Boston Marathon Recap: Mile 21

I’ve watched and participated in many triathlons and road races before, however watching the Boston Marathon was different. And it was especially different from last year’s race.

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Runners coming down the infamous “Heartbreak Hill”- arguably the most challenging segment of the course.

 

It seemed that each runner was running for a common purpose: to show that Boston is stronger than ever. The energy around the course was one of unity and pride. The spectators cheered louder and watched the race longer. It was truly incredible to be able to be present for such a defining moment in America’s history.

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The women elite runners.

Watching the elite runner go by was incredible. I am always baffled by their endurance, for I cannot even run 1/26 of their race at the same speed. However, the most inspiring moment of that day was watching Rick and Dick Hoyt (Team Hoyt) run past me.

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Team Hoyt passing through Boston College.

The Hoyts are from the Boston area and are familiar faces in the endurance sports scene. Rick is handicapped and in a wheelchair, so Dick, his father, pushes him throughout the entire race. They have been racing for the past 37 years and together they have competed in over 1,000 races (including 6 Ironmans). This race was the last one they’d do together, as Dick is now 73 and Rick 52.

Last year Dick came to my school and spoke about how anything is possible. Team Hoyt’s motto is: CAN. They have made incredible strides in the endurance world and continue to inspire individuals around the world. Take a moment to watch this video. I cry every time, which really means something because I never cry (ask Caity).

Watching the 2014 Boston Marathon was an inspiring day to say the least! What’s your favorite race to watch or compete in?

Look out for a blog post soon from two YoungTri members who ran the race!

-Kaitlin

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Doing Workouts You Don’t Want to Do

As a triathlete, chances are there have been many workouts that you did not want to complete. You were tired, busy, or just not in the mood. You’d rather remain on the couch watching tv or go do something fun with your friends.

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The view on my run- one of the perks of training in Florida.

In my case, I was scared. Last week I had to run nine miles as part of my marathon-training plan. Nine is nothing compared to many triathletes since most have completed half marathons and even marathons after swimming and biking. However, I usually stick to sprint distance triathlons, so I did not think I was ready to take on this kind of mileage. I procrastinated as long as I could, but eventually I hit the pavement. The run was hard, but I got it done. I had a pretty view of the beach (in South Florida), it was hot enough to wear shorts, and I even saw a nice sunset.

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It was about 75 degrees with wind, my favorite kind of weather to train in.

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The sunset that evening.

My biggest challenge was dealing with the mental component of the workout. I was very aware that I had never ran more than 7.5 miles before, and that this run was going to be difficult. I was terrified that I was going to have to call my dad to come pick me up. In my mind, not completing this run would mean I would not be strong enough to complete a marathon, therefore crushing my dream of the past five years.

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After the first couple miles I zoned out and got into a nice rhythm. I played a game with myself, smiling at every person I ran by to see how many I could get to smile back at me. It was actually entertaining because many people were so surprised to see a stranger smile at them. I’d say about 40% of people smiled back, which is a little disheartening but expected in my town.

Anyways, I had fun on the run even though it was not an easy training session. I tried my best to stay in the moment and to not think about how many miles I had left. I definitely feel stronger now that I know I can push myself to do distances I have never done before.

This weekend I’ll be running 10 miles with a group; however, I am not scared, I am actually looking forward to it! 🙂

What are some obstacles you have had to overcome in training?

-Kaitlin