Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Still Sinking In – Jenna

What a day! I finished my first marathon ever, the Boston Marathon 2011, in 4:57. It’s a bit longer than the 4:30 I was hoping to run it in, but I don't mind because I know I gave it my all. Everything went well, until about Mile 21, after the Hills, when everything seemed to slow down.

My running buddy Ture and I, whom I ran with for all our long runs, stayed together from start to finish, helping pep each other up over the last five miles when we were both hurting a bit. I was able to see some of my other friends along the way, many of whom were running for other charities, so that was really neat. The very best part for me was making the turn onto Boylston and seeing all of my family and friends cheering for me as I ran by strong and bolted to the finish line. Even though I was hurting, they all said I ran right by like it was the first mile, which is exactly how I wanted to finish!

I loved the whole finishing experience – crossing the finish line, getting wrapped in my marathon foil and receiving my medal. All of the volunteers were so nice, and greeted me like I was the only runner there that day, with enthusiasm and smiles. The BAA and all the thousands of volunteers do a great job of putting on the race and showing all runners a great time.

I met my fiancé and family at the athlete meeting area, took some pictures and headed back home, only a block from the start line (thank goodness!). From there, we celebrated and barbequed, with me mainly enjoying my new found appreciation for sitting still!

I found it quite amazing that no matter how much I was hurting at the end, all these thoughts vanished as soon as I crossed the finish line! The whole day was very special for both my family and me, and I appreciate all the support from everyone whom I knew and I did not know who cheered for me and NWH along the way.

I am not sure if I will continue to stick with my usual half marathons, or will now be addicted to full marathons, only time will tell. I thank NWH for giving me the opportunity to run and support our organization, everyone who donated and supported me along the way and my family and friends for being understanding when running became one of my top priorities over the past few months.

It's still sinking in that I have achieved this dream of mine (and ran for approximately five hours!!)

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