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My First Boston (A Race Report by Nick Morris)

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My First Boston (A Race Report by Nick Morris)

Post  Nick Morris on Fri May 22, 2015 2:56 pm

Alright, I know that it has been a while since I have posted.  So, I figured that a little over a month since Boston, that it's time to write a race report.

Where do I start??  We flew into Boston on Friday before the race.  Once at the airport, we got our rental car and made our way to the get some lunch before the expo.  We ended up going to the the Prudential Center to eat in the food court for lunch.  As soon as I walked into the mall, I ran directly into the Schumachers.  Weird, huh?  After lunch, we went over to the expo, got our bibs, and purchased our swag.  Damn!!! I spent a ton on Marathon branded apparel!  After the expo we "raced", and I put raced in quotes as we hit rush hour traffic, out to our hotel near the race start line.  We had tickets to the Sox game, so the stay at the hotel was just a matter of minutes.  This is where our VIP status kicked in. When we made it through the traffic back into the city, we had a police escort waiting for us to take us to Fenway.  I am running stop signs and red lights just to keep up with our escort.  It was great!!!  When we got to the park, we had a reserved parking spot right in front of the home plate entrance to Fenway. Let's just say that it is good to know the Police Captain of the Fenway District   We went to the game and the Sox won on a walk off hit.  After the game, we met the Captain by the Sox dugout and we got to go out onto the field and into the dugout.  It was one of the most awesome experiences that I have had on a baseball field.  Just the history of that franchise and that venue is unbelievable.  Then to top off the night, on our way back to the Mass Turnpike, Big Papi aka David Ortiz pulls up beside us in his Bentley!! 

Saturday we went back to the expo and I met up with some of the V-Team/365ers.  It was great to put faces with avatars and to just catch up with everyone.  I love to talk running 

Sunday it was back to Fenway for another ballgame, courtesy of Boston's finest.  On the way back to the hotel we stopped and ate some excellent Italian food to carb load before the race.  We were back to the hotel earlier and I prepared for the race the next day.  

Onto race day. Being out at the start line meant that I got to sleep in until like 6 or so, which is late on a race day.  I collected my stuff and we drove over to the Schumacher's hotel to meet up with them and Matt Wiltse.  We drove to the start line area together and rode the shuttle bus over to the start drop off.  Matt and Martin both stayed near the start, as they would be going out in the first wave.  Pete, Jenny, and I continued on to Athletes Village where we got in line to use the porta john and then met up with Michele at the coach buses.  From there, Michele and I left Pete and Jenny and made our way to the start corral.  One more stop at the porta john and we were off to the start. I ditched all of my warm gear before crossing the start line, which meant that I was only in my singlet and CX-W compression shorts.  All I was thinking as we walked to the start was that I hope my hammy can make it 26.2 miles.  (As most of you know, I had strained my hamstring 3 weeks out from Boston)  And just like that, we were off and running.  Soon after starting, the rain drops began to fall.  The pace was nice and slow...just what I was looking for.  Michele told me the pace range that she wanted to run and I was damn sure that we were going to follow them.  After Michele had a quick pit stop around mile 2, we were back on our way.  Even with the cool temps and rain, it was still enjoyable to just run.  Along the way, Michele would tell me about this part of the course or this is where she went to school.  It was quite enjoyable.  I was relieved to hit the 10 mile mark and my hammy still felt alright.  The rain stopped by around the halfway point, but by then I was soaked.  Next up was the dreaded Newton Hills.  I told Michele that I couldn't push it up and down the hills, as i did not want to risk pulling my hammy that far out from the finish.  It would have been a miserable hobble in.  We made it through the hills and I have to admit that those hills are nothing more than little risers.  I run much steep pitched hills in Madison, so they were really a piece of cake.  We went over Heartbreak Hill and started the decent into Boston.  We were still chugging along on a pace that we had picked up a little from the beginning of the race.  Then things got a little dicey.  Around mile 24, both of my hamstrings started to tighten and I thought that any moment either of them was going to grab.  I had to slow my pace down a little bit, and because we were into Boston, the crowd noise was too loud for me to tell Michele that I had to slow down.  I slowly saw her running away from me and I remember thinking that if my hammies went on me now, I would be ok and would be able to make it to the finish.  So I trudged on hoping that they would not go on me.  Magically, about a half mile later both hammies loosened back up and my pace began to pick up. This is when I thought that I could catch back up with Michele.  Sure enough, I could see her in front of me in the crowd of people.  I picked my way through and caught back up with her with about 1 mile to go.  Of course, at this time, she had slowed a little for me to catch up and started to cramp, herself.  We made our way closer to Boylston, side by side.  Once I turned onto Boylston, I ran a bit ahead of Michele, as I knew that my family would be standing near the Mandarin Hotel.  That is when I saw them.  They were right along the railing!!  I ran up to them and started to cry a little bit.  I gave them all hugs and by that time Michele had caught back up to me.  I said my goodbyes and Michele and I crossed the finish line together.  I so happy for so many different reasons.  It was just a glorious feeling.  My hammy held up, I got to run with Michele, I learned the course, I saw my family, I ran the Boston Marathon.  Just awesome.  Although, I must say, that 3:57:00 is a long time to run.  It is actually the longest that I have ever ran from a time perspective.  Whew...

