Boston Marathon Recap – Part II

Next, I saw the 13 mile sign, and another set of timing mats. I can’t be sure, but I think there were photographers at every timing mat. I saw a few boom trucks set up, and I always smiled and waved…smiled and waved.

At mile 14 with the Wellesley girls in my rearview mirror, I found I was at the 2 hour mark. I was running 7 miles an hour and was quite surprised to see I was doing that well.

It was getting so warm, too. And there was no breeze that I can remember. And I made many water stops, even though I had my own hydration. Every hour I would hand a spectator my cup of water and ask them to hold it while I dug out my Energybits. I had it all organized by hour, so all I had to do was pull it out and take it. I thanked the person profusely, and said “God bless you,” as I rambled back off into the marathon.

More spectators, more waving, more comments on my Runmeter. And for the first time during this run, my leg stopped hurting. And I had the gut feeling that I was going to finish. And I was going to have a respectable time. And why…WHY…did I ever doubt that I would? Every once in a while I would stop in front of the crowd and say “Make some noise! I’m running in the BOSTON MARATHON,” and they all went crazy! I had the most fun…ever…

Then we passed the PowerBar people at mile 17ish. They were handing out gels, and just the thought of them made me nauseous. I’m so glad I don’t use them anymore. I had already run 2 hours fueled solely with bits and my espresso coconut water with UCan SuperStarch. And I was feeling great. I started craving my third hour fueling, and considered fueling earlier, but quickly we came upon another great town with spectators and I forgot all about it. Then we crossed the interstate. And then headed up a hill…a really BIG hill. And it was brutal. And I started wondering if it was Heartbreak Hill. When I finally got to the top, my hips were starting to hurt, and I could feel the first signs of any kind weariness creeping in. I asked someone in the crowd, “Was that the big hill?” No, they said. It was still coming up. DANG, I thought. Cause that one was bad. And I thought I had it licked.

I learned later, after looking though the course maps, that it was the Newton Hills I had just finished. And to be honest, those were the worst.

I do remember passing the Newton Fire Station, and the Polar Springs people. But above all, it was the crowds of spectators that I remember most. I was still waving and firing up the crowds, so much so, that another runner passed me and said “You are amazing! You are single handedly firing them all up.” And I told her that I was having the time of my life and that they were so much fun. And they were so responsive. And this was the best run I have ever had!

Then…THEN, I came to the best crowd ever. It took about 500 feet of running to realize where I was…it was Boston College. At this point, there are two things running through my brain. These kids are AWESOME, and it is my brother-in-law’s alma mater. And I would HAVE to tell him that I ran past his old school, and that the kids here were the BEST! I was on continuous hand slap the entire way through. So much so, that I didn’t realize that it was Heartbreak Hill I was climbing, and by the time I came to the end, I could see the sign ahead saying “The Heartbreak is Over!” And I thought…”Is that all you got?!?” Because it didn’t even compare to the hills at Newton.

NOW, I’m feeling like I got this. All I have to do is keep it together. And much like the last marathon, I knew we were starting our decent on the big city. Except this time instead of it being Duluth, it was Boston, so the crowds were thicker, and getting progressively thicker as we approached the final 10k. At this point, it was time to fuel again and I was looking forward to it. I tried not to think about the final miles, rather just keep moving, focus on putting one foot in front of the other, and working the crowd. Up to this point, it was all I had left to keep my mind off the run. My right arm was really starting to ache from waving it so much. I had been carrying a roll of athletic tape with me all this time “just in case” I had to wrap my shin, and at this point, it was time to get rid of it. I figured nothing could save me now. I was in for the long haul.

I found my final helper spectator to hold my water cup as I tackled the last of my Energybits. And then I handed off my roll of athletic tape as a souvenir and set off to complete the run.

The final hour seemed to be the longest. The crowds actually were a bit more spread out now, but I knew that they would soon be upon us once again. This is the part of the run I don’t remember much of except for the trolley tracks…and I moved to the left hand side of the street here. The crowds were on this side and I needed some support. I held out my hand again, slapping as many as I could until we turned the corner and out of this area. I remember this section hurting the quads so it must have had a downhill component, and I remember Runmeter telling me I hit under a 9:00 pace. I was a bit excited here thinking I might be able to pull out a BQ. But it was short lived…

…for we hit the overpass and yet another small but substantial uphill battle. And I can’t lie…I fought it with all I had. And the heat was upon us…and all I wanted was another water stop. And I kept thinking that they were supposed to be every mile from here on out….but each mile was getting progressively longer and longer. And as always the case with my runs, at this point, Runmeter was a half mile ahead of the race course. So when it said 24.5 miles, I was only at 24 miles…egads. Still 2.2 to go…And I tried to visualize 2.2 miles at home…and how easy of a run that was for me. I just had to go 2.2 more miles.

From here on out, the crowds were back. And I worked them will all I had left. I couldn’t wave anymore, but I would hold up my arm with the number one sign in my fingers….and they would start yelling. And it was glorious. I was trying to pass people at this point. I had a little surge. And I could hear spectators say, “Boy, that girl looks fresh!” But, really, I was digging deep. Many were walking at this point, and that just made it seem like I was moving faster than I was.

Then we went under an overpass…and then a few twists and turns. And I saw a dead end up ahead and I knew with our next turn, was the finish line.

Then Runmeter just stopped. It was in the middle of an update. And I didn’t want to stop to change the extended battery so I just kept on going.

But there is no doubt that the longest half mile in a marathon is the last…and this was it. I met it head on…I saw the cameras…I raised my arm and just went forth. I gave it all I had…and the last minute, I looked for a clean way through the finish line. And just like that, it was over. And slowing down to a walk was almost torturous…and my phone was dead…and my muscles were stiffening up…and I had no idea where my family was. So, I just shuffled ahead, got my medal, smiled again for the camera…twice.

Finish Line Photo

Finish Line Photo

Then plugged in the other extended battery and waited for the charge to hold.

I found my sister and the rest as they say is history.

Medal Pose

I just ran Boston. And I did better than I thought.

This morning, I’m paying the price. But you know what? It was SO worth it. It was so frickin’ worth it.

She Did It

 

 

And here are some pre-race photos I forgot to post.

Temporary Tatoo

Temporary Tattoo

This was the temporary tattoo that came in our swag bag. I don’t want to wash it off…yet.

In Full Neon

In Full Neon

 

My Name Bib

My Name Bib

This was the name bib I had made. I wish I could have fit it on my front. It would have been more effective…but I did hear my name called a lot…It was SO fun!!

 

 

7 Responses to Boston Marathon Recap – Part II

  1. Barb Hughes says:

    Wooo HOOO! So proud of you! I felt like I was there watching! You did GOOD!

  2. Rosemary says:

    I’m so proud of you T! I watched my dh and dil run the Twin Cities Marathon and I know how grueling they are. You rocked it BIG TIME!

  3. Mundee says:

    You are amazing. Thank you for sagging this amazing journey. You inspire me every time I get out there. And especially when I choke down bits 🙂 so proud of you!

  4. What an amazing recap, I was so excited for you while reading it. So glad your injury didn’t get in the way of this amazing experience!

  5. Theresa says:

    Amazing, T!

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