It’s been just over a month now since I ran the Boston Marathon and I’m trying to sum up this whole journey into words! All that comes to mind is WOW! No, it was not the race I expected time wise, but not every race is about time or setting a personal best. Sometimes you learn things about yourself that are more important than a time on a clock. I learnt that I can put my competitive nature aside and run for the pure joy of running, celebrating the journey I took to get there and simply just be so, so proud of myself!
I started the race as planned with 2 of my running buddies from Vancouver. We ran the first 3-4 miles together until we lost each other in the crowds at the second water station. I think that’s when I realized I was actually running a marathon and had 22+ miles to go! Up until that point I was just so excited to have made it to Boston that the actual running part hadn’t really hit me. So I got into it and stayed focused on seeing my family at half way. I knew they had a small window to see me before getting back on the train to catch the finish, which meant I had to run a 1:45ish first half. By 10 miles I was feeling the heat and was starting to feel the nausea creeping up on me and was finding it hard to take my fuel. I was pretty sure a PB or even another BQ wasn’t in my future, so when I saw my husband at mile 14 I stopped and kissed him, hugged my sister in law and headed a few meters down and did the same with my parents. My mom was yelling at me, “Its okay, keep going!”, but those hugs were way more important than the seconds they cost me!
After I saw them, I knew I could slow down and just take it all in! I stopped and walked (which I’ve never done in a marathon!) to eat a popsicle at mile 15 and grabbed a freezy from a little girl at mile 18. I think that’s about the time when my friends ran up behind me and asked if I was okay. And I think my exact words were, “Oh yeah I’m good but I just decided I’m going to enjoy this!”. So for the last 8 miles that’s what we did! We gave out as many high-fives as we could (which was a lot because my left/high five arm was sore afterwards?), pumped up the crowd as we ran past, and smiled from ear to ear! We crossed the finish line with a time of 3:54, which is one of my slowest times to date, but I felt amazing and wouldn’t have traded an ounce of enjoyment for minutes on that clock.
Mind over matter!
Looking back, although I knew I wanted to run a sub 3:30, I don’t think I was mentally prepared to do it…physically yes, but mentally no. Yeah it was hot and that played a roll, and yes people say it’s a tough course (which to be honest coming from a hilly city like Vancouver I didn’t really notice); for me it was all down to my mental game which wasn’t in a sub 3:30 place. In California when I BQ’d, my mind was so focused and I was willing to feel all the pain in the world to get it done…BQ or bust! In Boston it wasn’t! So for the last month as strangers and friends have been asking me how my race went I’ve been summing it up in one simple statement, “Fun points 1000+, time on the clock wah, wah, wah?.”
I’m not sure if I’ll ever run The Boston Marathon again, but if that was it for me – one and done – dream achieved! Best race, best people, best moments, I will relish in this memory for a lifetime??
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