Finishing the Boston Marathon

In order to properly go over what went wrong and what didn’t at Boston, I need to start from the beginning of my Boston endeavors.  I first qualified for Boston in Philly 2009.  I was training with friends that really put it in my head to get a BQ so I wasn’t all that into it until I had just made the cut-off.  So when registration for Boston 2011 had opened up, I had planned to come home from work and sign up.  Little did I know that that was the first and only year that Boston would sell out of registration within 8 hours!  There was nothing I could do except re-qualify.  I was nervous because I would now have to run a BQ at least 5 minutes faster than my last year’s marathon.

Carly at Mile 16

Carly at Mile 16 looking GREAT!

Luckily, I had already been training for NYC in 2010 and I had qualified with a 10 minute PR (3:30).  When it came time to register for Boston 2012, I was ready!  I wasn’t going to let any freak, early sell-out effect me this time around.  So I got in! But it wasn’t that easy.  On the way up to Boston, the runners were sent emails warning of a heat advisory “you are not going to run your PR” and “you may defer until next year”.  I was stubborn as usual.  No, I thought, I just trained for 5 months for this and waited over a year, I am going to give it my all.  Well believe it or not, those race directors knew what they were talking about because I went out at my PR pace, felt miserable from the 10k on, and dropped out at mile 19.75.
So back to the drawing board.  I bought the jacket for $110, I needed to complete the race!  I ran Rehoboth Beach in 2012 with a 3 minute PR and again was able to register for Boston 2014.  Luckily, having missed the tragic 2013 year.
It was a tough winter.  But I got out there or on a treadmill everyday that I was supposed to.  I worked on my core 2-3 times a week.  I took yoga.  I ran a 5k PR and a close to PR half marathon.   I practiced my nutrition and found that I really liked HoneyStinger products. I successfully completed PR-targeted workouts.  I was ready.
Until I wasn’t ready at mile 12 and my stomach started cramping horribly.  I thought that I had 14 miles left to feel like crap, just pull off at a portapotty and be on your way again.  So I did.  I felt better for a mile past the Wellesley girls, and then the cramping got even worse.  At mile 16 I stopped again.  I saw fiancé/coach Marc, gave him a kiss, let him know that I felt horrible and PR was out of my grasp, but finishing was a definite.  I had to stop one more time on the course before mile 21 and then I just held on for the last 5 miles.
photo (23)

Carly after the race

The crowds were amazing!  There were a few times when I slowed down and two groups of people started slowly cheering “Cah-ly Cah-ly” until I picked up my pace and they started cheering even louder and quicker.  It brought a smile to my face and well as a tear to my eye.

I crossed the finish line in 3:40:xx and was very proud of my accomplishment.  It was not my best time or what I started out to try to do, but I finished and got that Boston medal!
I honestly don’t know what I could have done differently.  Its ironic that I had stomach issues on race day because I was fine all throughout training.  That’s the beast of the marathon though, you can prepare, prepare, prepare, but you can’t predict what your body mechanics will do on the day of.
To learn more about Carly, her race, or to run like her, contact Marc or leave a note below.
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