Last weekend I ran the first 21 miles of the marathon, from Hopkinton to Boston College. I was lucky enough to get in on the annual training run with the Hopkinton running group. Thank you Pam! It cost a mere $20 and included plenty of aide stations, support along the way from encouraging volunteers, other runners of all levels to suffer enjoy running with and a bus ride back to Hopkinton.
The night before the run I did not want to do it. I had had a bad week in general and was trying to figure out if there was a point to any of this. I get like this every now and then, it's probably hormonal. I reminded myself that part of the reason I signed up for the marathon was so I wouldn't fall into this kind of a slump. The new enthusiastic girl in me is always in battle with the old depressing lazy me. So the new me had a talk with the old me:
Old me: I don't want to get up early, I don't want to go all the way to Hopkinton then run to Boston College!
New me: Quit your freaking whining you sissy and just do it! You'll be happy once you're done and you'll hate yourself if you don't do it!
Old me: My stomach is going to act up again and if I stay home I won't have to worry about it.
New me: So you'll have to use a porta john or public rest room big freaking deal!
Old me: It will slow me down and what if I don't get to BC fast enough and they leave without me?!
New me: Slow you down? Really? Hahaha you can't go any slower and who cares how fast you go?! It's not a race, it's a training run and you know they will be checking on runners at all the stops. Even if you are too slow, which you're not, they will pick you up.
Old me: What's the point of all this?!
New me: It's fun! Running 21+miles is fun!!
Old me: You're a liar and I don't like you!
New me: See you in the morning sunshine!
Old me: OH BITE ME!!
Eventually I stopped arguing with myself and went to sleep. The alarm went off at 4:45am. I ate some fruit salad, drank stuff that wasn't coffee, grabbed some Clif bars, bananas and my running companions (GU Chomps). On my way to Hopkinton I realized I'd be running more than half the distance that I was now driving and gave myself anxiety. When I got there I had to get to a bathroom immediately. Luckily the BAA already had some porta johns ready for me. Old me: I TOLD YOU SO!! New me: HAHAHA!!.....I found the bus and the organizer. She gave me a name tag and said “okay off you go!” Me: Which way do I go? Organizer: That way.
About two miles in and I desperately needed a bathroom again. Old me: I should have stayed home but now I'm gonna crap my pants thanks to you! Do you really think they'd let me on the bus now?! New me: HAHAHA well you're the one who's full of crap now! Dunkin Donuts is your friend and it's right there so relax and talk a load off.
Once I was back on the road, my old miserable self started to disappear. It was fun. I was on a great stage where magic happens. So many inspiring stories have taken place on these roads. People travel from all over the world for this magic. Each time I crossed into a new town I felt an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. I was doing it! Two years ago I couldn't run one freaking mile and now I'm running the BOSTON FREAKING MARATHON! A bit of runner's high was setting in.
The aide stations were great. (They had jelly beans which may have been better than the GU chomps that I forgot in the car when I was in a hurry not to crap my pants.) At each aide station they would check us off and make sure everyone was okay. They said I was looking good. I thanked them for volunteering and for lying to me. As I got closer to Boston, there were more and more runners. It got more magical along the way. When I reached Commonwealth Ave I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to run most of this section. I had expected some walking but it was minimal and much less than I thought it would be.
I made it to Boston College! The running group had more than our money's worth of post race food and drink. They were welcoming, encouraging and all out fantastic. I'm glad I didn't let myself talk myself out of this training run. I'm grateful to have this opportunity to experience the magic that is the Boston Marathon.