I did it! I can’t believe I DID IT!!!!!!!
I am still in shock today. Nothing about the last 10 weeks was easy, ESPECIALLY the race but it was all worth it. After I picked up my bib on Saturday I had so much anxiety about literally everything in my life that I thought it would be a good idea to walk 10.5 miles (according to my JawBone). Once I finally was relieved of anxiety enough to go home, I spent about an hour and a half foam rolling and proceeded to elevate my feet and be the laziest I have been since I started training for this race. It actually felt really good. I made myself a healthy dinner, drank tons of water, FaceTimed with my family up in Vermont and got to bed early. I felt oddly calm when I finally got into bed. When my alarm went off at 4:30 am I was instantly wide awake. I grabbed my Dunkin Donuts coffee I had bought Saturday night to have for Sunday morning, made my usual oatmeal, protein powder and berry breakfast with cocoa, flax and a chia seed blend with some shaved almonds and began to foam roll. Everything felt good.
Maybe it was the Dunkins coffee but I was all jazzed up and ready to go especially when I saw the weather. It was 54 degrees. PERFECT temperature and humidity was relatively low. One of my fears was that it would be blazingly hot. As I got all my gear on I started to get the good jitters. I was more excited for this race than I have been about anything for a while. The amount of pressure I had put on myself for the entire training block was finally gone. I told myself that no matter what happened, as long as I ran my race as hard as I could, I would not be disappointed. I knew that I had worked my ass off for this race and that I would work my ass off during it and if I did everything in my power to cross that finish line, I would be happy.
As I was jogging to the Seaport I couldn’t have been more excited that my legs felt phenomenal. I felt light as a feather and STRONG. I met up with my friends Lisa and Jen at the bridge heading into Seaport who ran their personal bests!!!!!
We got to the start with 20 minutes to spare. The closer we got to 7 am, the more nervous I got. However, I never doubted myself. When the National Anthem was sung I couldn’t have felt more proud to be a part of this run nor more excited! Then the gun went off and it was game time! I put in my music and set out on what would be my HARDEST race to date but a certain someone recommended a certain song to me that even after I listened to it, I continued to repeat in my head. Seriously listen to this song. It’s unreal.
Now my Garmin was a little off in terms of course mileage after mile 4 but it kept the pace relatively correct (within 8-10 seconds). According to my Garmin my breakdown was as follows.
Now I know not to go out too fast but I felt pretty good so I just kept going at the pace I felt comfortable at but dear GOD WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?!?! At mile 6 I wanted to throw in the towel but I kept on trucking. I told myself I was flying at a cruising altitude of a 7:50 pace and if I could just keep that up I would be golden. Right? WRONG.
It wasn’t even that my legs were tired, it was just that my whole body was dead. I had used up what felt like all of my energy in that first 45 minutes. Coincidentally 45 minutes in was when I was scheduled to take my GU. I was expecting an energy surge…nope. Just more pain. I started to get a blister. I had to pee. My left foot felt like I was developing a stress fracture. I had a cramp on my right side. I couldn’t breathe well because of it.
Mile 7.5 was the turn around to head back into the city and thankfully my friend and client Eleanor was standing there to cheer me on because I was ready to quit. I wanted to cry. I pictured myself just stopping, bending over in pain and not continuing. I imagined myself walking, giving up, throwing in the towel. But then I also remembered I had felt that way before and I pushed through. I also remembered how much I have talked about hitting 1:45:00 and never quitting. I had to practice what I was preaching. I refused to quit.
Thankfully at mile 10 my friend Erica was there to cheer me on and unexpectedly jumped in with me and ran until mile 12.5. Having her there saved me. She told me I was running a good pace, to keep it up, to breathe, to just pee my pants. YES I had to pee from the start point and YES I was on the verge of peeing my pants. I began to swear. “What fucking mile are we at??? 10 or 11???” I honestly couldn’t remember at that point. It took all my effort to simply run. “I can’t breathe. I can’t fucking do this. I want to stop.” She wouldn’t let me. She kept me on pace as my arms were pumping, my legs were dragging and most importantly as I was trying to NOT pee my pants.
As we rounded the corner to head onto the bridge into Seaport for the last half mile, Erica slapped my ass and yelled, “GO”. I was cutting it close. I knew I had to pick up the pace and bust my ass to that finish line if I was going to make my goal. With the finish line in site and the clock ticking and barely being able to move my legs, I was reminded of one thing. I knew how to finish strong when my legs were tired. I knew how to kick it up a notch when I didn’t think I could push my body anymore. I had done it in training so I could do it on race day. I wouldn’t allow myself to not hit my goal when I was within reach. I didn’t just run 13 fucking miles to quit with .1 left especially since I was so close to my goal.
The one time I looked to the side of the course while on Seaport Boulevard, I saw one of my best girlfriends Lindsey. The look of encouragement on her face and the fact that she was there cheering me on gave me the last final push I needed. I knew some of my other friends were there at the finish but to actually SEE someone I knew, someone supporting me gave me what I needed. I put my head down and pushed my body to what was very close to it’s max.
I crossed the finish line with a gun time of 1:45:23 so I knew I had either gone just below or just above 1:45:00. If it was just above, I didn’t even care at that point because I knew I had run my race. There was nothing I could have done differently or would have wanted to do differently, even going out way too fast. I’m happy I did. It gave me what I needed. I knew I would be tired at midway regardless of if I was 20 seconds slower per mile in the beginning. It gave me time to play with and thankfully it worked out in my favor.
And that whole trying not to pee in my pants thing…let’s just say THANK GOD for black shorts. 🙂 And THANK GOD for friends and family and even people I don’t know that well. Simply liking my posts helped me tremendously during this whole process. That official time of 1:44:17 means the world to me coming back from hip surgery. I honestly never thought I’d be able to run this far again. This was my race. I wanted to leave everything out on that race course and I did. No regrets. So thank you, EVERYONE, for encouraging me to accomplish this goal.
Thank you to this one for getting me to the finish and telling me it’s OK to pee my pants a little. 🙂
And thank you to Jon for guiding me along the way with nutrition, running advice and basic mental and emotional support!
So proud of all of us for reaching our goals!
Oh, and next year I’m going for 1:40:00.