Yesterday was one of the most proud days of my life. I went to bed cranky about having to wake up at 4 a.m. in order to walk Rags, get ready, eat breakfast, and be at Molly’s house in Charlestown by 6:30 so we could grab a cab to the Common, but I woke up in a great mood. I was too nervous to eat much, but I managed to get down egg whites, a cup of coffee and a few glasses of water (bad idea). I also prepared my feet and shins. I applied moleskin to my blisters, then wrapped them in gauze and duct tape. Instead of my shin sleeves, I used KT tape.
We got to Boston Common at 7 a.m., giving me plenty of time to wait in line for the bathroom at Starbucks (really wish the BAA would set up port-a-potties). Cathleen met us around 7:15 and we walked over to the Common to kill some time, and of course, take a selfie.
We agreed to stick together, even if one of us needed to stop. We’ve never run together, so we honestly had no idea who would be fast or slow. My biggest concern was my bladder. I had already peed approximately 11 times since waking up, but I’m a nervous pee-er, so I had to go really bad right before the race.
Around 7:45, we found our places at the starting line. They asked us to line up by anticipated pace. Of course, 10:00 min/mile was the slowest pace, so we bumped ourselves up against the 9:00 min/mile folks to avoid the walkers and strollers. We didn’t actually start moving until the official race clock was somewhere around 5 minutes, and even then, it was basically a fast walk pace until we turned the first corner onto Beacon St.
Immediately I was thinking, “Oh crap, I’m tired,” but I quickly forgot that thought. I also forgot about having to pee. Just before the one-mile marker, we noticed a single port-o-potty on the side of the road. There were maybe 4-5 people in line, and I didn’t even think about it. I’d never catch back up with Molly and Cathleen, and I didn’t have to go as bad anymore. I skipped the water at Mile One, because I didn’t need it.
One of the coolest parts of the race was along Comm Ave (Commonwealth Ave for you non-Bostonians), where the route does a u-turn so you’re running through a tunnel while the people ahead of you are running right toward you but on the other side of the road. Everyone was high-fiving – it was awesome. I admittedly didn’t partake – I’m a huge clutz and was worried about tripping, but it was really motivating. When we looped around and passed the people behind us, I was like, “OK, we’re not last!”
The second mile felt the longest. There was a tiny incline, and the sun was so bright and so warm, and everyone else grabbed water but I knew I didn’t need it. Shortly after passing the two-mile marker, we turned onto Boylston. Actually, we got to do the famed “Right on Hereford, Left on Boylston.” It was overwhelming to see the Marathon finish line up ahead. This is when I broke my promise and pulled ahead. I just got so excited, and there were so many spectators who saw my singlet and were cheering, “Go Dana-Farber!” Had I not been running, I would’ve cried. It was just so emotional. I turned around and couldn’t see Molly or Cathleen at all, so I slowed down to a jog. Just as we made the final turn onto Charles, I “pulled over” and waited for Molly. We couldn’t see Cathleen anywhere so we crossed the finish line, not knowing she was just on the other side of the crowd. The clock read 40:00 something but we started late. I had been tracking our run using my trusty MapMyRun app so I knew we finished sub-35:00.
I honestly could’ve kept running, and I was a little bummed that I slowed down, but now I know that I. CAN. DO. IT.
We got our medals, t-shirts, and a goody bag of snacks and Powerade, and made our way to brunch. It wasn’t until almost an hour later that I finally remembered how badly I needed to go to the bathroom. Adrenaline is a crazy thing! Endorphins are amazing!
We rewarded ourselves with a round of drinks – mimosa for me. One turned into three, and my French toast was everything I dreamed it would be. We didn’t last as long as I hoped, but I was really eager to get home and take a nap.
Now that our sweat had dried and our exhausted faces were recovered, we took our official post-race selfie, totally not meaning to exactly replicate the pre-race pose.
An hour later, I was in my bed, fast asleep. Later Saturday night, the official results were posted online. My official time was 34:28. I’m not proud of that time, but I knew my pace was going to be slow running with nearly 10,000 other people. I’m just so dang proud of myself, and of my friends, for setting a goal and accomplishing it.
3.1 miles and 26.2 miles are not even comparable, but you guys, I’m really motivated. I’m planning to sign up for the BAA 10K, which is in June. I’m taking a few days off from running – switching from the sleeves to KT tape might not have been the best idea, as my shins hate me today. My blisters are also still healing, and I don’t want to end up with a long-term issue there. Also, I reintroduced sugar back into my diet yesterday, so I’m going to enjoy ice cream, gummy bears, and Reese’s peanut butter eggs for a few days, mmmk?
But then I want to get back out there. Those 3.1 miles felt easy yesterday. I know that’s because of the crowd and the fact I got to cross the Boston Marathon finish line and all the adrenaline, but I know I trained well and if I keep it up, I can run a 10K this summer.
By the way, this blog is not going anywhere. I need to make a new header image, but this has become an important part of my training – the mental outlet. I don’t think many people read it, and that’s OK.