Sunday was a day of rest, well kind of. I volunteered at my school’s 5k run in the morning, did some grocery shopping and had a great family meal. At this point I was not nervous or anxious and that night I laid out my outfit for the following day, hoping the rain and cold wouldn’t be too bad. Surprisingly I was able to get a solid night sleep.
Monday morning arrives and I couldn’t believe it, Marathon Monday is here! I woke up got ready and headed out the door to be dropped off at a fellow runner’s house. I am getting slightly nervous now wondering what the weather is going to be like, what socks should I wear, headband or no headband and the list could go on. I arrived at Anne’s house where I met her brother Matt from Washington, who will also be running the Boston Marathon with us today. After meeting the family, Anne’s husband was kind enough to drive us into Hopkinton, but we had to pick up our third amigo Katie along the way! Once we arrived in Hopkinton we boarded the buses to Athletes’ Village where we tried to stay dry and get out all of our pre-race jitters. But as the time grew closer and we started to walk to the starting line, not only did the rain increase so do my excitement and jitters.
Saturday was a day filled with many tears of sadness and also tears of joy. After spending the morning with the family I proceeded into the city to obtain my golden ticket; my bib. While walking down Boylston Street, it finally hit me! In two days I will be running not only my first marathon, but also the famous Boston Marathon. This gave me chills and pure joy all at the same time. I picked up my bib number and walked around the packed expo obtaining a few last minute items, one being a Garmin watch. I had borrowed a fellow runner’s watch the week before and instantly fell in love. I can’t believe I had been running for so long without one. This was my present to myself. After having enough of being squished like a sardine for two hours I went to see the finish line. Oh what an amazing feeling this was. I took my picture with the finish line and stood there taking it all in.
It was crazy. You just kept walking up the street in Hopkinton and then all of a sudden you cross the start line and start running. The time is here and now. It was so busy that immediately two of the runners got separated, but this is something we had expected to happen. The first half of the race went extremely well, I held my pace anywhere from a 10:15-11:00min/mi, which is exactly where I wanted to be. Matt, who I had just met hours before, seemed to become my new best friend and running buddy. He kept me going and keeping up the pace for the first 12 miles. Matt amazed me. He has never run a race before in his life, he just finished residency last month and owns his own business and yet he was conquering the Boston Marathon! After about mile 12 I unfortunately lost my running partner, which meant it was just me and the road ahead. I was able to run straight through until mile 22 where finally my feet and legs had had enough. I was cold and wet and very soggy. The last five miles were the biggest challenge of the whole race. Those rolling hills of Wellesley are truly as challenging as all others say. I finished the next four miles running and walking and then the last mile came. I dug deep down and told myself this is it, the last mile, no more walking. I took that last turn onto Boylston Street and I was in such awe. This was one of the most amazing feelings of my life! The crowd was unbelievable, I saw the finish line ahead and instead of picking up my pace I actually stayed steady just to absorb the whole experience. I have never felt such an amazing feeling in my life. I fought back tears because if I started to cry I could not have been able to breath and continue running. I ran over the finish line with a big smile on my face, my angel over my shoulder and such a feeling of accomplishment. The 70 lbs heavier and unhealthy person I was back in 2009 would have never been able to do this. I finished around 4 hours and 49 minutes and my goal was to run between 4:30 and 5 hours so I am extremely happy I was able to accomplish my goal of not only finishing, but also finishing within my hopeful time. I am also pleased to announce that all four of us that started that day were able to cross the finish line and completed the 119th running of the Boston Marathon.
This was an amazing experience and I am proud to say that I ran the Boston Marathon. I am happy, excited, over whelmed with joy and extremely sore, but I would not trade this experience for anything else. I am glad I got to run for Newton-Wellesley Hospital, a place I have gladly called my home for the past 3+ years of working there. I also want to thank the other two running amigos, Anne and Katie for helping through all of the training; I could not have done it without them. A big thank you goes out to my family for all of the support throughout this whole process and coming to support me on the route and at the finish line the day of the Marathon, even in the rain and cold. Also a big thank you goes out to all of those that donated towards my running fund. This was one of the best days of my life!