Jason walked me over to the T stop to board, where I would hopefully follow the herd to where I was supposed to be.
I had determined the night before NOT to check a bag. I quickly found a "friend" to chat with, she was from California,we had great conversation and we boarded the bus together to head up to Hopkinton.
*There is always that moment on a point to point run, when you are shuttling to the start, how damn far it seems to be. That happened.*
We grabbed a coffee, hung out in Athlete's Village, tried to stay warm/dry. With another runner we met, we finally decided it was time to hit the potty. After that, we had to part ways, she was in a later corral, so I headed to the corral. It was amazing as we walked how far it was to get to the start. I ran into Krista right before the start, which was kind of amazing.
I've had this strange calm lately before races, and this was no exception. I was ready. The hardest part was departing with my warm, dry clothes. And suddenly, we were off...
Of course the rain came down shortly after we started. Ick. Not wanted weather to be an issue, I thought about how I was truly getting all the feelings of Boston, weather included. I could feel it. Things really felt well. I heard that the weather wouldn't dampen the spectators, and maybe there were a few less, but to my virgin eyes, they were out, in full force, cheering their hearts out. A few things that happened out there...
This is corny, but oh so true. EVERY time for the first half of the marathon that I crossed a timing mat, I thought about all the people who were tracking me. Then crazily the rain would pick up and chill me to the bone, and I kept thinking if only they knew what it was like out here. But I swear I could feel me peeps sending me vibes, thoughts, etc. For real, it was like a mental embrace.*
Around mile 10 I got a side-ache, it came and went for the next few miles, my pace dropped a bit, but I was ok with that.
Around mile 13 I started looking for my family. I think it was later than that when I finally saw them. I threw them my drenched socks (I use for mittens) and was so happy to see them. It was a mental pick-me-up.
After I saw them, I tried to focus on taking in the moments around me. Feel the crowds, the course. Not to miss anything. That was easy enough to do, as the hills of Newton were upon us. I was prepared for them, and remembered my old cross country coach's mantra-it's only a pile of dirt. They were not easy, but they didn't kick my ass. I felt them, and that is what this was all about.
Here's a crazy thought that I had for the first time ever in a marathon. "I don't want this race to end." -Now I wonder WTF was I thinking?! Seriously though, it was just this race, and everything that I had worked for was here, I felt decent, I just wanted to suspend the moment forever.
My mind tried to replay seeing my family, and I was pretty sure that Jason was not in the mix. With that running through my mind, I started to look for him near our hotel, as that was plan B if he didn't meet up with my family. I did not see him, but just thought maybe I missed him in the crowds. Soon I was at the beloved Citgo sign, signalizing that there was 1 mile left to go. I couldn't wait to get to the finish line at that point.
The slogan is Left on Hereford, Right on Boylston. Sure enough right at that intersection, there was my family again!
This made me all kinds of happy as I crossed headed to the end. I felt good going to the finish...you'll see the pics as I cross.
The finish. I have Raynaud's, which makes my hands swell up when I run, and when they are cold they go numb. It happens a lot after I finish, but with how wet I was my hands were freezing for most of the run. After I finished, I couldn't use my hands at all. Again, one volunteer with smiles, assisting me in velcroing my cape shut as my hands were useless. When I got to the family reunion area, my family was not there yet. I was cold and wet. I finally had to sit down, 'cuz legs-cold+stiff+26.2 miles=done. This man came up to me to ask if I was ok. I said I was cold and just waiting for me family. He sat down next ot me on the curb, put his arm around me to try to warm me up. He texted Jason for me, again because my hands sucked. I was afraid at this point of how cold I was. As soon as I saw my family, my first words were, "Where is JAson with my clothes?" They sprang into action, Doug gave me his waterproof pants, John R. gave me his gloves, we moved out of the the wind, until Jason got there. Once I was dry and clothed, it was all smiles...and the Jacket!!!!!!!
See how blue my lips were? Brrrrrrr!
We all headed our separate ways, M&D were heading out of town, Doug and Elisia back to VT, John and Kathleen to MD. Us to our hotel.
We ventured back out into the rain for a freakin' delicious burger!
I expected a let down afterwards, a post-marathon blues. I have to say it didn't happen this time. I think that things just went well. It was what I expected, the spectators were amazing, the runners out there were awesome, the course was tough. The texts, FB posts, emails from people were so nice to know people took time out of their day to give me support, it was humbling...*I really was not alone on that course at all. When I came back to school, I was overwhelmed with how many classrooms and staff members tracked my progress. The kiddos were excited about running, and that was so cool to me. I hope that they may find the love of running someday.
Here are a few of the professional pics from the day...