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No way I was deferring

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff  April 18, 2012 07:38 PM

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100robin_nichols2.jpg Robin Nichols is one of five Boston Marathon entrants testing the Polar RCX5 personal training computer and blogging about it for Boston.com
Last weekend I spent the entire weekend checking the weather on my phone. I swear every time I checked, the temperature forecast increased.

The emails from the Boston Athletic Association didnít calm my nerves either. We were in for record high heat for Marathon Monday and the BAA was allowing people to defer their entry. Let me tell you, I didnít think twice about deferring. I was running the Boston Marathon no matter what.

The BAA had warned everyone to adjust their goals for their race, so I did. I picked what seemed like an easy pace and I also planned on running by my heart rate in order to keep me from overheating. My plan was set, it was time to run.

I rode to Hopkinton on a bus with my fellow Greater Lowell Road Runners teammates. Being among such experienced runners really allowed me to get in the mood for the race. We made it to Hopkinton with plenty of time to get to the start and I headed to the corals with another runner. As soon as I entered the coral, I turned to my friend and let out an ďIím running the Boston Marathon!Ē I was in the second wave, so we started at 10:20.

The first few miles were so amazing running through Hopkinton. The streets were lined with people, and I felt like we were in a parade. While there were people all around me, I really didnít feel overcrowded one bit. We settled into our pace pretty quickly and I immediately realized this wasnít going to be an easy day. The temperature was already approaching 80 and my legs felt it.

robin_marathon.jpgMy easy pace wasnít so easy, but I tried pushing to hold it. This was my big mistake of the day. I was hitting the correct paces, but my heart rate was climbing quickly.

At the halfway mark, I was having a blast, but was beginning to slow down because of the heat. At this point, I knew running the race for time was over and it was time to switch to survival mode. As you can see from my Polartraining information, my heart rate was way higher than it normally would have been at that pace. My body was not loving the heat at all. I cut my pace back and tried to get my heart rate down.

Unfortunately, the climbing temperature made my body work even harder so I switched to run walking at about mile 15. I was not excited about having to walk so early in my marathon, but I knew that was only way I would finish still standing.

I may have walked a lot those miles, but I soaked in every bit that Boston had to offer. I high-fived every person that I could. I felt like I was flying through Wellesley and BC because of the amazing crowds. I loved running through the spray tunnels and hoses.

As soon as I saw the Citgo sign, my legs felt like it was the beginning of the day. I started running as fast as I could handle and I ran the fastest miles I had run since the beginning.

Turning onto Hereford and seeing Boylston ahead sent my adrenaline soaring. I turned onto Boylston and saw the finish line up ahead and ran so hard. I celebrated the entire way yelling at the crowd and cheering for myself. I was finishing the Boston Marathon, five years of running had brought me to that moment.

I crossed the finish line with a time of 4:29 and the smile has still not left my face. The medal I earned is one I have been dreaming about. This was one of my slowest marathons, yet it was the hardest by far and I am so very proud.

Thank you Polar and Boston.com for allowing me to blog about my Boston experience. To read more about my running you can visit my blog, WestfordMommy.

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Look for updates, news, analysis and commentary from the following.
  • Steve Silva, Boston.com senior producer, two-time Boston Marathon sub-four hour runner.
  • Ty Velde is a 16-time Boston qualifier who's completed 12 consecutive Boston Marathons and 25 marathons overall. Ty is now training for his 13th Boston run and will provide training tips for those who train solo and outside, no matter what temperature it is.
  • Rich 'Shifter' Horgan is a 19-time Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team member who runs in honor of his father, who died of colon cancer. He will provide updates on local running events with a focus on the charitable organizations that provide Boston Marathon entries for their organization's fund raising purposes

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