I finished the Boston marathon. It was wicked awesome.
I'm sore, very sore. And tired, very tired.
I arrived at the Boston Common where 25,000 runners, give or take a few, were trying to load buses to head to Hopkinton--the start line for the race. It was amazing to witness a sea of runners file onto these buses. It was so efficient.
Hopkinton was electric. I had about an hour before my wave started and I enjoyed the time to relax, stretch, get a few last minute pieces of advice, and prepare for the mental battle ahead. The weather could not have been more perfect! Just as we were lining up to start the second wave of runners, the sun was peaking it's way out from behind the last of the clouds. The temperature was a perfect 52 with a slight breeze.
I was surprised how quickly I was able to cross the starting line with as many runners as there were, I think my delay time was only about 6 minutes. I started the marathon running 9:43 minute splits per mile and finished the VERY hilly last half of the marathon running 9:44 minute splits. I stopped to visit with people who had come out to watch, to stretch, to walk through the water stations--generally, I didn't push myself too hard until the end of the race. I don't know where my energy came from, but I had it . . . until mile 23.
I thought I'd be very emotional at the end . . . and I wasn't, I was cranky and couldn't believe that I had run so far and I still had to keep running . . . 3 more miles. My legs were killing, my feet aching and my body tingling. And there were still several hills to overcome at the end. I thought if I saw another hill, I would just swear . . . literally.
Once we finally rounded the street onto Boylston, the thousands and thousands of people in the crowds were just a blur in the backgroud. The finish line was about 700 yards away and I was behind a man who stopped. So I stopped. The way I was feeling, I was fine walking to the finish at this point. It's amazing to me how far I had come and with only 700 yards left, I felt SO justified in walking to the finish. I was convinced that my body could not start running again. And then, out of NO where, I found myself sprinting to the finish line. Talk about psycho. My mind was off and my legs were on and I didn't feel like I had any control over either.
Crossing the finish line was so relieving. I don't think I would have made it as far as I did, with the pace that I did, without Jhordan or Linsey there to help run me in. I was so grateful for their support on the course. Jhordan ran me in from mile 16 and Linsey joined up with us with 6 miles to go. It was great to be flanked with love and support for the last 10 miles. I loved that they were able to cross the finish with me too! The way the course is laid out, they have barriers to keep the crowds back for the last 2 or 3 miles of the course, so they literally weren't able to jump off the path anywhere. (Thank you both for being with me!)
I'm going to throw together some pictures of the race that my family and friends took, and I'll add a few more details . . . I just thought you might want to know how it was. So amazing. I even have thoughts about do it again next year, and I'm close to convincing Michael to join me!
Thank you for all your love and support. I can hardly believe that I just finished the Boston Marathon!!