We spent the rest of the week in Boston doing all of the tourist things; Sam Adams Brewery Tour, Freedom Trail, Legal Seafood, and trying to come down from the high I was on.  It was great to see everyone and learn the course. A big thank you to Michele for showing me the way!!  I can't wait to make it back and actually race the course.
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Re: My First Boston (A Race Report by Nick Morris)

Post  Julie on Sat May 23, 2015 4:17 pm

Congratulations!! Sounds like such an awesome experience. Glad Michele and your family could be there for you.
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Re: My First Boston (A Race Report by Nick Morris)

Post  Mark B on Sat May 23, 2015 4:49 pm

What a great time you had in Boston, Nick! I'm glad you were able to make it happen this year, even with the balky hamstring.

Boy, I think a lot of us would be jealous for having Michele as a race partner at Boston. She's a great pacer, and I'm sure she'd be an amazing tour guide. You're a lucky guy!

Heal up and see what you can do about getting back for another go-around!

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Re: My First Boston (A Race Report by Nick Morris)

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Sat May 23, 2015 6:52 pm

It was more than fun - glad you had a great time, Nick, and I hope to still be there when you can really "race" Boston.
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Re: My First Boston (A Race Report by Nick Morris)

Post  mountandog on Sun May 24, 2015 9:08 pm

awesome Nick.  Glad it was all you hoped it would be.
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Re: My First Boston (A Race Report by Nick Morris)

Post  nkrichards on Mon May 25, 2015 9:49 am

Glad you took the time to post a race report Nick.  Sounds like an awesome first Boston experience.  Hope you can race it one day soon but that first Boston will always be a special memory!

Hope the hammy is healing up well...don't forget to keep us posted on your progress now and then.
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Re: My First Boston (A Race Report by Nick Morris)

Post  dot520 on Mon May 25, 2015 9:16 pm

Thanks for the race report, Nick!  I'm so glad that you had such a great experience....it's been a long time leading up to this and I'd hate for you to have it spoiled.  Congratulations!
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Re: My First Boston (A Race Report by Nick Morris)

Post  ounce on Tue May 26, 2015 1:51 pm

Great report, Nick.  How's the healing going?

I'm particularly glad to know that Miche1e didn't hinder your finishing your first Boston!!
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Re: My First Boston (A Race Report by Nick Morris)

Post  Tim C on Tue May 26, 2015 9:33 pm

Nice report, Nick. Sounds like the whole experience was amazing for you - congratulations on your 1st Boston.

I hope to make it there sometime soon.... and if I do, 3:57 sounds just about right... Maybe I can get lucky enough to have Michele show me the way...

BTW, Michele - how many times have you run Boston?
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