After the qualifying success of my first marathon, I quickly made the decision to experience the grandaddy of all marathons, the Boston Marathon. Qualifying on my first attempt was exciting and encouraging to me and I knew I could do much better. I figured what better place to race better than Boston. I signed up right away and began my training shortly after my recovery from Twin Cities had concluded.
Being a marathon runner in college was very strange because I was surrounded by my friends running cross country and track at UW-River Falls. The challenge of the marathon was just so significant for me that it overshadowed my desire to race at these shorter distances. A year after running Boston, I would change my mind and take advantage of my opportunity to run at the collegiate level, but I was still glad I took the winter and early spring of 2005 to go after the Boston Marathon.
The training was tough. I had never trained for a marathon in adverse weather conditions before, and the winter training was tough. I hate treadmills. I hate indoor tracks. Given the choice, I will run outside every time. I would rather run when it's -10 degrees and a -20 wind chill outside than be stuck inside staring at the same walls for an hour or more on a treadmill or going in circles in an enclosed space.
One thing I now wish I would have done differently was to get more rest prior to the race. We did a lot of walking around the city the day before the marathon...DON'T DO THIS!!! Granted, it's a great city to walk and see, but not the day before the biggest race of your life.
The race finally came, and it was a hot day. I don't react well to heat, and it affected me very early on. I entered this race thinking it would go just like Twin Cities had gone 6 months earlier...get out to good start and roll through my pace. If I hit a rhythm my body could keep going. That was not the case on this day. Blisters developed 10 miles in and progressively got worse. Diarhhea came at mile 18. The finish line arrived 4 hours after the start, and I was so glad to be done.