I got home a few hours ago from a great weekend in Boston, where I DID successfully complete the half marathon on one of the most beautiful days ever. Before the detailed race report, let’s start with these shots that sort of capture the essence of the run.
What I’m thinking here is: WOW do my legs hurt.
Okay, let’s back up. Here are some pre-race pictures. The race started on the Boston waterfront. It was sunny and breezy and about 65 degrees. Just lovely. Unfortunately I was not feeling great, still suffering from the lingering chest cold that plagued me all week. I was really discouraged on Saturday fearing I wasn’t going to make it because my energy was low and my chest hurt with the congestion. I was very annoyed that I was not at my best for the big day. Anyway, I thought postive thoughts and was certainly caught up in the excitement of the crowds and the really, really loud music at the starting line.
Adrienne was feeling and looking great, in top form for the big race.
A quick shot at the starting line and then off we go. We DID, yes, run with my tiny little camera so we got just a couple shots during the race.
I started slowly and tentatively and so I was behind my usual pace by about mile 5. My chest was bothering me, but I knew if I just kept plugging away I’d be fine. I encouraged Adrienne to run ahead of me after the half way point, which she did, trotting away like a cheetah.
I felt at my very best between miles 6-8 when my cold sort of left me (maybe I sweated it out?) and things were looking up. The course was BEAUTIFUL, through the cool, brick streets of Boston and then along the Charles River for a while, then back again. It was just the bluest-sky day with billowy clouds and lush green parks (and colleges) everywhere you looked. I was thrilled to pass the 10 mile mark and from that point on it was gritting my teeth because of how badly my knees and hip joints felt. I started comparing the run to childbirth at that point (there are a lot of remarkable similarities, actually) and became convinced that the mile markers were at least a mile and a half apart. But I miraculously made it to 11, then 12, and then pretty soon the beautiful sight appeared of the final bridge, and then the finish line with rows of people cheering me in. I made it all the way, not walking once.
Adrienne had a fantastic run, beating me to the finish line by about 20 minutes. She was there to get my finish line shots and welcome me to the end.
As I ran across the finish line I did (you saw this coming, right?) burst into tears at the sight of my friend. I couldn’t exactly describe why I cried, but it was a good mix of pride, relief, pain, exhaustion and sympathy for my poor legs. Just like childbirth, I told myself I was NEVER doing this again, and just like childbirth, I was already talking about doing it again about 30 minutes later.
I love getting race medals!
And here are some shots from the rest of our wonderful weekend together.
Adrienne told me at least 7 times when we were planning our trip that she wanted french fries and a beer after the race. Indeed, her wish came true.
After our meal I said goodbye to my friend (after firming up plans to do some sort of race together next summer) and headed north for the 4 hour drive home. While driving I did feel a huge sense of accomplishment for completing a distance I thought impossible just last year, but also a bit of sadness that it was all so suddenly over.
I came home to find my kids both sleeping and the house completely shiny and clean. Sam had a good two days at home, jam packed with playgrounds and lunch dates and flower-planting.
And finally, here is the card Skyler had waiting for me, a drawing she did of me running under a lovely, orange sky.
And now I am having a beer and going to bed.