The weather forecast for the Boston Blowout 30k was calling for rain throughout the morning with temperatures in the low to mid 40s. Yesterday's 30k had done a number on my feet that left me with a few small blisters and some spots that felt like they were about to blister. I put some bodyglide and lambswool on my feet and taped them, but knew that if they got wet I would more than likely get more blistering problems. I opted for a running skirt over leggings and selected a light long-sleeved tech shirt and a thin pair of gloves. I also packed my light vest with lots of ventilation, but since I thought that the rain would be light I figured I would run without it. I met up with Jill and we checked in and spent some time catching up with some friends. The rain had now started to fall pretty heavily and the wind had picked up. As we walked out to the start line I stopped by my car to pick up the vest and get a pair of gloves for Jill.
I could not get my GPS watch to pick up satelites in time for the start and it took about 1/4 of a mile for it to kick in so my watch splits were all off. I also had my manual watch, which was good for the beginning and end of the race when I was able to locate the mile markers on the street. Jill and I wanted to run at a nice easy pace and to just enjoy the experience. We weren't even sure if we were going to run the whole course or if we would stop at the halfway point. We figured that we'd just play it by ear.
So with the rain pouring down and heavy winds it was pretty tough running in the beginning. We trying to avoid puddles at first, but then realized that it was pointless. I was happy to find out that the wetter my feet got the better they felt. It was like the cool water was soothing them and bringing some relief from the stinging feeling that I had experienced earlier. The small trail section proved to be quiet muddy and slow going, but I was able to follow behind Jason and find some of the drier parts to run on.
On the way down Beach road Jill and I laughed about Rob giving us permission to walk the speed bumps on this section of road. The bumps were actually like mini hills and there were 3 of them to deal with. However, we did not feel the need to walk these 'hills'! This section of the race always seems to go on forever and you feel like you will never get to the turnaround point. The good thing it is that you get to see all the runners ahead of you coming back from the turn around. We cheered for the front runners and for many of our friends such as Rob, Cindy and Ronnie. After the turn around on Beach Road the head wind was brutal and made it hard to maintain any decent pace. I believe that it was shortly after this that the rain stopped and for most of the rest of the course the wind wasn't too bad either, except for on Beach road. The rain did start up again later, but it wasn't nearly as bad as in the beginning of the race.
As Jill and I were approaching the start/finish area and getting close to starting the second loop it was time to decide whether or not to continue. My calves had been tight in the first few miles, but now felt fine and my feet were still relatively good so I was thinking that there was nothing stopping me from continuing other than just being a little tired. Jill said that she wanted to walk or stop, but also didn't really seem to have anything major that would stop her from finishing the race. When we got to the end of the first big loop Jeanette was there cheering for us. We ran the small loop and when we came out of it Jeanette was cheering for us again and ran with us for about a quarter of a mile. At that point we'd passed the point of no return and were on our way out to doing the big loop again. Thanks Jeanette for the distraction! We had run with Don briefly in the first mile of the race and had seen him again right after the first turn around. We were now wondering if he was going to complete the race or stop at the halfway point. My money was on him completing the whole race unless he was having major problems with his knee, but we weren't going to be sure until we made it to the turn around point a second time to see if he was still on the course.
At the turn around water station Andie, Paul and Julie cheered for us and provided moral support. We laughed with them and then headed back into that terrible headwind again. Jill and I were thrilled to see Don coming towards us on his way out to the turn around. Another runner joined us at this point and told us that she'd heard about us doing a 30k yesterday and said how impressed she was with us. She needed a little company and motivation to get through the final miles so she joined us. At this point my feet were starting to dry a little and now I could feel the blistered starting to form again with a bad one developing on my right arch. I was tempted to run through some puddles to get my sock soaked through again, but wasn't really sure if that would help it so I just let it be. I now went into auto-pilot with a mission to end the race as soon as possible so that I could take off my shoes and socks. We were a little past mile 17 and Jill and Kelly seemed to be having a nice chat and didn't seem to have any problems so I gradually started to pick up the pace.
We had seen LuAnne up ahead for most of the race and had run along side her once or twice, but at this point I could not see her ahead of me. I made a turn and then there she was up ahead. I decided to focus on trying to catch up to her so that it would help me to pick up my pace and get me to the finish line quicker. I was closing in, but didn't really think that I would actually catch her. We were getting to the start/finish area and would have to run the small loop one more time before being able to turn in to finish. I found myself going faster and faster as I could feel my sock rubbing more on my blister. I finally caught up to LuAnne and passed her right as we came out of the loop. I made my turn for the finish area and Jeanette started to sprint along side me while she yelled words of encouragement. After finishing the race I immediately took off my shoes and socks and then cheered for Jill and Kelly who were coming out of the loop to the finish.
Splits: 9:21, 10:01, 9:37, 10:00, 39:34 (miles 5-8), 9:53, 20:43 (miles 10-11), 10:07, 10:25, 10:16, 10:14, 9:49, 9:56, 9:01, 5:02 = 3:03:58 Official race time: 3:04:00 with a 9:52 pace.
I quickly shot over to my car to get my camera and was able to get photos of Don finishing the race.
What an amazing weekend! I got to run two 30k races in one weekend and got to do so with some great friends. Running with Jill is what really made it very special.
Jill and Cindy before the race
Don coming in from the last small loop towards the finish area