Okay, okay. That might be a little bit dramatic. There was, after all, no blood. How about this:
Snow. Wind. Sweat. Tears. Blisters. Blinding stomach pain.
Let me back up. On Saturday Pat and I drove down to Hyannis. We went to the race expo, and I got to meet Jack Fultz, who won the Boston Marathon in 1976 and placed a couple other times.
We also came across some North Face jackets and I found a red one for Pat that matches my yellow one! I insisted that he get it so that we can be huge dorks and wear them together. I love it!
Pat wanted to take me to a nice dinner, but all I wanted was some pasta, and its hard to enjoy a nice meal out when you're trying to mentally prepare for a race the next morning. So instead we were lazy and ordered in (I'd packed some pasta and tofu just in case) and watched movies and ate candy all night. I was actually good and only had 2 Reese's cups and some mango sorbet - eating too much candy the night before a race is never a good idea.
On Sunday morning I woke up with terrible stomach cramps. I don't know what was wrong but it felt like I was being stabbed by several knives. Not how you want to feel when you're about to set out for a 13.1 mile run. But I pulled myself together, had some tea and a banana, and went to the starting corral. It was snowing like mad, but as usual I'd overdressed, so the snow was actually refreshing (until the wind kicked in). Luckily I felt a little bit better when I started running and my stomach pain eased up. I was still uncomfortable, but at least I could move. I've never not finished a race, and the thought of a big fat DNF was totally unappealing. I'm a pretty stubborn person, so I think that helped me get through it. I just kept thinking:
Pain is only temporary.
Pain is weakness leaving the body.
This isn't supposed to be easy. If it was easy, everyone would do it.
Over and over and over. I walked for one minute at mile 8, and again at mile 11. I told myself that walking is not for wimps, but I also didn't want to stop, I just wanted to run it and be done.
At mile 13 I saw Pat waving and cheering for me. As I sprinted up to finish, he was sprinting to meet me there. It was such a good feeling to be done and know that I'd pushed through, when all I'd wanted to do was curl up in a ball. I'm so happy that I did it because I know I would have regretted it if I hadn't. If I'd had an injury, I certainly wouldn't have run, but I knew that I could make it through this and I'm glad I did.
My Garmin watch gave me a finishing time of 1:54:47. My official nettime was 1:54:35, with an average pace of 8:45/minute. This was right in the middle of the finishing times I had for the two half marathons I ran in November, so I was happy with this time.
Pat and me after I finished:
Pat asked me to pose. This was about the nicest pose I could muster:
After downing a mango protein drink, half a bagel with peanut butter and banana, and a small cup of minestrone soup, Pat and I went back to the hotel. They gave late check-out to everyone who ran the race, which was so nice. I took my first ice bath ever - ice baths are good for reducing muscle pain and soreness after intense training sessions and may help you recover faster.
Do I really want to get in there!?
This is not fun...
Maybe if I pout you'll feel sorry for me?
It was really cold but I had a large 50/50 (half black coffee/half hot chocolate) to warm me up a bit.
Finally we got on the road to go home, and after a quick stop at Trader Joe's (essentials!) we were back. I was so tired and sore that I could barely even think straight. I made myself a random picnic of food (mashed potatoes, squash soup, cashews and lemonade - followed up by some peanut butter m&ms) and stretched my exhausted body out on the couch to watch the Oscars. Relaxing ending to the weekend!