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Virtual Boston Marathon Recap

I ran the Virtual Boston Marathon, finally! It has been a long journey with so many emotional ups and downs, right until the end. The race was nothing like what I pictured when I set out to qualify for the Boston Marathon in the summer of 2018, but I had fun and it was nice to have some closure to that goal.

In true 2020 fashion, my Virtual Boston Marathon nearly got postponed. Who would have thought virtual races could get cancelled?! California has multiple wildfires all over the state, which is causing very unhealthy air quality all over the state. It is a heartbreaking situation with far more devastating consequences than cancelled races. On Wednesday, both the Central Valley and the Monterey area had poor air quality conditions that would likely continue over the weekend. At that point in time, one of the only places in California that had good air quality was Morro Bay, CA. I happened to have a friend whose running group was setting up a Virtual Boston course in Morro Bay. I reached out and asked if I could join them and they let me (the running community is SO welcoming)

I planned to wear my new Adidas Adizero Boston 8 for the race, but when my racecourse and plans changed, I had to switch shoes. The "racecourse" the group had planned was very fun, but the terrain was varied. We would be running on road, boardwalk, dirt, on the beach, and even running up some stairs. I decided it would be best to stick to my trainers and save my Adizero's for my marathon in October when I try go below the 3 hour mark again. I wore the Adizero for part of my track workout this week and I really liked them. The shoes were very light, and I felt faster and ran faster as soon as I put them on. I'm looking forward to getting to train in the more in the coming weeks before my next marathon in October.

Morro Bay had perfect marathon weather yesterday. It was in the 50's, with overcast skies, and there was a light mist coming off the ocean. The running group started the race in a local park, had a start line and played the National Anthem before we started running. The group was going to do two 13.1 mile loops of the course they had planned out. My plan was to run the first half of the race fairly easy and pick it up the second half so that I still got in a good training run.

Every 4-5 miles there were a few people from the group cheering on the runners and making sure we went the correct way on the course. I was so impressed how organized and supportive the running group was. As I said before, the course terrain was varied, and we even ran on the beach for about 3 miles in the first half of the marathon. Once we looped back to the start and began the second loop, I decided I was going to cut out the beach portion on the 2nd loop and come back on the trail instead. I had to back track on the trail a mile to add some distance, but it allowed me to keep my pace faster than I could running on sand.

There was a nice hill I had to climb to get to the finish line and I couldn’t help but think that it was perfect practice for the real Boston Marathon. When I crossed the finish line, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment that I had run 26.2 miles. The best part was that I did not feel wrecked at all! Granted, I had not gone all out like I did in a race, but I still had covered that distance without feeling terrible.

My running time for the Virtual Boston was 3:17:41, but my elapsed time was a little slower. There was a major highway we had to cross 4 times during the course, and I had to wait for the crossing light a long time. I paused my watch because I wanted to know my mile splits more accurately, but I will be submitting my elapsed time as my result for the Boston Marathon.

I am so incredibly grateful that I got to run 26.2 miles on this weekend. I know the B.A.A. is allowing West Coast participants to submit their results late, but I REALLY had my heart set on running a marathon this weekend. 2020 has halted so many of our plans and my stubbornness just would not let 2020 take this away from me too. I have to give a shout out to my husband because he knew how stubborn I was being about this and put most of the plans in place so that we could go to Morro Bay and I could run as safely as possible. He knows me so well ❤️ .

It is still my goal to one day run right on Hereford and left on Boylston. I truly believe that day will come. At the moment I have no idea when. The B.A.A. has postponed the 2021 Boston Marathon registration and if there is anything, I have learned in 2020, it is you have no idea what tomorrow will bring.

At the moment, I am going to continue to focus on my next goal, which is to break 3 hours in the marathon again in October. I am not skipping a beat in marathon training and will just go right into my next marathon training week. I will have to be careful with the air quality and continue to monitor how I feel.

I did a shakeout run this morning and my legs feel really good. My weekly mileage this week was 63 miles. On Friday, I did some lap swimming instead of running because the air quality was really bad. I am not sure if this is actually any better for my lungs, but it sounded better to me, so I went with it.

Congratulations to all the other Virtual Boston Marathon finishers. It is not how was pictured our race, but we made the best of it and #FinishedStrong 💙💛🦄

#BostonMarathon #Marathon #MarathonTraining #VirtualRacing

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