It’s funny how after a whirlwind of a trip on the other side of the country you come home and regular life seems just as crazy and slaps you across the face a bit.
I’m trying to be in recovery mode, but I don’t have much time to really rest and take things in as I was back to work today. Obviously I also came home to this.
Oh, don’t worry, there was also a note that read “Welcome home. We need groceries.” Good stuff.
Seeing as I have two full work days ahead of me, two full loads of laundry that need to be done and less than two full days until I leave for the Big Sur Marathon to complete the Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge, this might be my only chance to get a recap up.
So let’s do it, yes?
This was the second year I ran the Boston Marathon. Last year it was the biggest dream ever come true as I was hurt the year before and cancelled my trip at the last minute. Last year’s recap is here just in case you missed it or want to read it from a different viewpoint. I was a good 30 minutes speedier then and was truly race ready.
This year I didn’t really know if I could pull it off until exactly 3 weeks before the race. After countless doctor appointments, 8 weeks of not running and a mere 4 weeks of actually trying to get back into running which was mostly done on the treadmill while holding onto the handle, I made it.
It was HARD mentally and physically. I knew it would be, but man, it was harder than I thought.
Let’s start from the night before.
I was pretty excited about my whole Boston themed race outfit I had planned out.
I threw the Action Wipes wipe in there just in case I might need it.
I have this thing where I have to have everything laid out and ready before I have dinner the night before a race. I just never want to be worrying that I might forget something.
By the time I finally had my act together Mom and I decided to go to CPK just because it was super close and easy.
Mom was excited because an eating place finally had a small plates menu and I was pretty excited about the gluten free options.
I went with cheeseless gluten free pizza.
I decided to hold back a little on the red pepper flakes though. Ha ha.
After the emergency alarm at the hotel went off at 12:30 am we didn’t really get great sleep. That was not fun by the way and we thought we might have to evacuate. We didn’t thank goodness and when that 5:30 alarm went off I was up and ready.
We were supposed to meet up with Michele also, but were late so she had already gotten her speedy bootie on a bus from Boston Common to Hopkinton.
While we didn’t meet up with Michele, we did finally run into the cuter than cute Shannon during our quick walk through Boston Common.
Her hubby made a comment about how I shouldn’t throw away my jacket. We laughed about how I had bought the old school OP jacket at a thrift store back in college and that I was actually kind of sad to throw it away too. Little did I know that thing was going to stay on the entire race. Ha.
Pam and I got on a bus together and chatted the entire way.
She is the best at pep talks and so genuinely inspiring. She was the perfect person to have by my side for this race. For any race actually, but particularly for this one to just be able to talk it out beforehand.
By the time we got to Athlete’s Village it had started raining and was darn cold.
It wasn’t nearly as cold as the TCS New York City Marathon, but man it was still cold and wet.
Luckily we found a dry spot under the tent where Janae and Candice were hanging out.
We got to catch up a bit and finally sit and eat. I had made instant Super Oats with NuttZo I brought for the trip back at the hotel. Somehow my little travel cup creation had made it all the whole bus ride with me.
It was the perfect pre race meal. I had a banana too a little closer to the starting time, but no pictures of that.
About a half hour or so before our wave start time they told us to leave and walk the 1/2 mile walk to the starting corrals so we were on our way with Kristin.
I waited until the last minute to finally shed off a few layers.
I wasn’t quite ready to part with the jacket yet though as it was starting to rain a little bit more. This California girl who runs inside on the treadmill was not really ready for that.
I made it up to my corral just in time for the gun to go off. I actually stood on the side while people started and ran by to just get myself situated a bit and get my phone away.
Before I knew it I was running the Boston Marathon again. It gives me chills just to be able to write that.
Just like last year I cried for the first 3 miles. Tears of joy that I was actually running the Boston Marathon. I was running the dream. Sure, the circumstances were a lot different and I had so many doubts leading up to race day I can’t even tell you, but this was it. By God’s grace I was there and there for a reason.
I really had no idea what to expect pace wise. My three long runs were all at about a 9-10 minute mile pace. I had my GPS on, but didn’t really pay attention to it. I knew it was going to be slow. All my runs these days, even my short ones are and heck yes it’s humbling to say the least, but I will take heavy, slow legs and runs over shooting pains in my hip any day. I will also take that because there are a lot of people who just can’t. It’s a gift to be able to run. Fast or slow, it’s a GIFT. These days I can tell my long runs days are numbered, but this particular day, this particular race, was going to be awesome no matter what.
