Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Running Goddess Rocks!

Well, let me try to find a way to sit down so I can type this race report, hold on it may take me a few minutes to get from standing to sitting, but once I get down to the chair, I'll be stuck for awhile. This race report may be quite long!

Pre-race Preparation
My family and I celebrated Easter with our egg hunt and church. Then we went out for brunch and after brunch we headed to the Expo to pick up my number. The expo was great, very organized, no lines. We arrived at about 3:00pm on Sunday and they were sold out of the awesome Boston Marathon jackets and only had large t-shirts left. The sold out jackets was a blessing in disguise, because I didn't have to come up with some deceiving plan to buy one without my husband knowing!

After the expo, we traveled to Braintree, where we spent the day visiting with my family. Ate my obiligatory plate of pasta, watched Desparate Housewives and then fell asleep on a half-blown up inflatable bed. One would think that half-blown up would be a bad thing, but it was sorta like sleeping on a hammock, so I slept pretty well.

Race Day
One race day, my stepdad and I woke up at about 5:30am, ate some fruit and an english muffin. We headed into Boston with my cousin that had to go to work. We arrived at the shuttle service at 7:00am, we were on the first wave out of Boston. We arrived in Hopkinton at about 8:00am and had full access to portopotties and food. Then we sat around for the next FOUR AND HALF HOURS! The waiting pretty much sucked. We were corraled in two different athlete's villages, one for the under 3 1/2 hours runners and one for the rest of us! The slower runner village definitely felt second class. There was a stage but in name only, they just piped in what was happening in the fast village stage. I suppose if I was watching the performers rather than just listening to them I would have been more entertained. But the fact that we were separated kept the potty lines managable, always a good thing.
At about 11:30am, we started to make our way to the baggage buses and the start line about a mile a way. Therefore I ran 27.2 miles really ;). The start was a mob scene, but I was very excited to finally be starting. Not only did the slower runners have a second rate holding area, we started a half hour later. I finally crossed the start line at 12:45am. WooHoo, this is it!
I felt great, the weather was perfect (50' with partly sunny skies). I tore off my throw away shirt at about mile two and continued to feel awesome. At somewhere before mile 6, I was experiencing some pain on the top of my left foot. My shoe was tied to tightly maybe. At this point, I was running my desired pace 9:45/mile very comfortably. I stopped to retie my shoe with no avail. So at mile six, I stopped at a medic tent for a band-aid. Well, a very nice but overzealous med tent guy decided to perform minor surgery on my foot bone. He was trying to create like a corn bandaid for my bone. Good in theory, bad in practice. The fancy bandaid took FOUR MINUTES to make and then didn't really help! I suffered with the pain for about ten more miles and then met up with my angel, Deb.

Oh wait, I ate some gu at mile ten and passed the half-marathon mark at about 2:10, I think. More memorable would be the Wellesley College women, they were CRAZY! I definitely need to book some parties for my Athena's business up there! They were begging for kisses, I mean begging. I happened to be running right behind a man in a chicken suit at this point and the girls were going nuts over him, so this really helped me take my mind off the foot pain.

At mile 16, mile sweet angel friend, Deb was waiting with my supplies and support. I immediately took the two ibuprofen she had and we continued on to mile 17 at which point I ate some vanilla gel. I was feeling great at this point running strong, the foot was pretty much numb and my legs were still pretty fresh.

Then came Heartbreak Hill.

Heartbreak Hill is a series of four hills from mile 17-21, great time for hills, right? Don't get me wrong, the Boston Marathon is chuck full of hills from start to finish, but the Heartbreak series are a continuous grind uphill and then some pretty taxing downhills as well. Going downhill bothered my foot thing. I definitely slowed up at this point, probably to about a sub-11 min/mile. I would try to keep my ten min. pace and would feel my quads shout "oh no you don't you still have five more miles after we get up these freakin' hills" so I listened and took it down a notch.

After Heartbreak Hill, I grew very excited. I was watching for my pastor and his wife at mile 22. They had kept in touch with my running-angel and we knew right where they were. We got two big hugs and some blessings and pushed on!

