Fast forward one year to yesterday and there I was, in Hopkinton with thousands of other people, in a tent, in the cold and rain and grinning my stupid face off. Yeah, that was me.
I was so happy to be there. I was the happiest person in the damn world! I was totally ready for a crap day of weather and so pumped to shake off the demons from last year and run whatever race was in store for me. Clearly, I had decided that it WAS worth it.
|Two hats, two fleeces and a sweatshirt and three pairs of pants. YEP.|
I snuck into my coral with only seconds to go. I'm sick and tired of having to take a pee break at mile 5 so I made a start line pit stop. Super smart, and I made it to coral 6 in time for the all important selfie.
|Down to one sweatshirt. One pair of pants. Two hats. Happy not to be sweating!|
"Just be smart and easy" I kept telling myself "run your own race, don't get sucked into chasing people." "Don't think about last year, just shake it off!"
There were a few rain showers in the first miles and it was cool but the wind was non existent (or, so little that I did not notice it.) (I had my last long run in a 40 mph headwind so there's that too.) The crowds were still out in droves despite the weather creating all kinds of mayhem which was great fun.
Thru the 5k and 10k I was running perfectly even splits according to my mental math. I thought I was somewhere in the 8:15 range and that was fine because I was feeling great. Happy legs, easy breathing, no issues. Somewhere around the 10K I had one of those "OMFG I'm running BOSTON AGAIN and it is SO AMAZING" moments which, of course, turned me into a crying mess. I pulled myself together because, seriously, and turned on my ipod for distraction from my own excitement.
Everyone talks about the Newton Hills but I have my own issues with Natick. It is 400 miles long and uphill in every direction. WHY? I really hated that stretch of road last year but this year I was up, over and through it before I even knew it. Which promptly had me celebrating and sobbing some more about how incredible everything, especially running Boston is.
I was just SO. DAMN. HAPPY.
From Wellsley to Newton it rained pretty hard and I was glad to have the distraction of more big crowds and a good (above pace- I'm bad at math) half marathon split. 1:44 might be the slowest first half I have ever run in Boston but it certainly was the smartest.
I feel like there are a few miles, maybe between 14-17 that are a little tricky. Maybe it is simply because one has been running for a while and there still is a ways to go, or maybe the adrenaline has worn off- who knows, but every year I lag slightly in this zone. If I ever hit a small low point during the race it was then and I snapped out of it quickly. "SHAKE IT OFF" I shouted at myself "you are running smart and strong and there will be no whining!" And so it was, I had some snacks and got back to work. Upsettingly, I also saw a clown during this period of time which is most certainly something I never wish for. (really, there was a clown creepily standing on the roadside. OMG. Who does this?) It was a good reason to try to run faster, so I fled.
Because of the cool temps and precip I was getting pretty chilled but knew that at mile 18 my Dad was waiting with a bag of dry clothing.*heaven* I was having a debate with myself about if stopping was worth it, but since my arms were completely numb and my hands were like little lobster claws I knew I had to! I started looking forward to warm arm sleeves and dry gloves at mile 15....
Needless to say at 18 I came to a full halt, my Dad and I wrestled the sleeves onto my soggy arms, I snagged some extra food, grabbed my gloves and I was off- about 2 minutes later. (my poor Dad drives 600 hours to see me for 2 minutes! Best Dad ever.) Dad and his brother had been standing there with gigantic umbrellas for who knows how long just to see me for a tiny moment, but it is a great couple minutes of the race for me!
At any rate, it was the smartest 2 minute stop that I have EVER made. I was immediately so much more comfortable that I dropped the hammer and started running like someone was chasing me!
....and then my shoe came untied.... Triple knots. UNTIED. So I stopped and my lobster claw hands managed to get the damn shoe tied- I was laughing and wishing someone would help me! I felt like it took 10 minutes but it probably took 1.
Anywhoo. I jumped back up and ran as fast as I could to the finish.
No seriously, that is what I did. Like an effing boss. Sure, it was a positive split finish but there was all that mile 18 stopping- and the hills- and shit shoelaces- but no lie, I ran like a superhero for those last 8 miles. High fiving all the people, smiling like an idiot, telling my screaming quads to shut up.
All I could remember was the death march of last year and how now I was running through the rain like a lunatic, having the best time ever and leaving 2014 in my dust. Honestly you guys, it was incredible. I have never had such a good time running a marathon. And yes, it was cold and rainy and not exactly a stylish running day but I didn't care- I trained in horrible weather all winter for a horrible weather day and here is was. No complaints.
Turning onto Boylston I ran by my Uncle Bill who was cheering his head off and, keeping in the mood of the day I started crying and cried all the way through the finish line. I'm an emotional mess of a woman. While a 3:33:07 might not be the fastest time of my running career I honestly believe it was one of the best runs of my life. Complete redemption. Happiest marathon that I have ever had.
Upon finishing I immediately froze a horrible death. I don't know if the wind just picked up then or if I simply ignored it while running (I believe that is the case) but either way, it was 45 degrees and wet and windy and I got stupid cold. Luckily my perfect husband met me quickly and put all 3 of his jackets onto my shivering body. If THAT is not love I don't know what is! I told him that giving me all of his clothing on this particular day made me almost as happy as the day he proposed a few years ago. That says something about how cold I was! (and how thoughtful Eric is!)
|Back to THREE jackets and a heat sheet of magic.|
So there it is, Boston Marathon 2015. A day of rain and cold, happy crying, the best feeling marathon I have ever run, my great family supporting me, terrifying clowns, screaming crowds and redemption.
|The HAPPIEST of running!|