Today I should be a Boston Marathoner. I had big dreams, but God had other plans.
The day started out in bright colorful running gear but quickly turned to just a crumpled tattered bib.
When I woke yesterday I had a few nerves, but by taking the bus up to Hopkinton with my running club it was a much easier wait than I anticipated. I felt great. No stomach issues and zero injuries. I felt strong and ready. My only concern of course was the heat. We were able to hang out on or around the bus until it was time for us to head to our individual wave starts and even better we could leave our belongings there too instead of dealing with the official baggage check buses. The bus was then at the end waiting to bring us home.
There were 4 others in my wave, but only 1 in my corral. As the 5 of us walked to the start line, which was close to a mile walk, we chatted about past experience, what to expect with the heat and just overall good banter. Mike, the one in my corral and I discovered we had very similar marathon and half marathon PR’s so we decided to start the race together and go from there. If I did not have him reminding me to slow down I would have flown down those initial hills. It is very hard not to get caught up in the mass of runners. I was feeling good, but feeling I was going so slow. The heat first grabbed me at mile 5. Yikes! I slowed down and Mike carried on. I ran then walked through the next few water stops and that seemed to help.
Some where between 8-9 miles out of the corner of my eye I saw Jay who started one corral after us. I am not sure how I saw him, but it must have been divine intervention. I made a beeline for him and asked how he was doing. We started talking and without his amazing encouragement and coaching I would not have even made it as far as I did where eventually my Boston marathon dream ended.
Jay convinced me to start dumping water on my head, which did help but the heat was just brutal. I really commend all the other runners who were able to overcome the heat to victory. I now know that I should never try to run a race in temps over 70. My body just can not handle it. Some where between mile 16 and 17 I was getting lightheaded and my lips and arms began to go numb. We decided to stop at the first aid stop to see what they thought. I had not realized until they pointed it out, that the sections of my shirt that was dry were covered in salt residue. Not the best of signs, but worse my pulse and blood pressure was very low. They needed me to sit, drink and wait. At that point Jay hugged me and continued on to the finish but first made it clear to me that a medical issue does not mean I was a quitter. I so appreciated his words but at that moment the tears started. I did not foresee my blood pressure staying stabilized enough for me to continue running and to finish the last 10 miles walking is just not how I wanted to finish Boston. With that, I opted out of the race.
I have some wonderful friends, runners and non-runners, who have given my such encouragement via FB and texts. Their thoughts and prayers mean the world to me. In my head I know that I did the right thing by stopping. But right now my heart is broken. My Boston dream shattered. So today where I should be celebrating a huge victory I am left still chasing the unicorn.
So what does a defeated marathoner do the next morning? Go on a run of course!!!! I was shocked at how trashed my quads were this morning considering I did not complete the full 26.2. I guess those Boston downhills are no joke. I loosened up a bit with some foam rolling and stretching before and after an easy 2 miler. My mid back was more of an issue than the legs which I think is due to the fuel belt I wore. This actually caused me to cut my run so short. I really wanted to go long. Then, while eating breakfast I decided to torture myself by actually watching the TV broadcast of yesterday’s race.
I find inspiration in elite runners and also in blogs I read. I recently discovered a blogger who inspires me to be a better runner and a stronger woman. Have you read Mile Posts ? If not, you should.
So the big question that is looming over me now is what’s next?