as I starting running into Boston, it was amazing the see the amount of people and supporters. I knew that I could finish and I was feeling so great. My stomach was handling eh GU okay and I was good to the finish now, if only I could weave my way around all thee runners. That was getting difficult as now I was getting faster and others were getting slower, I had to do a lot of weaving. I picked up my pace and went for it until the end. I pictured seeing my husband and supports and I was getting excited to finish!

mile 22 7:32
mile 23 7:25
mile 24 7:43
mile 25 7:19
mile 26.2 7:24

I finished the marathon so strong and had hoped there were a few more miles for me to make up my time a little more. I felt like I had a lot of energy left and I should have started my faster miles sooner, although I was so happy to have finished and to be feeling so great. I had just finished the Boston Marathon and I couldn't be happier!

After getting through the crazy crows and gathering my bag, I found my wonderful husband waiting for me. It was so glad to see him and I was anticipating seeing Tara and Lynn after they finished.

We had a wonderful dinner that evening with everyone and a couple that we met up with (Tara's neighbor from Utah, that also ran the marathon). It was a great meal, great company, and atmosphere. The next morning we had to get up at 3:30 am to get out and catch our early flight back to Seattle.

Overall, I had a great time, and experience. None of it would have been possible without Richard and Lynn who helped with a lot of the trip and planning etc.. Austin's Mom, who flew from Cali to watch our kids, and my very favorite supporters, my husband and kids, who really put up with a lot form me during training.

Thank you to EVERYONE that supported my dream I have amazing friends and family!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Boston Marathon Information

Here is the information you need if you are interested in following me while I run Boston next Monday, April 18th. I start in the second wave, which is a WHITE BIB color, and my wave starts at 10:20 (Boston time). My bib number is 10136.

-Liz, Buffy, Elizabeth.. whoever I am to you


The historic course starts on Main Street in the rural New England town of Hopkinton and follows Route 135 through Ashland, Framingham, Natick, and Wellesley to where Route 135 joins Route 16. It continues along Route 16 through Newton Lower Falls, turning right at the fire station onto Commonwealth Avenue, which is Route 30. It follows Commonwealth through the Newton Hills, bearing right at the reservoir onto Chestnut Hill Avenue to Cleveland Circle. The route then turns left onto Beacon Street continu ing through Kenmore Square, and under Massachusetts Avenue. The course turns right onto Hereford Street (NOTE: against normal traffic flow) then left onto Boylston Street, finishing near the John Hancock Tower in Copley Square. To download the course map, click here.


Register for the marathon’s AT&T Athlete Alert by simply texting RUNNER to 345678. On race day, you will receive an alert when the runner passes the 10K, half-marathon and 30K marks and then when he or she hits the finish line. To sign up, or for more information, visit the AT&T Athlete Alert Sign-Up page at


Live local coverage on WBZ-TV, or Live national coverage on Universal Sports Television Network
Live online streaming on
Live web coverage on