To Boston and Back

Quitters never win and winners never quit.  I wish I had a more profound quote to sum up my Boston experience, but this fits pretty well.  In a training program full of pain and doubt, I could have taken the easy way out and transferred my application to next year, but I  decided to try anyway.  After  taking three weeks off due to a probable stress fracture, I got in a few long runs, but I didn’t feel good.  I had to change my goal to finishing.

We left Thursday night, and got into Boston late.  Friday we went for a little run and then we had our first experience with the subway or the “T”  as they call it.  Once we figured it out, it is quite easy to navigate.  We made our way to an eclectic place in Cambridge for breakfast called “The Friendly Toast”.  It was wonderful!  After breakfast, we went to tour the Sam Adams Brewery.  You can’t beat free beer.

After that we went to the expo to get my bib and shirt.  This was the expo to beat all expo’s.  Everything and everyone to do with running was there. Nike, Asics, Saucony all had huge areas. Of corse I stopped at the Newton booth and checked out the new shoes.   There were some great shirts!  I got a pink Saucony shirt that says”  26.2M is a long way for a bowl of chowda.”  I think we tried every kind of energy, recovery, bar, drink there was.

On Saturday we went to Harvard and walked around the campus and ate at Mr Bently Burgers.  It was on Diners, Drive-inns and Dives! I had a great veggie burger.   You do a lot of walking in Boston, which is good cause  I ate a lot, but bad cause I had to run a Marathon on Monday.

Sunday we had an early dinner at the Upper Crust Pizza and then  lounged around the hotel.  Monday morning we ate breakfast at the hotel with our new Canadian friends we made. ( She was running and her husband hung out with Steven during the race.)  The shuttle took us from our hotel to the area where the buses would take us out to the start.  We left the hotel around 6:45 ish and got on the buses fairly quickly.  An hour later we were at Hopkinton.  Once in the Athletes Village we found an area to sit.  I wish I would have brought a garbage bag.  The ground was wet, and there are no chairs.  I was in the 2nd heat, so I had a while to wait.  Most of that time was spent waiting in line at the porta potty.  When it was finally time, I ditched my extra’s bag on the bus, and headed to my corral.  Now I  was warned in advance that the first 4 mile are down hill and its easy to start off to fast.  That said,  I didn’t listen.

I was feeling good. Going through Ashland at mile 4 there was a great biker bar with everyone smoking, drinking, and cheering us on!  The first 10 miles went by fast.  My stomach wash starting that sloshing feeling.  At mile 13-14 you are going through Wellesley.  The College girls were screaming so loud. It was great.  I skipped my gu at mile 15 because I couldn’t stomach it.  I started out running like I was going to run a 3:30.  Hello!  That was so not going to happen.  By the time I saw Steven at mile 17, in the Newton hills, I had hit a wall.  Not a mental one but a physical one.  My hip was hurting and aching with every step.  I think I was over compensating for my injured leg.  I stopped and whined to Steven,”  I don’t think I can do this.”  He gave me the support I needed to keep going.  I knew I just had to finish.  “Cross the finish line that’s it”.  I just kept repeating it.  I stopped a few times to walk, but that almost hurt worse.

Around mile 21 you are going by Boston College.  I’m telling you,  having  a thousand college kids yelling and cheering for you gets you moving a little faster.  I finally decided to eat a few sports beans, but was out of my drink.  Some wonderful spectator along the side had dixie cups of beer.  I needed a drink so of course I took it and it tasted pretty damn good about then.  The last 5 miles is pretty down hill and hard on the quads.    Entering the last mile was awesome, all the people.  You turn the corner and can see the finish!  Yes I made it!  4:17:21 but I did it, even when I felt like quitting.

I made my way through the finishing shoot, got my medal, food, etc.  I met Steven at our pre-arranged meeting area.  I just collapsed, my legs were cramping.  I started crying tears of pain and joy!  It was a great experience and something I can check off my list.   I will admit I questioned why I signed up to run the Chicago marathon with my bff Courtney  on 10-10-10!