LONDON MARATHON (aka the race Tyler 2:26ed at)

Because life is INCREDIBLY busy, it has taken me a hot minute (read: almost 2 months) to get a blog post on the London Marathon. So.. if you're still wondering how that all went- here ya go. ;-)

The morning after Boston Marathon we woke up super early and took the Megabus from Boston down to Jersey to take a flight out to London. Guys. I didn't sleep the night after Boston (legit like a few hours) so to wake up early and travel all day was a little tough (luckily I held up much better than anticipated). I wasn't really that sore and was able to walk pretty well and I can only attribute that to not racing Boston. (Here's a tip- don't run that fast- don't get that sore.) 

We got to London pretty smoothly and were just so happy to get there. We got there on Wednesday which gave Tyler plenty of time to get on London time and to get some good rest before his big day. 

THE EXPO:

Once I realized that London Marathon basically had some of the fastest marathoners of all time competing at it, I looked to see if any of them would be speaking at the expo. Turns out that Emmanuel Mutai (2011 winner of the London Marathon), Wilson Kipsang (just my FAVORITE marathoner ever, winner of NYC 2015, former world record holder of the marathon until this last fall), Dennis Kimetto (winner of Berlin 2015, world record holder in the marathon) would all be at the expo. They all spoke in the same afternoon and it was pretty incredible just to get to meet them and wish them luck before their race. We did the expo on Friday morning so that Tyler could rest on Saturday. Another genius idea!

Dennis Kimetto: fastest marathoner EVER- how nuts is that??!

It was amazing finding out more about how they trained. Wilson Kipsang said that after every marathon he takes a FULL 2 weeks off. ZERO STEPS. Then he runs easy for 2 weeks and then after that he begins training again.  Just totally surprised me that that was his norm for every single race. I can't count how many times I attempt to get on the treadmill the next day and shake out my legs or something- and kinda hold it as a point of pride- like I was back to running a day after my race.  While these elites and super fast dudes just give their body the rest it really deserves/needs/wants. So, that's my new thing- no steps for 2 weeks post marathons. If it works for them, then it surely is good enough for Kimberly "I just BQ-ed for the first time last year" Clark. 

Dream come true getting to meet Wilson Kipsang. Having watching plenty of videos of him running in a marathon (most beautiful stride I've ever seen) it was such an honor to meet him. Icing on cake? The three of us matching!

I've always thought elite marathoners were skinny but I think it is even more highlighted in this pic. Tyler and I look obese next to Emmanuel Mutai. Ridiculous. His hips are legitimately the size of my wrist. I'm sure it's easier to run faster when the wind literally lifts you up and flies you through a course. 

And of course, no expo is complete without a stop to the Skecher's booth and a photo opp with my favorite marathoner!

Do we look like the marathoning Olsen Twins??!

We clearly love to expo.

On Saturday we stayed in the hotel pretty much the whole day letting Tyler rest up his legs. So smart. I definitely will be more proactive for Berlin and will allow myself to just completely rest the day before my race (instead of walking all around Boston and half-starving myself during the day). Just things you learn as you go. The weather was suchhhh a thing prior to this race (but isn't that true of EVERY race where marathoners become amateur weathermen??!)- is it going to rain, it is going to be freezing, will it be hot- pretty much whatever type of weather you can imagine was predicted for this race. 

The view from our hotel room. 

Morning of the race, I was super nervous. (Let's throw out the reminder here that it was not I that was running this race.)  I honestly slept REALLY poorly during the night because I was so nervous (I know- I'm a mess). Tyler was pretty calm and honestly was a lot calmer all week than I was. Haha. His training had being going well with him hitting new PR's in all distances leading up to it, but honestly, a marathon is such a long race and anything could happen. I was just prayinggggg that it would really come together for him in an amazing way.

Doesn't he look ready to do a crazy fast marathon?!

Saying goodbye to him at that train station (for him to take it to the start) was so scary- just totally unsure of what would happen. It was pretty cool though- he was able to warm up in the area at the start with all of the elites. When can you say you warmed up pre-marathon with Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto?! Dream come true for him.

I was REALLY excited about spectating this race. It had some of my favorite marathoners and was really hyped up to be a head to head against the two fastest men in the world (Kipsang v. Kimetto). We ended up seeing Tyler on three spots along the course. Considering he was at a 5:35 pace, I find that quite the feat. A lot easier to spectate slower racers, harder when they are FLYING. 

We saw the elites at mile 8- all still in a pack flyingggg together. Mutai is directly in the middle (white jerz/black adidas shorts) and Kimetto & Kipsang are in the back corner (blue jerz and white jerz). It was BREATHTAKING watching them run. Literally one of the funnest things to just get to see these guys in person. They were incredible. 

That's him saying- HI I SEE YOU!

We ran from mile 8 to mile 13 (and by ran I mean we ran to the tube, took the tube on one line, switched lines, took it to another line, got out and ran to where the marathon was)- we literally barely got there in time to see the elites run through- that's how much time it takes to go through the city by Tube to hit up the next spot. Plus the crowds were nutso. People had parked and settled into spots so it was impossible to find a spot to cheer. I was super worried we would completely miss Tyler because he was across the way and no one was letting me up to the front. I popped up to the front and asked a lady if I could stand there for literally two minutes because my bf was about to run through. She was UBER grumpy and was like- sureeeee (I don't think she believed that Tyler was that fast)- and I reassured her I really would be out of her hair if she let me cheer him on really quick. Tyler came by and we cheered super loud for him- luckily he saw us. And the lady ended up totally warming up to me once she saw me go completely nuts cheering. By the time Tyler came around for mile 21 (they came back through the same spot) - she and the rest of our section were chanting "TYLER TYLER TYLER" so that he could hear us from super far away. Really one of my favorite moments rallying the strangers around me to cheer him on. 

This is beautiful. 

Sadly London has the WORST INTERNET SERVICE EVER. THE WORST. And the London Marathon Tracking App was unfortunately JUST as bad as London's internet. That meant we were in the dark THE ENTIRE RACE, pretty much. We guessed what his splits were. But after we sent him off at Mile 21 all we could do was pray because we wouldn't be able to make it to the finish in time. We had NO CLUE how he did until we saw him at the finish. 2.26.23. WE WERE ECSTATIC. It was just amazing to see all of his hard work pay off. 

Deep in the pain cave, as he says. (Mile 21)

I was so nervous all day so it was nice to see he finally accomplished his big goal. Crazy fact- his last marathon (Boston) he performed similar to me- 19 minutes OFF our PR. How nuts is that?! Just goes to show you to keep the faith. I am so very proud of him- and excited for our next big race- BERLIN- for BOTH of us. ;-) 

Our trip was a crazy ride- from a pretty low low (19 minutes off a marathon PR qualifies as a LOW) to an amazing high (Tyler shaving almost 10 minutes off his PR), we were thankful to have had the opportunity to travel and do what we love to do. Also- I cannot more highly recommend London- there's a reason it's a major. It's great weather (usually cool in London during this time), flat course, easy packet pickup, easy transportation, plus IT'S LONDON. Soooooo now I want to run London… Maybe 2017? (2016 Lotto is already come and gone.)

Hope this was a fun read- now go out and have a good run! ;-)