So, OK – you’ve made your BQ, sent in your registration, received the very nice notice they send out and posted it somewhere you cannot possibly miss seeing upon waking up every day. Now what?
First of all, it’s a wait. With registrations confirmed in September or early October and the run in mid-late-April, that’s up to seven months to anticipate. Seven months is 28 weeks give or take, and there are plenty of 20- or 16-wk. marathon training plans out there, so lots of latitude building your own schedule to arrive fully-prepared. Set a plan and follow it; ‘nuff said.
Second – Boston is a big city, but close-in, affordable (everything is relative) accommodations fill-up early for race weekend, so find a place to stay as soon as you’re confirmed. The event website has great info on travel arrangements and my experience is they are decent deals, so check them out and get something booked soon.
Plan other activities. The race is held on Patriot’s Day, for goodness sake, and Beantown (beware, no one from or in Boston ever calls it that) has tons of U.S. history. Touring the Old North Church or Paul Revere’s house takes on extra meaning when you’re in town to participate in one of its best-known events, and you’re sure to see other runners (recognizable by their jackets, shirts, caps etc. from the current or past years). For one or two days before and after the running it feels like the entire town is dedicated to marathoners, so plan time to soak it up – this weekend is a good as it gets for the sweat-soaked, black-toenailed crowd (and unless you tell them, no one knows or cares where in the pack you will start or finish).
Shop the gear – maybe I’m a dork, but it really fuels me to have a cap or shirt even before getting to the expo, plus it helps us loonies recognize one another. Beware though, I’ve found the official Addidas shirts and shorts are proportioned for storks, giraffes, super-models and stick figures. If you’re the least bit teapot-shaped (‘short and stout’) like me, they may not work all that well…
Tell people! Many MPRs are kinda shy about their achievements – I mean we are the folks who bust our butts, consume our mornings, evenings, lunch breaks and weekends, spend our money and baffle our families – knowing full-well we will never actually win a race… But even most total-non-runners are aware that Boston is special, so drop a (brief) clue in conversation, and enjoy the reaction. You’ve earned it!
More to come…