The 2014 Boston Marathon

It’s been about 27 hours since I finished my 1st marathon, the Boston Marathon, in 5:54:18 and I’m still trying to process it. It was so humbling; it took literally everything I had physically and emotionally to complete the 26.2 miles. I really did dig deep, then dig deeper. My body was giving out, my heart made me continue. That’s literally the only way to describe it, because I could barely walk by the time I finished. I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that I ran (and walked some) for almost 6 hours. I had to keep reminding myself that it was an experience that thousands, if not millions, of people would have given anything to have, so no matter how much I hurt, I had to appreciate it, I had to keep going… it was the chance of a lifetime and I couldn’t squander it. I had also made a promise to all those who had supported me and my charity (Wediko Children’s Services), and I didn’t want to let them down.

A lot of the race is a blur because I was so focused on just moving forward (especially after mile 11) but the kindness, the encouragement (wear your name on your shirt and you get positive shouts from all directions), the energy and the sense of community was unlike anything I’ve ever felt, even as late as I was running the race (when many people had been watching the race for hours and others had left). I can’t even describe how it felt to pass the hospital where I had BACK SURGERY 14 months ago. It was SO. AWESOME. to see so many friends and family along the course, especially knowing my parents, husband and kids (see 1st pic) would be at mile 20 – that really helped motivate me to get through the hardest part of the course (the hills in Newton). After Heartbreak Hill, Mile 21 at Boston College, my feet, calves, knees, quads and hips hurt so much, I just had to gut out the next 4 miles, running when I could (downhills), walking when I couldn’t. When I got to mile 25 and saw the Citgo sign right in front of me, “Dirty Water” by The Standells was playing in my earbud. When the song ended, I turned off my ipod. I started getting emotional (and said to hell with finish times and got out my camera phone). Then I got to the Mass Ave bridge where the “1K To Go” sign is and my heart jumped out of my chest. I came up the hill and turned right onto to Hereford St. I kept thinking, “this is happening, I’m really going to do this,” my eyes welling with tears. I rounded the corner left onto Boylston St with deafening cheers all around me, and saw the finish line looming just over 0.2 miles away. My dream coming true seemed like it happened in slow motion (not just because I was basically limping at that point). It was when I passed the Forum restaurant with happy, screaming spectators reclaiming that space, their marathon, that I totally lost it. A minute later, I raised my arms in victory and crossed the finish line. I was so tired, so sore, so DONE, but I was so full. Someone put a medal around my neck and I cried and cherished one of the greatest moments of my life.

Today, I told my dad if you average how I feel emotionally/spiritually and how I feel physically, I’m OK. The experience was truly amazing, and I’m SO happy I did it. I can’t believe I got to run a race that’s on nearly every runner’s bucket list, particularly this year. But I’m also in a lot of pain and very sore (there’s a difference). It was tough to sleep last night, with every part of my body hurting every time I moved, so I’m still tired. I took an ice bath and and even drank some pickle juice to hopefully calm my sore muscles. But no matter how long it takes me to recover, and even if I never do it again, for the rest of my life I can say with pride that I’m a Boston effing Marathoner. Hell. YEAH.
— at The 118th Boston Marathon – Boylston St, Boston MA.

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