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Boston: Parting thoughts and post party!

After having a few days to digest and talking to other people, both spectators and runners alike, here are some things that really, really sunk in and I wanted to note about or take away from the race:
  •  It wasn't just about me. Or the race. But about the journey to get there.
  • The people from Hopkinton to Boston are AMAZING! I couldn't ask for more support. And, to be honest, I am not one that gets juiced by random crowds of people (just my family and friends) on a race course. But the difference with this was the support in ways of ice, water, hoses, oranges, etc. that they offered were what made the difference.
  • The spectators weren't just family members. In a race with 26,000 runners, there is bound to be a plethora of support on the course, but this was different. Like I mentioned above, this was true support from the locals - and their tradition. My parents were at halfway, chatting up the crowds... imagine that, I come from a family of chatters? Anyways, there were two women who had sat at that very same corner for the last 50 years, never missing a year. There was another mother and 2 daughters that showed up with cooler of freezy-pops handed them out and then they were off (they weren't waiting for a certain runner or runners they knew in the race, they just wanted to help out). And there are countless other stories.
  • Boston is a true homegrown marathon. Reread the above two points, which to me are two of the things that set this race apart and above the rest. There are few homegrown races anymore and the ones that are and are successful are getting bought out by conglomerates. Denver used to have a marathon. Rock'n Roll bought it. Boulder used to have a homegrown triathlon series, Ironman bought it. Now, I know that those companies still do do good for the community and all, but it is not the same. It is people coming in from the outside... and usually just with profit margins in their minds. While I am thankful for what these flashy races have done to encourage people to run, I am afraid that soon "flashy" races are all we are going to have left.
  • The B.A.A. did the right thing 100% with their emails, warnings, mantras (run slow, this is not a race - it is an experience, race smart, HYDRATE, NO PRs!, you name it), etc. that they were issuing before the race. At first, I was thinking it was for insurance purposes (and it probably was to a point), but it really made it register in the runner's heads to take it seriously. I know it did with me. When my dad showed up on Friday fretting for me, I was like, "whatevs, dad... I got this". But, as the warnings got more persistent, it really did make me reconsider my race strategy and reassess my goals.
  • This race was easier for me to race because I didn't have direct time goals going in. I had trained to finish strong and happy, but I hadn't trained to pr or with a set time goal in mind. With that in mind, it was easier for me to let go and be "ok" with running slower. I feel bad for the people who had trained with a certain pace or time in mind, because to meet the kind of heat we did on race day, it just wasn't possible and, in those conditions, it is easier to feel like a "failure" even though you are not.
  • It was the elite that probably suffered the most. You would think it was the inexperienced runners (ie, charity runners) who really struggled on race day. And I am sure there are some that did. But it was the red bibs (wave 1, the fast guys) who you saw hobbling at the end, laying on the sides of the road, etc. It wasn't the ones who took it slow and stayed away from the medical tents. What this means to you all reading this: when you run in the future in the heat, assess your goals and weigh time over medical conditions and set your goals accordingly.
  • I am not the only one who ran slow. While I don't wish anyone else to have a bad race, it was nice to see post-run, that I wasn't the only one affected by the heat.
  • Running slower is gonna make for an easier recovery. Don't get me wrong, I couldn't have gone any faster on said race day. But since I was going so much slower, my body didn't get the beating it would have had I ran faster. What I am learning - I already feel great! 
Which is a great segway into the next section -- the post party! Ie, the first step in recovery.

Until this point, this has always been my favorite race post-party.

 Yes, that's me. Dancing. In a running club hoodie. In a beer tent. In Wisconsin. Cuz that is how we roll in Wisconsin (beer tents = good times).

Evidently, our friend Sam Adams, had a different idea for us and hosted a post-Boston party at the House of Blues. For that, I was all in.
The boys and dear, old Sam
 As was the rest of our 26.2 crew and significant others.

In addition to the party, Sam had gone out of his way to make us some 26.2 Brew.
It was delicious!
 To top off the night Ty (Heather's hubby) had talked us all into the VIP room (keep that kid around!), where we enjoyed more goodies, free drinks, the men talked with the master brewers about brewing things, and the girls got in a little active recovery on the dance floor.

This was the perfect way to end the"Boston marathon experience".
Can this race get more awesome? I think not.