My mother and Uncle Johnny were going to be at mile 24, but I wasn't sure where, but as luck would have we saw them too. Two more hugs and some Irish luck rubbed on us and further the push.

This is where I hit the wall. My legs were spent and my spirit was wavering. My running-angel was cracking me up because she was having a BLAST! She was slapping every cute little kids hand, high-fiving the drunk BC students, yelling to the spectators on the rooftops. Thank god I had her with me. While she was whooping it up, I was crucifying myself inside. All those thoughts about what the hell was I thinking running another marathon, I had to be an idiot, never again, I HATE THIS, these last fucking miles are going on forever, when is the next water stop, and on and on. My saving grace was watching Deb have so much fun. At this point, she said, "This is the way to run a marathon, just run the last ten miles!" I told her I'm with her!

With the grace of God and Deb, I made it to the end. My entourage was at exactly at mile 26, right behind a garbage can! As a matter of fact, when I hugged them, we knocked some of the garbage out of the can! Yuck! And then it was over.

It was very surreal to finish, you go from 26.2 miles (really 27.2) of absolutely the most encouraging fans in the world to tired but polite volunteers. Everything is kinda quiet, all the screaming fans behind you. This was the only marathon that I was just a wee bit sad to be finished. Usually I am crying tears of joy to be done the god-awful thing, but Boston is an incredible experience and I would encourage all of you wild runners to try to get in, either train your little butts off or be obnoxiously persistent like me!

Today I am having a massage at 11:30am, I can not wait. Every muscle in my body is sore. I have a gigantic bruise on my foot from the stupid bandaid, I will lose only one toenail it looks like. Oh I forgot the trek back to Braintree was AWFUL! We had to walk about a mile to the T station and then the train was jammed pack and I had to stand. After about two stops, I think I might either pass out or throw up. A sweet woman gave me her seat, I stripped off my sweatshirt only to reveal my sweaty body making me feel like I was really going to hurl. I held together for everyone's sake for about four more stops when I had to get off the train. My sweet cousin stayed on the train to get the car and backtracked to pick me up. I still felt awful. We arrived at her house about 30 minutes later, still feeling like crap. Then I had to push my little one aside to pee outside and ran to the bathroom, throwing up and pooping at the same time! Still feeling crappy. The shower felt great, but still not all that great. At this point, I was thinking I might need medical attention. Luckily, I got dressed after the shower and my cousin had a toasted bagel waiting for me. The bagel hit the spot, I was like new as soon as ate that thing! Lesson to self- eat bagel after marathon! They gave crappy food at the end- potato chips, bananas, yogurt smoothies and a power bar. I guess that's not too crappy, I just don't like the smoothies or power bars! Today I plan to make up for the lack of food yesterday!

BTW, I set a personal best 4:40, imagine if I hadn't had minor surgery that took four minutes!


Jank said...

Congrats on the run! Sounds like it was an absolute blast!

Jon (was) in Michigan said...

Congrats on a great race! And hey, it sounds like you were doing great if you could ride a subway without hurling afterwards. I think races need to work harder on "after-race care". They are often damn good on during the race, but forget that after the race its pretty rough. More bagels. :)

Great race! Rest up.

Running Chick said...

so wait...on one of the hardest marathon course, with like 8 weeks of training and a 4-minute bandaid stop...you set a PR?!!

holy schmoley girl - YOU ROCK!!

sorry we didn't get to see you...we were keeping track of you though, via cell phone calls to someone with access to a computer...CONGRATS!

great race amd great report!

Mia Goddess said...

That's so awesome! A personal best and part of history forever. Not to shabby. :)

april anne said...

Congrats! What an accomplishment!

Dawn - Pink Chick said...

If I'd had your race #, I would have put up your results along with Mike and Jeff. That's an awesome time. Not sure at this point I could even dream of finishing in under 5 hours. Way to go lady!!!

Robb said...

I'm proud of you. Why wouldn't you eat chocolate after the race? You know that is your magic potion...goddess of the run!

Thanks for all the gore...the pooping and peeing and barfing. Where do I sign up?!

Seriously, congratulations! You deserve a rest now. Take care of yourself.