|Me picking up my bib number at the expo|
The day has come and gone and I am still processing it all, but wanted to share my most immediate thoughts about the experience.
First of all, THANK YOU to those of you who provided support along the way. I'm going to pull the proverbial "I can't name you all because I'm afraid I would forget someone," but you know who you are. If you donated, if you gave me counsel or services, if you ran with me, if you came to the Boston Strong Event, if you listened to me talk (or whine) incessantly about this, if you patiently read one more Facebook post, if you gave me a speaking opportunity or listened while I spoke, if you indulged me in any way and most especially, if you were my husband and son who put up with a whole lot---I say THANK YOU!
Fast forward to the end of the story. (Don't worry, fair reader. I will circle back and provide you with much more detail than you might like.) I did get injured at around mile 8 and so I ran in a fair amount of pain for most of the race. I am not certain what happened; it felt as if I stepped on a stone but all I know is I felt something and had an immediate searing pain. That certainly affected my enjoyment and my finishing time, but I know I couldn't have done any better. I still hit a personal best and shaved around 20 minutes off my last marathon finish coming in at 4:42:19.
Still, there is this nagging voice that knows if I hadn't gotten injured, I would have probably doubled the amount of shaved time. Other than the pain in my left foot (which I'm fairly certain is due to torn fascia), I feel great. I have no lingering aches or pains anywhere else in my body. I didn't tank in the last six miles and I ran the best and the smartest I could. So, I am annoyed at the injury. And, I'm not looking forward to a boot, crutches and more physical therapy. But, as I keep saying, it is what it is. In the end, I am pleased, but not thrilled, with my time.
Why did I run when I knew I was injured? I had about a 30 second conversation with myself after I was injured. It went like this (after I stopped screaming in pain and hopping on my good leg.)
Well, what are you going to do? Stop or run?
Run, of course.
Wait. You might do permanent damage and never be able to run again.
First, that's unlikely. Second, if I can never run again, there really isn't any better way to go out than running the Boston Marathon, right?
Okay...makes sense....let's go.
And, off I went....with no regrets that I did.
But, to me a marathon is much more than the race itself. What's really important is the overall experience and the ability to join with thousands of others in a celebration of life. It might sound corny, but I really do believe in Kathrine Switzer's quote, "If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon." It is hard to explain to anyone what the experience is like unless you have somehow been a part of it as a runner, volunteer or spectator.
I had the time of my life and would have wished nothing more for my own celebration to turn 50 years old in just six days after the marathon. Running the marathon was almost secondary to the train ride there, the expo, getting my scarf, being joined by my family and friends, making new friends, being a part of (what may arguably have been) the most important marathon ever, the Charity Teams party, the Sunday morning Easter church service, the opportunity to meander around the finish line, exploring my new favorite city and many more things.
So, here are my observations from this whole event.
The Expo. Wow.
|At Old South Church with banners damaged in 2013.|
|Inside church service|
|Me and scarf at expo|
|Some of the teammates I got to know best.|
|The day after the race with my team adopter!|
Donation link. Yep, there's still time! :) http://2014dougiesteam.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1088920&lis=1&kntae1088920=730D63498C404D0499A736F301CE3D29&supId=395141415