I believe it was Dickens who said, “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.”
Or I’d say it as, “Sometimes The Beast kicks you squarely between the legs.”
Boston did not go at all as I hoped, but exactly as I anticipated. And I don’t really know what to say about it. It was what it was.
The day of the race started off roughly as we went out to catch the bus and the lines for the buses wrapped all the way around Boston Common. Luckily we found the shortest line possible and got on the bus fairly quickly. However, it took the bus over and hour and a half to get to Hopkinton. We arrived in Hopkinton at 9:00am. That gave most of our group enough time to go to the bathroom and head for the starting line. I was starting in the second wave and had enough time to scarf down my bagel, go to the bathroom twice, and head to the start line. I was in corral 14, which was the first corral in the second wave. There were so many runners that I never made it to corral 14. Instead with less than three minutes to spare before the starting gun I was able to make it to corral 22. Seriously.
The race started fine. Doug, Grace, and I ran together for the first six miles and then I could no longer keep contact. We spent a lot of time dodging slower runners and big groups and it was already taking a toll on me. By mile 10 I knew it was going to be a long, rough day. I committed to myself to at least run to the halfway point. Because I knew things weren’t going to go really well, I decided to have fun. I slapped every girl’s hand in Wellesley. I took cups of water from the little kids. And my favorite was the Flav-o-Ice popsicle I grabbed from some woman. At the halfway mark, I decided to keep up trucking until mile 16 and then I could start walking since there would only be 10 miles left. And that’s exactly what I did. At mile 16 I enacted a plan that would keep me together and help me finish the race. I would walk one minute and run 4 minutes. That’s what I did for the last ten miles.
Here’s the weird thing. Those who know me in real life know that I have not had a single can of any type of soda since I was 14. Midway through this marathon I started craving Coke/Pepsi really badly. I mean REALLY badly. I looked all over the course for a spectator who was drinking soda and finally in the last couple of miles I found one. I stopped and ask the guy if I could have a sip of his soda. Wouldn’t you know he had whiskey in it?! Good grief! I passed on the offer and kept on searching. I never found one, but I did get Dave to buy me one after I finished and I drank half of it. Obviously I needed something in that soda because I felt a whole lot better after I drank it.
By the time I got to the later miles in the marathon I was really suffering. My feet were on fire and my legs just would not go. At mile 24 a medic asked me if I was okay. You know you’re looking bad when a trained professional thinks you need help. I kept trucking on though and saw Dave at mile 25ish. I was crying by this point. He gave me a hug and that’s all I needed to make it to the end. I shuffled my way to the finish line with a 4:01:42.
Really, that’s not a bad time. And I only lost 11 minutes between the first and second half. But I felt so badly the whole race that it’s hard to be excited about that.
Now it’s on to the half Ironman this summer and I’m going to work much harder for that than I did for this marathon. And if I happen to do a fall marathon, I’ll be ready. Thanks for all the nice messages and e-mails I received since the race. I really appreciate it.