Boston Marathon Recap
Today marks my fourth full day on crutches and I think it’s time I took a minute to write about what happened Monday. My spirits are a little higher today and the pain is less and less every day. Plus my birthday is one week from today so there really isn’t much to complain about. 🙂
Monday morning started out as any other race morning. I woke up, ate, stretched, got dressed and headed out to Boston Commons. As usual, I was 30 minutes early and had to wait before boarding the bus. I made a few new friends, talked race tactics, and made a few trips to the porta potty. When I finally boarded the bus, I started to get excited. Not nervous, but excited. Excited to finally run. I had taken the past two days off and my legs were a little antsy. Plus, I was excited to finally have my moment at the Boston Marathon. It was a beautiful day.
At Athlete’s Village, I loaded up on more food and did the one thing you’re never suppose to do on race day. I ate something new, a PowerBar. Fortunately, it didn’t bother my stomach at all and I felt that my energy stores were ready for the 26.2 mile run. While hanging out in the village, I met Stephanie, a mom of four running her first Boston. She was pretty awesome and kept me company for the hours we were sitting around. Then around 9:50 we headed to the start line and my excitement grew. Again, not nervous. Just excited.
When I finally crossed the start line, I was so happy to be out there. I was cheering with the spectators, high fiving people, and taking it all in. The day of my redemption run had finally arrived. As I ran along, a few thoughts cross my mind. My 7:30 pace felt great, there are a gazillion people running in front of and behind me, and who the heck thought it was such a great idea to start a race at 10:00 in the morning? (Seriously though, late morning marathons aren’t that fun.) At first, everything was going well. Then after I passed the 10K, I could feel my hip start to ache and my pace start to slow. It’s okay, I thought. I’ll just have fun out here. It is Boston, after all. Then at mile 11 I started walking and never ran again.
Mentally, I was prepared to walk 15.2 miles. It would be a long day but I would finally have that medal. I kept telling myself Ralph Waldo Emerson use to take 20 mile walks. I can certainly walk 15.2. Along the way, I met Liz. She was also unable to run so we kept each other company. It was nice to have someone to chat with, however, the more we kept walking, the worse the pain got. In fact, the pain was so bad, it made me nauseous to my stomach. At mile 17 I saw Mario with my amazing friends Emily and Tyler. Emily ran out to give me a hug and I immediately started crying and telling her how bad the pain was. Mario gave me a hug along with some words of encouragement and my cell phone (smart move). Then I was on my way again. As the pain got worse and worse, I told Liz to go ahead. At mile 18, I sat down to stretch and haven’t been able to walk since.
Thankfully I had my phone and was able to call Mario. He ran to where I was, carried me across the street (I physically could not walk), and got me to a medical tent. From there, I went to the hospital in an ambulance, along with another injured runner, Jenn. This was her 3rd DNF for Boston in a row so we felt each other’s pain. After a few hours in the hospital, a diagnosed hip fracture and a new pair of crutches, I was finally able to leave. Hooray!
When I think back on Boston, I am not disappointed in myself for not finishing. I gave that race everything I had, and I physically could not have done more. I’m actually proud of my effort. However, I am disappointed that I got myself into this condition. The road to recovery will be long but I’m doing what I can to make it a little shorter. From raw eggs in my green smoothies to more supplements than in a GNC store, I’m taking in as many vitamins, minerals, and nutrients as possible. Last night I was actually able to sleep through the entire night, which is a big improvement. It gets a little better every day.
Lately, I’ve found myself asking why do I want to run Boston so badly? Is it because I want to do something that I never thought possible? Or is it because I want to be a part of the few who are Boston Marathon finishers. (I’m great at starting. Just not finishing.) If a medal, a shirt, and a fancy jacket are all that I’m after, then something is wrong with that. Those three things and the fact that I can say I finished the race, will never change who I am as a human being. They won’t make me more or less of a runner and they won’t make me more or less of a person. I know I can run. And I know I’m a decent runner. I’ve already qualified for 2015 and I may or may not decide to go back next year. If I do, great. If not, that’s great too. The end result of that race will never change who I am on the inside.
Maybe that’s the reason all of this happened to me. So I could finally realize that… 🙂
Happy Trails and Happy Running,
PS: I want to send a huge THANK YOU to all of my friends and family. Never before have I felt so much love and support than I did on Monday. From phone calls, emails and text messages, I feel like the luckiest person around. And most importantly, THANK YOU to Mario. He has done so much for me these last few days, and without him, I’d probably be face down on the sidewalk somewhere unable to get up. How did I get so lucky? 🙂