Happy Monday! I am still flying high and exhausted from an incredible weekend in Boston. We got up bright and early on Saturday morning to take a train from Penn Station to Boston. Upon our arrival we hooked up with Zach and went to packet pickup for the Boston 13.1 race. Some of you may remember that Zach was fundraising this past summer for MDA Team Momentum in order to run with our charity. He is a great kid and of course did a lot of work to help the team out.
After picking up our packets we all went and did some wandering (and shopping) on Newbury Street. I am absolutely in love with Boston and if my family wasn’t all in the Midwest, it would be very tempting to live in this beautiful city for awhile. The architecture and landscaping are so beautiful, the people are so nice, and everything is so open and clean. Shopping on Newbury Street is like wandering Madison Avenue in NYC but a bit more eclectic and the stores tend to be much more friendly.
After our shopping adventure we went to the MDA Team Momentum pasta dinner. Let me tell you, they did a great job hosting this event. As we entered the venue we were greeted by cheerleaders. I have a feeling Zach didn’t mind that warm welcome! There was a delicious and healthy meal followed by some great inspirational speakers ranging from fellow teammates, MDA employees, as well as some of the very people who are living with muscle disease that we are working so hard to help.
Then it was off to bed in anticipation of another early wake up. I seriously don’t know what I am going to do with myself when marathon training is over and my weekends don’t consist of waking up at 4:45am.
Last week I decided to secure a bib for the Boston 13.1 thinking that I might run with my husband and Zach. But they have been training together and what teenager wants an old lady like me tagging along? So I made the decision to go ahead and run the race by myself. Then I could be at the finish to cheer on the boys as well as a few of my own Chicago marathon athletes who were also running Boston.
Sunday was beautiful but a bit chilly and windy. Ugh wind! Team Momentum was meeting at 6:00am and then taking off together for the race but we ran into one minor snafu on. Saturday night we called Starbucks and made sure they would be open early the following morning. The girl on the phone reassured my husband that, “Yes sir we open at 5:30am every day.” Imagine his surprise when he goes down there only to see that they open every day at 6:00am. So he waited and got us our coffee (only to find when he arrived back in the hotel lobby that they had Starbucks ready for us). We aren’t picky about many things, but coffee is a serious must for us in the morning. So we had our coffee and went to meet Zach and head to the race.
We were pleasantly surprised to pull up to the start to see that it was at Suffolk Downs racetrack. What a cool venue! Even better, it was great to have a spot to wait indoors while we stood in our short shorts in 50ºF weather with chilly winds. And what runner doesn’t love having real plumbing at the start of a race?!
As a tradition before any start of a race, my husband and I kissed each other good luck. He took off with Zach and the rest of the team to their start area and I headed to hang out in the corrals. It has been a long time since I ran a half and since I have been busy training other runners and dealing with my injury, I had not trained for this race. Before I even started I picked a goal finis time.
When the gun went off I felt pretty good but forced myself to keep a nice even pace. It felt so awesome to be on a course with fellow runners again. I ran my first mile just a tad faster than I had planned on. As the miles continued it seemed that I kept a steady and comfortable pace as we ran along the beach. The course was absolutely beautiful; windy, but beautiful! As the miles clicked by I allowed myself to slightly change my game plan and run a bit faster than I had a planned. I had assessed the situation and I was feeling strong and my breathing felt even and steady.
The best part of the event was that the Boston 13.1 is an official MDA Team Momentum sponsored race. I was there on unofficial business and was running “incognito.” It was so fantastic to see our team members cheering each other on along the course and seeing their presence throughout the race. Their brightly colored shirts made it easy to spot them. Halfway through I saw my husband and Zach cruising along and high fiving other team members they didn’t even know. I truly think having the team camaraderie was a huge help for Zach.
I finished much stronger than I had planned on and even set a new personal record. I give much of the credit to the great weather and beautiful flat course.
I got the chance to turn around and cheer on Zach as well as a few other team members. It was such great reminder of how wonderful the racing atmosphere is. It doesn’t matter what your pace is. Everyone is proud to see fellow runners out there on the course.
I was so proud of Zach and his new personal best of 2:25! He shaved a good 5 minutes off of his last half marathon. Way to go Zach! And congrats to all of the Team Momentum members who ran, including Amy and Erin who also set PR’s yesterday!
If you are thinking about doing a half or full marathon by either running or doing a run/walk plan I would love to share with you all of the benefits of joining our team!