Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Boston Marathon 2011 Story

An incomprehensible robot yodel broke my slumber and I flailed about until I found my iphone to turn off the alarm.  A few seconds later, the hotel alarm clock blared.  About a minute after that, the courtesy phone call came in.   I was AWAKE!

I went through my pre-race morning ritual.  Breakfast was Starbucks Via (x2), plain greek yogurt with strawberries and a dash of granola on top.  I carefully applied bodyglide to prevent future chafe and put on my race “uniform”.  I was ready to roll……

David drove me to the north entrance to Hopkinton Park and dropped me off in front of the buses parked by the glistening water around 7am.  The sun was out, but the air was CHILLY!  I boarded the bus and found a seat.  I was strangely calm and I felt like somebody other than myself.  Bus dropped us off and I followed the heard on the long walk to the Athletes’ Village.  It felt long because I just wanted to hurry up and sit.
Upon entering the village, I noted locations of all the stations I would need (bag drop off, bathrooms, body writing, etc.)  It was kind of cool to hit up the Adidas swag tent for mini body glide, sunscreen and other random running accessories.  I looked over the sea of people and turned on my Marathon Maniac radar in search for my buddies.  A ha!!  The neon Brooks nightlife jacket is easy to spot.  Smack dab in the middle of the village was a blanket full of Maniacs: Betsy, Matt and Bob (another one too but I forgot his name).  I settled down with this fun gang, snapped a few pics and shared a few laughs; it was a great way to kill time (~8:30am).

By 9am, my good friend Candace met up with me.  We started prepping our gear to get the show on the road.  After farewell/good luck hugs to the MM group, Candace and I decided to get body drawing done and had our names written on.  We kept intercepting two girls, Kate and Rachel.  The 2nd time we spotting them, we found we were all in the same corral and needed the same bus for bag drop off.   A strong believer in fate, I knew it was a good idea to plug their emails into my phone.  I now have two new running buds, yay!

All four of us started the march toward the start line.  I was impressed by how efficiently everything was run at the Boston marathon.   It was well organized for the 24,000 runners.  We slipped into corral 7 without and problems and waited.  I still felt strange.  Was I really here?  I put my phone in airplane mode to save precious battery juice.

The gun went off and it took ~5 minutes to cross the starting mat.   Hit garmin start, GO!  The first 4-5 miles involved a lot of weaving to pass until I found a gang with my desired pace.  I knew I needed to haul ass to make up for lost time on the hills later in the race.  I love thumbing through my garmin splits, so here they are:

Mile1  7:44min/mi  (hand warmers tossed)                                           
Mile2  7:36min/mi
Mile3  7:44min/mi  (5K hit in 24:01)
Mile4  7:40min/mi
Mile5  7:48min/mi
Mile6  7:40min/mi  (shortly after, I crossed the 10K mat in 48:15; I was pumped up knowing many got a text)
Mile7  7:30min/mi
Mile8  7:59min/mi (starting to get a little too warm, had to back off some)
Mile9  7:58min/mi
Mile10  8:01min/mi  (shed arm warmers)
Mile11  8:10min/mi
Mile12  7:52min/mi
Mile13  7:55min/mi  (hit halfway in 1:43:17, not bad)
Mile14  7:52min/mi
Mile15  8:06min/mi   (something not right with GI, starting to look for bathrooms without a line)
Mile16  8:02min/mi  (shortly after, hit a bathroom, ~2minutes, had stopped watch) 
Time for the Newton hills…….
Mile17  8:24min/mi
Mile18  8:27min/mi
Mile19  8:08min/mi
Mile20  8:36min/mi (The Newton hills were taking a toll on me.  Kate found me and I focused on her calves in her fancy white socks to pull me through.  The perfect song came on, “The Best of You” by the Foo Fighters:

"Were you born to resist or be abused?

Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?

Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?

Were you born to resist or be abused?
I swear I'll never give in
I refuse”

Mile21  8:54min/mi (This was Heartbreak Hill.  Not a HUGE hill, but I FELT it.  The crowd was thick and loud with cheers.

"Are you gone and onto someone new?
I needed somewhere to hang my head
Without your noose
You gave me something that I didn't have
But had no use
I was too weak to give in
Too strong to lose
My heart is under arrest again
But I break loose
My head is giving me life or death
But I can't choose
I swear I'll never give in
I refuse”

Mile22  8:01min/mi (Hills are over, start of a downhill and BOOTYLICIOUS by Destiny’s Child!)
Mile23  8:15min/mi  I buddied up with Kate and tried to cheer her on
Mile24  8:30min/mi  (My left quad was seizing up on me, blisters on my toes were screaming.  I went to my special place in my mind where I ignore the physical pain.)
Mile25  8:20min/mi  (I made a silent vow to my body to treat it so well if I broke 3:35…….)
Mile26  8:14min/mi  (digging deeper, “My Body” started to play in my ipod, started to laugh…so PERFECT for this last stretch)

 My Body tells me no!

But I won’t quit

I want more, I want more
My Body tells me no!
But I won’t quit
I want more, I want more”

Mile0.2  6:48min/mi  (I think I was ready to be done)

3:34:29  my body gets some rest now, whew!  So grateful for what it just did for me!!
I took my phone out of airplane mode and it started to vibrate like crazy from all the texts; I almost dropped it out of my shaking hands.  I hobbled through the finishing shute to collect my mylar blanket, medal, food,…..sanity.  The runners hobbling with blankets tied at the neck looked like a sea of zombie superheros.  As I proceeded, the tears came.  Relief, joy, exhaustion, and pride overwhelmed me.  Kate found me again in the sea; so good to see her glowing face and to share stories of the race.   I wanted this moment, finally qualified for it, and now it was done.  A little bittersweet, but I DID it!!

No comments:

Post a Comment