Got It Done. What an experience. I’m not entirely sure even how to put the Boston Marathon experience into words yet. It was HOT, it was so special, it was adversity at it’s best, it took Faith, it took courage, and there is no doubt I had Angels (Grandpa, Jeff, Sally) and those that have stood beside me on this journey to Boston helping me stay strong.
Bev and I were able to stay in Hopkinton (a mile from the start) the night before. Was able to bypass the busses and we just walked to the start. It was ideal and sitting at a Bistro the night before (right at the start line) enjoying dinner on the patio was really nice and relaxing. Thank you Bistro for the amazing french fries (of which was my carbo-loading strategy). Caprese Salad and french fries dipped into olive dipping oil was for dinner the night before marathon day. After a big lunch of grilled shrimp salad and fresh fries.
Race AM… it was cream of rice with PB and brown sugar for breakfast along with java 3 hours before race start time of 10 AM. At 7:30 ish we walked up to Athlete’s Village and then to the start. Relaxed and watched some of the elites go off. Then relaxed and tried to stay in the shade. Temps were already over 80 degrees and there was not a cloud to be seen. As we walked to my corral. Dean Karnazes (one of the best endurance athletes and ultra-runners in the nation walked past and smiled). A quick pic with Dean and we headed into the start line position.
Then we were off. I was nervous and already teary eyed with emotion. Was I really starting the Boston Marathon? All of a sudden I put together the adversity I have faced with the adversity of the heat of the day. It was all unusually fitting. I stayed slow through the Half Marathon mark. I knew I could be in trouble as I stopped sweating at mile 9. I forced myself to walk through EVERY water/gatorade station and at each station had a sip of Gatorade, water, and poured at least 1 cup of water over my head. Another blessing was the kind people bringing out flavored ice popsicles to us as we ran by. These were perfect. Easy to grab on the fly and simple to consume while running. Plus, they taste far better than the energy gels. I still consumed 4 gels throughout the race and realized they even taste worse when they are hot. Gross!
I was on pace where I wanted to be with the heat factored in until about 15 miles. At that point my body just couldn’t deal with the heat. Had to walk a bit every few minutes and arms were a bit numb … Hard to be relaxed when running in these conditions. The volunteers and those cheering us on were AMAZING. Something I couldn’t have even imagined. The college students, those with garden hoses spraying us off, the cute kids giving out water and orange slices, those handing us ice cubes, the amazing Police Officer that handed me a brand new COLD bottle of water with sport top (I LOVE YOU).
After 18 miles and watching a runner collapse 2 feet from me and go into convulsions, it was time to have ONE GOAL…. TO FINISH what I had started at 10 AM that morning, the Boston Marathon. Many more walk / run / pray / dig deeper than I have ever / and try not to get emotional (I think I was to tired for emotions)… and lone and behold I saw the Citgo sign, I knew I was within 2 miles. I knew it would happen and that was all that mattered.
The number of runner’s I saw along the sides of the road passed out, the EMT’s at work, the ambulance sirens as background noise, and just the extreme look of determination of everyone’s face… sums up one thing. Everyone out there on Monday was fighting their hardest. It was special and almost surreal ..
I crossed the finish line in 3:55. To even close to the time of 3:10 I had hoped for but an accomplishment I am so proud of and something I will NEVER forget.
I was one of many that was treated with IV fluids due to a high internal body temp and some heat related confusion. However after a couple bags of fluid I was feeling fine and feeling so extremely grateful. What a year!
It was great to represent sponsors, Team Oiselle and Froedtert Sports Medicine and Performance Enhancement. You guys rule!
Thanks again to my entire team of Froedtert Sports Med, Mike, Coach Brett, doctors, friends, and all those that continue to inspire me to follow my dreams.. This experience and accomplishment was a TEAM effort, I could not be more thankful.