Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Better Than I Expected – Steve

It was a great day and better than I would have ever expected. Of course I didn't sleep well the night before so you never know how things are going to go. I awoke early and saw that the temperature was only 36 and that really concerned me. What am I going to wear? It was borderline cold and should it be tights and a long sleeve shirt? I opted for a long-sleeve shirt under my race shirt and shorts. The head winds were expected to be maxing out at 20. My wife drove me right into Hopkinton to a friend’s house at 7:30 and I would stay there until it was time to line up for the second wave of runners at 10:30. It was so nice to stay in a warm house with flush toilets. At 10:00, I went to the Athletes’ Village in my old clothes and dropped off my baggage at the bus. I proceeded to warm-up with a run to the corrals for the start at 10:30. The weather was now clear, and the temps were in the mid 40s. I was now excited but not sure how my legs would hold up. Would my ileal psoas cause a problem?

The race started and right away I had tightness in my anterior thigh. Would it get worse? I just focused on keeping my time close to pace time to qualify and hope for the best. The run through Hopkinton, Ashland and Framingham was uneventful and I had many people shouting out my name because it was on my shirt. I couldn't wait until I got to Natick to see my family and especially my daughter. If I had any chance of qualifying it would be because of Linsey. As it was, just having her at my side helped me keep going. She often encouraged me to keep the pace up and "just have a good time".

As we approached the Hospital, I was excited...hopefully there would be a lot of people cheering for me, people I knew. I was a bit disappointed. There were very few familiar faces, but maybe I didn't notice them. I started to get very focused on completing the run. We made the turn at the Fire Station and the real race began. It was brutal but Linsey continued with her encouragement. The last hill just past the 20-mile mark was a real highlight. This is the spot where my mother and father often watched me run the Marathon and today my mother was there along with my wife, son and his girlfriend Rachel. Everyone was cheering me on to make it to the top of the hill. An extra special highlight was seeing both Dr. Rockett seniors on the hill. So I made it to the top and now the second half of the challenge began...could I knock off the time lost on the uphill. I refocused and off I went. I pushed myself as fast I could to try to qualify but alas I would come up just a little short at 3:48:55. After I made my way crossed the finish line I gave my daughter a big hug and thanked her for making it all possible. Linsey made it to a hotel to clean up and I went off to the medical tent to help care for the downtrodden runners that came in after I did. I might see if there is a Marathon in a month’s time that I can try to qualify at so I can run with my daughter, the whole course....Did I really write that I would run another marathon?

1 comment:

Linsey said...

Now it's in writing! I knew that wouldn't be your last marathon! Congratulations Dad, we're all so proud of you!