I have been trying to write this post for over
2 weeks almost a month, but I have been having some trouble. It’s hard to put into words how amazing it was to be a part of the Boston Marathon this year and all of the emotions I felt, but I will do my best to share every part of my experience with you.
Let’s start from the beginning…
Grace and I left NYC late Saturday afternoon and arrived at Irving House, the bed & breakfast we were staying at, around 6:30pm. We settled into the room, said a quick hello to Alex who was also staying there then headed to dinner at Black Sheep in Kendall Square.
The day before…
Sunday morning Grace, Alex, and I went for a shakeout run. We did 3 miles with a few strides thrown in there. My legs were feeling fresh and my confidence was getting stronger. We went back to the room, got ready and took the T to the expo.
From the second we walked into the convention center until the time we left the expo we were completely overwhelmed. There were SO many people and it was SO crowded. I also found the expo to be set up weirdly (there were 2 rooms), making it difficult to find my way around. We raced to get to the NUUN booth to meet Kara Goucher, but we missed her by 11 minutes-bummer. However, we DID meet up with Megan for a few minutes-yay!
After Megan left, Grace and I split up to do some browsing/shopping on our own. I stopped by the Vega booth and was happy to see Lisa there! If you haven’t tried Vega products yet you’re missing out and should definitely get on it! I have to say I was pretty disappointed in the selection of clothing at the expo. I wanted a sweatshirt, but they were sold out of my size so my friend Kristen ended up grabbing the last one in my size at City Sports (thanks again!). Besides the sweatshirt I bought a pint glass because you can never have too many pint glasses!
After the expo we took a walk down Boylston towards the finish line, making a quick stop along the way.
We finally reached the famous finish line. It was hard to believe that in less than 24 hours we would be running across it and finished with the race. It gave me chills thinking about it.
Also, Jessie met up with us for a little bit! She lives in San Diego so I don’t get to see her that often and it was so great to see her!
After we went back to the hotel and hung out with Alex & Lindsay then ordered dinner. We went back up to the room, laid out our clothes, packed our bags and attempted to relax. Before I knew it, it was time to attempt to get some sleep.
I tossed and turned a lot that night, but was able to get some sleep. As soon as the alarm went off I hoped out of bed and got ready. Grace and I took the T to Boston Commons, dropped off our baggage, and got on the bus to Hopkinton. It took about an hour or so to get there. We met up with our other friends & CPTC teammates who were already there. Before I knew it the first wave was called to the starting line and shortly after, I was headed to the starting line myself with Meredith, Marisa, Megan & Megan’s friend Ana. Feelings of excitement and nerves filled my body. I was pumped! I had endured months of tough winter training to prepare for this moment. I was ready to do this! I needed to make one last port-o-potty stop as we walked to the corral so I lost everyone except for Meredith. We heard them announcing that our wave would start in 2 minutes so Meredith and I ran to our corral.
The race started out great! I was thrilled to be running with Meredith and we were right on pace to break 3:20, which was my original goal. If you aren’t familiar with the course, the first 10 miles are downhill so if you’re not careful you can easily go out too fast and regret it later on, but we got into a groove and kept on pace. Around mile 7ish, my feet started to hurt a little, but I tried to ignore the burn, as it was WAY too early for my feet to be hurting already. By mile 10 it got worse, but I kept on pushing through and was still able to maintain my pace. Meredith and I were still running together as we approached the half way point. I went through the half in 1:39:51. If I could maintain this for the second half I would reach my goal, but I knew the second half was going to be tougher. My feet started to hurt more and more and I started to fall behind Meredith. I didn’t freak out though, I wasn’t too far off pace (yet) and I was grateful to have run together for as long as we did.
And then the hills started and they kept going and going and going. I started to feel worse and worse and my pace slowed down to over 8:00 minutes, but as much as I wanted to quit, I knew I couldn’t. I needed to finish this race for everyone who couldn’t in 2013, for everyone who couldn’t run this year, and for myself. So even though every step was extremely painful, I forced myself to keep picking up one foot at a time. When I finally made it over Heartbreak hill I was so relieved, but I still had 5 miles to go. I was able to pick up my pace a little, but not much. I dug deep and focused on the people who matter most to get me through those last miles. I was happy to see Emily & Sean and my CPTC teammates and once I saw the famous Citgo sign I knew I was almost there. After what seemed like an eternity, I made a right on Hereford and a left on Boylston. The finish line felt so close, yet so far. I managed to bring my pace back down to under 8:00 minutes for the final stretch and I crossed the finish line in a time of 3:28:53. Even though I didn’t reach my goal or run a pr, I could not have been happier, prouder, or more honored to cross that finish line.
My feet were throbbing, my legs ached and all I wanted to do was sit down, but I had to get my baggage back in Boston Commons. After what felt like an eternity, I got my bag and met up with my friends.
We went back to the inn, got cleaned up, then went to John Harvard’s to meet more of our teammates to celebrate.
And what night would be complete without some ice-cream?!
I went back to NYC the next day with aching legs and a full heart. Sure, I didn’t have the race I trained for, but I finished the Boston Marathon for the 3rd time, ran a course pr, and completed my 10th marathon!
Sorry that was so long, but I wanted you to share the full experience with me! How do you keep running when your legs are aching and you feel like stopping?