After obsessing about the weather, but never seeing a change, I came to grips with the fact that I’d be starting the Boston Marathon in the mid-70s. By the time I was halfway, it would be close to peaking at the high temperature for the day: 86 degrees. With a heat index of 89. Oh yeah, and about 50% humidity.
I woke early, as I normally do before a race, and completed the rituals: oatmeal, bagel, coffee. I had already methodically placed everything in my check-bag for what I might need after the race and I knew I’d be ready for a couple of hours in Athlete’s Village.
It was already pleasantly warm when the boy, and my family, left the hotel at 6am, headed to the T. I felt overdressed in my old, thin yoga pants and light GoLite long sleeve top.
I had planned to meet up with a few girls at Boston Common. With a meet time of 6:30, Kelly, Kaitlin, Amanda, and I found each other quickly, and after casual introductions, we got in line with the masses to head to Hopkinton.
A short hour later, the girls and I planted roots in a shaded corner, given off by the Boston College Team’s tent. Anything to get out of the direct sun and heat, as it was already in the mid-70’s. We chit-chatted, caught up with life, discussed fueling, and tried to avoid the elephant in the field. Probably the thing on everyone’s mind: the heat. I couldn’t help but wonder how BAA had prepared, knowing about some other marathons gone bad (i.e. Chicago 2007). But I had a lot of faith. If they had been sending out emails trying to warn people of the heat, then the MUST be preparing themselves.
I applied sunscreen. I packed my SpyBelt with fuel. I put on my lulu hat. I even decided to wear arm coolers. None of it would have really mattered.
The time had finally come. I packed everything else away in my check-bag. So much for getting rid of those old yoga pants and oversized GoLite shirt at the start line as my throw-away clothes. In fact, I had dropped them all soon after arriving at Athlete’s Village. I packed them in my check-bag too. Much too warm. I guess they remain for my next race.
If it’s possible to already by hot before a race, then this was that moment. Because I was. As I dropped my bag in the corresponding numbered bus, and walked the .7 miles to the start, I reminded myself to conserve. Go slower than my original plan and just see how I feel. No goals.
I hit the start mat and hoped for the best.