the above picture is my alarm…anytime there is a an alarm that has the number “3” in it..it’s way too early
4 am comes awfully quick-especially when you are nervous as hell that you will sleep through your alarm and miss the marathon. My start time was 11:25 and I was in Hopkinton by 6:00…it was a very, very long wait.
My team gets to wait inside a mason lodge right in front of the corrals-it’s pretty cool because it’s warm, dry, and we have a million porta potties and also-wall outlets!! Lesson learned: last year, my phone died right after the second bomb went off. I was only able to send out a text to my sister saying “Tell mom we’re ok” and then it shut off. This year, with the 1,000,000 spectators present..I anticipated a hard time finding my “people”. So I made SURE I packed my phone charger. (I shut my phone off into airplane mode while running the marathon, though) just thinking about not being able to find my family makes my stomach knot up.
Anyway, so I sat and waited for 6 1/2 hours for the start. I now know I do not like waiting. I firmly believe that if I had started in an earlier wave I would’ve done a whole lot better. At the Wave 2 start at 10:25-it was still only about 45-50. By 11:25 the weather had climbed up into the sixties and I guess my body wasn’t ready for warmth This winter was pretty much the coldest/snowiest ever and We really haven’t had too many days above 60 yet.
The energy of the runners/crowds at the start was electric. I cried right from the beginning when the national anthem was sung. I shed more tears when I saw all the little kids holding signs saying”BostonStrong”. I was pretty much a basket case the whole race.
I made myself a sweet little pace bracelet based on this website. I wanted to be able to look down at my wrist and match up my times with what my Garmin said.
Right away, like literally as soon as I started-I felt off. Soooooooo sluggish and slow, it was like someone was holding/pushing me back. I couldn’t have picked up my pace and I tried.
Every mile drug on..and I never say that. I love running, and usually runs go by in the blink of an eye for me, but I just felt so “off” on Monday. I was stopping every like to take a drink-and usually I can wait 3-4 in between. I was dying of thirst. I hit the halfway point at 2:00. Woof. Everything hurt-from my calves to my hamstrings-it was like my body was falling apart-I’m sure a lot of this was due to stress leading up to the marathon. It hasn’t been easy to deal with anxiety (not my own) surrounding my running the marathon..I have been worried about numerous things…and not able to sleep a whole lot. So. There’s that. By the time I hit mile 20-I was SO angry with myself. I looked at my watch and it was 3:31…the time I had figured I’d be done by.
It was a Iong and painful run. I know from experience that not every run will be “my run.” Let’s face it-I have had several marathons (and every day runs) that weren’t “my run.” In February, I ran a 3:45 marathon…and I knew I could’ve done better for that. I was extremely disappointed with my finishing time of 4:29, but I understand it. Sometimes it can be hard to accept that even with GREAT training-you can still flop on race day. *ish happens?!
But….here are some things that I loved about the day…
1. The participants.
Yes I don’t love that I started at 11:25… But I love that do many people felt that they needed to be a part of this years Boston. Runners a truly passionate group.. I now have 35754 new buddies- we all were a part of something truly great. That marathon will live in history as “the one that we took back.” I have been at marathons and have encountered rude runners before…but not that day. Sure, there were times where I got elbowed in the head by Mr. Tall Man, but it was immediately followed by an “I’m so sorry.” There was a politeness to every runner-we were all excited and grateful to be there. I am proud that I was a part of that day.
2. The volunteers.
they were really great. Full of encouragement and gatotade, they were really there to save the day. I thanked each one who handed me a cup of delicious liquids!
3. The spectators.
They came bearing gifts, they came bringing their excitement and their energy. They came with encouraging and hilarious signs. They offered oranges and twizzlers, pretzels and ice chips. I salute you, good people of the Boston route: one million plus showed up to be BostonStrong on Monday..and boy oh boy…they sure were. I have never seen the crowds quite as thick as they were…unbelievable. All those people cheering “Go Nicole!” made it extra special.
4. That I saw RICK AND DICK ALONG THE COURSE!!
every time I remember this—> I get excited all over again!! I was running up heartbreak and i was angry at myself for silly things, when all of a sudden the crowds got EXTRA loud..I turned around and there were the famous father and son team…walking up heartbreak, right behind me. They were slapping the hands of the spectators and just looked SO happy to be a part of the day. Pretty hard to feel sorry for yourself after something like that…
(In case you didn’t know..this is the famous father/son teams last year as Boston Marathon entrants. They came back for one last year after not being able to finish last year.)
4. That I got to cross the finish line.
I could live in that 1/10 of a second of crossing forever. Or rather, that .20 down Boylston street as I saw that finish line up ahead of me. It was such a special moment. My friend took this picture of me:
It’s not a terrific picture-I am already a
ugly crier blubbering hot mess as I can see the finish line, but you can tell that I am done and so badly want to feel that freshly painted “Finish Line” sign underneath my feet. I crossed and felt relief, exhaustion, happiness, and and a whole whoosh of other overpowering emotions..but mostly…I felt peace. . Finally, my moment of crossing given back to me..
And I just want to tell you how awesome my friends and family are…they organized a little surprise party for me at my favorite restaurant for after the marathon!!
me and my husband!
Run Free, Run Strong!
If you ran Boston, feel free to link your recap posts here so we can all read about them!
Anybody else feel like they were dying from heat??