If you care for the full story, see part one HERE. We left off as I was approaching the half-way mark.
Here’s when it starts getting good.
Some people thought this was me, but it wasn’t. (thanks for the picture Jill!)
I got to Wellesley and those girls are no joke. You can hear them screaming from about a mile away. I saw someone with a sign that said, “Kiss me, I’m kind of gay!” so I went for it. This woman grabbed my face and yanked me towards her so hard I farted. She planted a big slimy lipstick kiss on my lips. No tongue, though.
I hit the half in 1:57. Saw Ken, the kids, my Uncle Gary and my Aunt Lizzy. So excited!! Gary and Lizzy have lived in Boston for years. They ran the marathon back in 1979, so it holds a special place for them too. Only they were bandits. Shhhh.
Right before this picture was taken I lifted up that man’s kilt and got a ball-full. I mean eye-full
After the halfway mark I plodded on feeling okay. I knew the Newton hills were going to hit at 17 miles, so I mentally prepared for that. I also knew my pace which had been sub 9:00 min/miles up to that point was going to suffer. I was a good girl and walked through every aid station. My doc and sport’s physiologist told me that taking walk breaks was going to keep me safe in this race. The aid stations were seriously not even a mile apart, so it was easy to do.
Once I hit the hills, I still felt okay and powered up them pretty well. I didn't think they were too big of a deal except that they were so late in the race when you’re already kind of pooped. After Heartbreak Hill,(about 20.5 miles in) I was ready to be done. I was tired and everything hurt (except my hip!). It was a real low point. I kept telling myself that I had to welcome the pain and embrace the low points because they would fade into something else soon. At mile 21 I saw the gang again. Only this time I burst into tears. I was so mentally fatigued and overcome with emotion about being that close to the end. Plus, I just wanted a damn beer! Or that Tarzan man from mile one.
Here’s the perfect time to tell you that I don’t recommend running a marathon with as little training as I had. You all know I ran my ass off in the water, I biked, I swam, I did yoga. This race would have been completely impossible without those things. However, the best way to train for a marathon is actually to put in the miles and long runs. That’s the part I couldn’t do. And I felt it. A lot. I had to pull out every stop in the mental department on this one. There were times when I was even trying to completely dissociate from my body and just fly along. I kept my pace pretty consistent. But it never once occurred to me I wouldn’t or couldn’t finish. Not for a second.
So, when I saw my family again after mile 20 I just broke down. Only for a moment. All I can say was that I was overcome by emotion. 10K to go and I would finish this thing.
I headed towards the finish. My stomach was cramping. My hamstrings were screaming at me and my feet burned (that’s a new one). Mile 22 I knew I had to get something out. Queue poop story. I found a medic tent with on single potty along the course right in the midst of the crowd. I went in, realized my underwear was slightly soiled. Don’t get grossed out, it was only a squirt. And nothing like this chick. I do have standards, you know. (stolen from skinnyrunner’s blog).
The whole stinking reason I wore underwear, which I never do, so I could have a bit of a buffer. I decided right then I was taking off these undies and throwing them away. Unfortunately, this meant taking off my entire skirt, which I did. At the very exact moment I had my skirt off, naked from the waist down, some dude comes barreling on into the potty. I forgot to lock the door. He had a moment of “WTF??”, apologized and slammed the door. I was too tired to care. But I am pretty sure he had a post marathon story for his buddies that night, “Yeah, guys I finally got my PR, but the highlight of my day was at mile 22 when…”
By this time I know there was no way in hell I was breaking four hours. I kept up the pace, though. I wanted to be done so badly I can’t even tell you. Just one foot in front of the other. You are strong, capable, committed.
When I got close to the Citgo sign signaling only 1 mile to go, I was almost delirious. I reached down to adjust the dangling bracelet on my arm that says, “We R 4 Cribby. Strength.” I wear this bracelet for my son Sam’s teacher, 47, who has been in the ICU since February with a deadly bacterial infection that has already taken his arm and shoulder. I fingered the bracelet and knew that me running a few more miles was NOTHING, NOTHING compared to what Mr. Cribby goes through every day. I stopped my internal whining and kicked it in to the finish.
The “Cribby bracelet”
Final time: 4:08. Average pace: 9:28.
Not my best showing, but I’ll take it.
Final words on Boston. Tough course. Best fans. Intense. Invigorating. Exhausting. Chance of a lifetime.
There aren’t too many times in life when you can really reach around and pat yourself on the back and know you did something really hard. Something that you weren’t sure you could do. Something that other people maybe thought you couldn’t or shouldn’t do. It’s a quickly passing moment when you let yourself believe you are capable of anything. You are on top of the world.
I checked email that night and saw an unexpected message from my doctor at the Boulder Center for Sport’s Medicine:
That night we had a celebration at my cousin’s:
And, it doesn’t hurt to come home to this. Still not sure who put that on my garage. Was it you?
From my mom and dad…
Don’t let nothing stop you! And if you have to throw away your underwear at mile 22, for god’s sake, lock the door.