Six months after being accepted to the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team and four months after starting my training (at the onset of what I did not realize would be the most brutal winter in recent memory), it’s finally here. Today is the Boston Marathon.
Thanks again to the many, many people who have supported me along this journey. Whether you donated money to Dana-Farber, shared your stories about cancer or running, cheered me on, or just asked how I was doing, you made a difference to me and to this very important cause.
If you had thought about donating and haven’t gotten around to it, it’s not too late. You can donate to my Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge page here: rundfmc.org/2015/amybucher. It would be nice to finish the marathon and see a fundraising update in my email!
You can track me while I run! Your options include using the BAA website, downloading their marathon app (iPhone and Android), or texting my bib number (26132) to AT&T Athlete Alert at 234567:
There is also streaming video available online of the Boston Marathon finish line. (Link no longer active.) My wave starts at 11:15 and I have been told that it will realistically be another 20 minutes or so before I cross the start, so I will probably finish somewhere between 3:30 and 4:30 pm.
Last Week of Training
The problem with taper time is that it’s kind of boring to talk about. I took a bunch of really short runs. Went to a couple yoga classes. Walked a lot. It was exciting.
I did get to read a cool article about our coach, Jack Fultz, who you can blame for my boring tapering. Jack has been awesome throughout the training process, attending every group run and meeting, fielding questions by email and in person, and creating training plans for all levels of running accomplishment for us to follow.
Marathon Expo Volunteering and Bib Pick-up
Every year, I volunteer at the Boston Marathon Expo on the weekend before the marathon. This year, concerned about being on my feet all day so close to the marathon, I elected a Friday shift and took the day off work.
Volunteers got some nifty neon orange and purple jackets in the mirror image color pattern of the runner jackets.
My assignment was with the AT&T Athlete Alerts–you know, that service that lets you text your runner’s bib number (26132) to 234567 to receive six handy text alerts during the Boston Marathon. If you haven’t signed up to track me yet, I created another handy reminder for you:
Since I was at the Expo anyway, I went ahead and picked up my bib:
Eeee! And I made sure to pose with my bib and at least one of the race sponsor logos:
A few more scenes from the Expo:
What better final shake-out run before the Boston Marathon than the BAA’s first race event of the year, the 5k? This race begins and ends at the Public Garden, and covers the final part of the marathon course including the finish line.
Before the race, a bunch of DFMC runners who had similar ideas about warming up for Monday met up for a photo at the Make Way for Ducklings statue, which was a nice way to kick things off.
The BAA 5k is always REALLY crowded and therefore challenging to run your fastest, but I nonetheless ended up running a little faster than I intended. I ended up crossing the finish line in about 27 minutes, which is a typical 5k time for me–so I broke my promise to take this one slow.
After the 5k, I went home to shower and pack my gear bag for Marathon Monday. This is the bag I’ll pick up after the race with dry clothes to change into (especially important given that the weather forecast is now calling for rain and wind).
I dropped my bag off at DFMC headquarters and completed my check-in. It was great to see our fundraising progress and my name mentioned as a $20k pacesetter:
Dana-Farber Pasta Party
Sunday night was the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge pasta party where we heard from speakers about the fundraising and research accomplishments of the team. We heard from 3 time Boston Marathon champion Uta Pippig:
Boston Marathon director Dave McGillivray:
Our training group took one last photo of ourselves before saying goodnight and heading home to prepare for the race of our lives:
Introducing Flat Amy:
In case knowing what my outfit looks like helps you spot me and cheer!
Wish me luck!
I will update later in the week recapping the marathon experience. See you at the finish line!