haha, definitely saw you on the course. cheered for you!
You did?! I wish I saw you too! Thanks for cheering and also THANKS FOR THE DONATION! I’m woefully behind on my thank you notes but you’ll be getting one soon.
Okay you guys. Here it is. The post you’ve all been waiting for with bated breath. Although hopefully not too bated, since if it was really bated breath you might have died by asphyxiation by now… what can I say, negligent blogger up in here.
So the day started at like 5:45 am when we went to the buses down by the Common.
Alyssa and I were really tired (and really attracive, judging by above photo), but blasting awesome tunes from my iPhone to get everyone (and I do mean everyone) pumped up. Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen, Bulletproof by La Roux, a multitude of Lady Gaga, etc.
Justin had given himself a mohawk at the bequest of his student Cassie, whom he dedicated his run to. She was treated at the Jimmy Fund Clinic at Dana-Farber, and Justin ran in her honor. Note: this is about the only way that Justin ever would have gotten away with this look.
When we got to the Dana-Farber hang out in Hopkinton, we applied our war paint:
We shared headphones, ate bagels, and got in the zone. Mark somehow made it to Hopkinton before realizing he forgot his bib at home, and actually lived the nightmare that the we, the other 499 members of DFMC, have been dreaming night after night for the last four months. Luckily DFMC alum/cheerleader Courtney managed to make it back to Boston and then back to Hopkinton in time for him to make it to the start line wearing #22005.
So when it was time, we went out for a team photo, put our bags on the baggage buses, and walked to the start line. There were dance parties and hugs and wishes of good luck and we were off.
Alyssa and I hoped to keep about an 11-minute pace and make it over the finish in five hours or less, but we weren’t really running for time. We crossed the start line and waved to Teddy Bruschi, and subsequently ran our first mile in like 9:55. Whoops. We slowed wayyyy down and kept to about an 11 minute pace through the first seven or eight, when we stopped to use the bathroom. There was a bit of a line and a bit of a jerk who cut Alyssa in said line, but whatever.
We kept the same pace and ran the first half in about 2:30:55, which included our bathroom stop and felt pretty good. At mile 14 we saw Alyssa’s parents and her roommates/friends from BC, who were unwittingly standing next to each other. We stopped for awhile to chat with them and eat a few snacks and pose for photos.
Per our coach Jack’s advice, we ran the first 17 miles as a warm-up, and really kicked it for the hills, pushing hard and passing lots of people. By the time we reached the top of Heartbreak, we were ecstatic to see Boston College and the amazing support of our alma mater/graduate school. Abby ran with us for a little while and rallied the crowd to cheer for us, which carried us through the “haunted mile” of 21. We saw a bunch of friends at some point in Brookline, which made me so happy I started to cry a little because by this point I was pretty dead. Alyssa was pumping up the crowd and yelling for them to cheer for us but I was too tired to even wave to the people yelling my name.
“Can you still smile?” Alyssa kept asking, and I kept smiling.
I hugged Lauren by St. Paul street and she offered me pretzels but the thought of pretzels made me want to vomit at that point, so we kept on going. When we ran under Mass Ave. with less than a mile to go, we passed our friend Donald, who wound up and smacked Alyssa’s butt really hard. She got pretty angry, which I can’t blame her for, because if there’s anywhere in the world that you’d be more angry about your butt getting whacked than at mile 26 of the Boston Marathon, I’d be hard pressed to think of it.
We turned left on Hereford and right on Boylston and we saw Susan, who Alyssa runs in honor of, which gave us a boost. Justin and his family were on Boylston St. just before the finish line and Alyssa and I ran our hearts out to cross the line with a time of 5:06:31. We hugged, and for the first time in three marathons, I didn’t start crying. (That came later when I saw Justin.)
We got our medals and our space blankets and our goody bags full of stale bagels and made our way to the Dana-Farber recovery zone where I had the best chicken soup ever and got an amazing massage.
And that, as they say, was that.
It was the slowest of the three marathons I’ve run, but I actually think this was because of the couple of stops we made and not because of the actual pace we ran. Which is fine! We went into it without making time our priority so I couldn’t be upset with how we finished. Morale-wise, I felt a lot better than last year and I think a pared-down training schedule really benefited both my mind and my body. We called ourselves the Zen Runners all season long, and crossed the finish line with the same mindset.
All in all I feel incredibly blessed to have been given the opportunity to run this amazing race for an amazing charity with an amazing group of people. I owe a big thanks to Dana-Farber, especially Alyssa, Justin, Eric, Mallory, Mark, and Chris. I owe a big thanks to my amazing friends and family for their support. And I owe the biggest thanks to everyone who contributed to my fund raising effort and to Kirsten, whose name I wore on my back for 26.2 miles. So thanks.
I know you all get these Runner’s World Quote of the Day emails, but I really loved this one.
I did okay! I finished in 5:06:31, which is my slowest time for the marathon by about 6 minutes, but I’m okay with it. We went into it without any real time goal, and I think we actually ran a faster pace than any other time I’ve run but we ended up stopping for a few minutes to say hi to Alyssa’s parents and wait in line for the port-o-potties. All in all it was a fabulous day for a run and an exciting day for the marathon. I’ll post a more detailed recap soon :)
Also, ouch legs.
Your important pre-marathon checklist:
THANK YOU! Good luck to you as well. You’re going to crush this run. Marathon Monday is such an amazing day… ahhh so excited!!!!