I don’t remember everything that went through my head. I knew I had friends to look for at mile 10 and that Mom was at mile 26. Other than that though I was just going with the flow to take in every single thing I could.
I figured I’d get rid of my jacket at least by mile 10, but I just couldn’t part with it as the rain had really picked up by then. I’d rather have that extra layer of rain and wind resistance than bare wet arms.
It was amazing to see how many people still came out to cheer under the weather conditions. I mean, people were still out barbequing for goodness sake.
Here are some random things I remember from the actual race that are in no specific order.
I high fived a lot of kids.
I got passed by a lot of speedier runners who started behind me.
I slowed down pretty much every single mile.
I was super thankful I decided to run in a hat.
I kept my sunglasses on my hat the entire time. Smart to bring them, huh?
I lost feeling in my hands and fingers pretty early on and knew if I had to either tie my shoe or go to the bathroom I was going to be in trouble since I literally couldn’t move my fingers.
I found it hard to breathe a bit towards the end because of how cold I had been for so long.
I stopped at all but maybe three of the aid stations.
I had a GU at mile 9 and a Vega gel at mile 17.
I stopped not once, but twice to ask random strangers standing on the side to tie my shoe for me because it came untied. Yep, the same shoe too.
I got a really awesome chest chafe from the Vega gel being held in my Handful for 17 miles. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a permanent scar. Lovely. I didn’t buy any souvenirs from the race or from Boston, but at least I have an awesome chest chafe scar.
I was so in awe of all the amazing runners out there. Last year I felt like it was my race to prove a bit of a comeback and fulfill a dream. This year it was everyone else’s race to live out their dreams. Runners come in all shapes and sizes and have different challenges and abilities, but the marathon is a common place to just give it every single thing you’ve got to give. I can’t describe how incredible it is to just observe everyone out there just doing what they love and pushing past when the going gets tough.
My countdown in my head was how many miles I had to keep going until I got to see Mom on the sidelines. I knew I was just getting slower and slower and as much as I wanted to see if I could run faster, I just let myself slow down more and more. I didn’t want to push anything and didn’t want to take any chances. I could definitely feel that my body is not in marathon running shape and that I haven’t really been training, but I knew no matter what I was going to finish.
I finally saw Mom on the very last turn when we turn left on Boylston. I can’t even tell you how awesome it was to see her tiny little head in the crowd and her arms waving high. THAT was what I was waiting to see for 26 miles. THAT was what I was so excited to finally have happen on our mother/daughter trip. We were in it together whether she wanted to be in it or not. I had put her through so much and she kept standing by my side the entire time. So many emotions and ups and downs and what ifs. And then we finally did it. It finally happened.
It took my breath away a bit actually to see Mom, but luckily I only have about 1/2 of a mile left and the finish line was in sight.
I didn’t even pick up the pace to get there. I just kept trudging along letting more people pass by. Obviously I wanted to explain why I was going slow as they passes me and let them know I have hip dysplasia and such, but everyone has his or her own story and limitations and let me tell you, mine are nothing compared to some of the incredible athletes I witnessed out there.
Crossing the finish line was just as amazing as I thought.
Freezing and wet, yes.
Having to ask someone to take my camera out of my belt and to help put my glove back on, yes.
Freaking incredible and the most amazing thing ever, yes.
3:56:04. My slowest marathon time ever. I’m okay with that though.
Given the weather conditions, Mom and I had a new meeting spot that was inside and at that point all I could focus on was getting to her and trying to get warm as soon as possible.
Obviously I cried again when I saw her and actually got to hug her. She is my hero. Seriously, my HERO and for her to fly across the country with me and deal with all my crazies was such a blessing.
I am one lucky daughter.
Although I was kind of excited that I didn’t have to throw away my old school jacket, I did need at least one sopping wet picture of my actual race outfit.
Okay, fine, so maybe two pictures.
Oh Boston, you and your 119th iconic marathon were really, REALLY good to us.
I’m hoping we’ll be back someday, but if not, that’s okay because I’m not sure anything can beat this trip.
Thanks for being along for the ride. Life is so different now and I can’t tell you how much it means to be able to read your kind words and comments. I wish I had all the time in the world to write to you individually.
YOU are amazing.