Let’s start off by saying that the Baystate Marathon is an incredibly well designed, well thought out, organized race. It is truly a race FOR RUNNERS by RUNNERS.
I never had to stop because of a car, or got stuck in “people traffic”. It was seamless, from the beautiful voices of the little girls singing the national anthem and the start of the gun, to the well planned water stops that appeared for you EXACTLY when you need them: this is a wonderful race and I highly recommend it. Its course is scenic and mostly flat. AND you conveniently finish in the same area that you begin: this means NO waiting around for your bus to shuffle you back to the start/finish. It’s wonderful!!
For me, It wasn’t my “perfect race day.” You can’t plan everything, and that is why I always make sure to continue to train-even if I feel like crap on a stick.
Which I did today.
I was up for the majority if the night, tossing and turning. I finally fell asleep (obviously!) right when my alarm rung. I woke up with my stomach feeling “Thanksgiving full ” and had to force my breakfast down. Never a good sign. My stomach killed. I knew what i was in in for and packed accordingly ..I really didn’t want any repeats of former marathons where I have to stop at the gross porta potties every mile or two. Noo thanks. Anyway..
I was grumpy. It started at 8 so I got there nice and early. 7:30 came around and I stood in the porta potty line. It wasn’t moving and at 7:45 I was getting seriously worried that I wouldn’t be able to pee beforehand! Luckily I managed to find a hidden gem of a bathroom in the school. No, I can’t tell you where though so I can have easy access to it next year…ok, just kidding! It’s the girls locker room near the pool. Mums the word, though, k??
When it finally was time to go, I was just BLAH. SO not like me. By the time mile 2 started, I heard a beautiful sound: the thousands of shoes quickly pounding the pavement. I pulled it together, put a smile on my face, and started to wake up! I was running a marathon, baby!!
The first half left me passing people left and right – I was on fire. Every runner was my next target, no one was left in a safety zone. And if I stopped for a quick glass of water and a former target passed me- I made doubly sure I zoomed right on by them afterwards! Hey- it’s a competition, right?
By mile 16 I, felt like I had a brick in my stomach. Not cool. I slowed considerably down- and felt like I was slogging through- ug that is the worst feeling- when you literally know you cannot go any faster than you are right now, and you just can feel the aches and pains that are NEVER there on your training runs. Everything hurt!!
Miles 17-24 slowly came and went- I wont bore you with the details. But MAN was I pumped to see the “mile 25” sign. It was like coming home.
I got to the finish line and quickly spotted my sister, nephew and niece..I was SO HAPPY!!!!!!!!! There is nothing like seeing your loved ones, waiting for you, especially after you are freaking exhausted and are contemplating jumping off one of the bridges and into the river. (Just kidding. Sort of)
I finished with a PR for myself 3:47:35. It wasn’t what I wanted..but given my lack of sleep, and terrible stomach pains- I was happy to get it.
This is my list of things I’m grateful for today:
– the beautiful (slightly) chilly air throughout the entire race. It kept me feeling much more fresh than if I had been running in heat.
– that my beautiful SIL and my favorite kiddos were awaiting me. <3<3
-and THEN they took me out to lunch! Hooray for beer and burgers!!:)
-amazing volunteers along the way. They are so friendly and ready for every runner..it was awesome!
-for all the LOVE I got today- good luck messages, tweets, and fb really know how to make a gal feel special! thank you!!
-that I'm able to tell this story to you afterwards, and hope you learn something from it.
And Most Importantly:
– that even though I DIDNT get the time I wanted– I was ABLE to run. I will NEVER take this gift for granted. I am blessed to posses this ability.
Much love and thanks for reading!
My adorable niece and nephew awaiting me to finish:
And lastly: me and the kiddos on my deck when we got home..aren’t they adorable?!