I'd like to say I'm ready to just sit down and write out my Boston race recap but honestly, it just isn't there yet. At least not the kind that is a mile by mile recap where I tell you all about start to finish. Such an interesting experience. It was like nothing I've ever endured in a race. Definitely puts a new meaning to "endurance sport". When I had my head in my hands and feeling chills on a hot day even before I hit 8 miles, I knew this marathon would be a fight to the end.
Funny how a marathon experience really can have so many similarities to how we deal with life. Or at least it seems so to me. When the going got really tough, I pushed through and I didn't quit. I also got extremely emotional (a lot to do with only 2 hours of sleep the night before too) and allowed myself time to process as I was in the midst of fighting through this race. I was a mixed bag of patience and love for myself as well as disappointment in myself. I cried. A lot. Yes, while I was running. This made breathing harder than it already was for me. I found it hard to be in the present and take in the crowds and joy that IS BOSTON because I was trying so hard to come to grips with losing control and letting go of expectations. Again, similar to my life. I can lose control of the present moments if I get too caught up in the whirlwind around me. Another similarity to this race and my life is the role of friendships in making life so much better. Seeing my friends and having one to be with me to the end was what gave me hope for finishing strong.
I tried my best to run a race I was proud of despite the overwhelming weather that was turning the race course into more of a death march than a running event. No joke. So many people seemed to be hurting out there. We slugged through the water stations, tripping over each other and slamming into the people in front of us that weren't making it back to the main stream of runners in time, and lunged for last dixie cups of ice that people were so kind to offer. I ran through every hose, grabbed water at every stop (and had my water belt), put ice in my hat and shirt, and stayed to the right of the road as much as possible in hopes of getting even a sliver of the very small amounts of shade being offered. Even then, I was depleted and left feeling defeated. Walking no longer seemed like something to be upset about. It became necessary. 7:45 mile became 8:15's and 8:15's became 8:58's. Finally, time no longer mattered. In the end, after my dear friend Ana Maria, joined me at mile 19, I felt myself gain hope again. It was then that I reevaluated things and set a new goal of wanting to break 4 hours. Instead of giving up completely, I just wanted a 3 in front of my time. Ana Maria is a no nonsense type of friend (I LOVE this) and I could hear it in her voice that she thought a sub 4 would be challenging with the shape I was in but she also helped me believe that anything was still possible. I can honestly say today that I am proud of my 3:58. I'm proud that I was able to finish even. And to finish at a low 7 pace felt even better. Boston 2012 was a BEAST! My hat goes off to ALL of you that ran it! And so many of you did such an incredible job despite the heat. So many of you!
Boston was an interesting race from the start. All the heat warnings and people telling us what we should do were a distraction to getting in the zone for race day. I was so worked up the night before that sleep was impossible and from there it only got worse. I was running to the start line and barely made it in time for us to take off. I didn't have time to catch my breath, stretch my left leg that is a problem and get myself focused. Note to self: start earlier next year.
Yes, I said next year. I may not be gearing up for my fastest marathon to date but I do want to think about running another marathon in the near future. Something where I can just BQ and then focus on other things. However, for running a PERSONAL WORST marathon time by almost 30 minutes, my legs are trashed. It is 72 hours after the marathon and my legs still hurt horribly. My body took a beating. Maybe this is due to the 10 plus miles of walking in Boston after the race? Or because I didn't do anything that I normally do for recovery...little sleep, bad food, no icing (except on my sore pelvic bone), and tons of walking and being on my feet for the next two days.
Despite the race, Boston was one of the best trips of my life! Even with the race...I mean, what an experience to learn and gain strength from! A gift really. It was a weekend I'll never forget. I had the opportunity to meet up with some special people, be in the same hotel as one of my best friends Nicole (who couldn't run due to injury:(), eat some incredible food and see some really neat places. I also got to spend a considerable amount of time on the phone with my friend Jenn who wasn't able to be in Boston due to injury. This made me feel like she was there anyway. She talked to me all the way up to Hopkinson, the night before, and many other times during the trip. Thanks for going to Boston with me Jenn. I may not have found a blow-up doll to replace you but the phone did just fine. :)
So, there was a bit about Boston. Not sure I'll have an official race report. Perhaps. But maybe not. The gist of it is in here. Here are some photos to tell more of the story.
|Nicole and I at dinner the Saturday before. Trying to be extra positive despite her injury and the heat predictions. Love you Nicole.|
|Nicole and her hubby. Fun night.|
|Love this guy!|
|My best friend! Love that he could be here to hug me after the race.|
|This is one AMAZING woman and friend who carried me home. And one bad ass runner! Source|
|Focused on the finish line. AM was counting down for me. It couldn't come fast enough!! Source|
|Love you AM! Thanks for bringing me home! Source.|
|Thank you Nicole for taking this picture! Running next to sweet AM and Waylon at the top of Heartbreak Hill. This is where hope came back to me.|
|Love Boston. So much history. The Old with the Modern|
|Right after the race. So happy to be done!|
|I earned this pizza! Yes, I will eat this all by myself!|
|I'll be back Beautiful Boston!!!|