This year’s Boston marathon was a “redemption race”. An unexpected triplet pregnancy in 2015 forced me to sit out on what would have been my third Boston.
After the triplets were born, I continued to chip away at my goal to run a marathon in each of the 50 states (current count: 46) and included lots of stroller training. We made running a team effort in 2016 by setting a Guinness World Record for “Fastest Half Marathon while Pushing a Triple Pram- Female”. A BQ in Bismarck, ND sent me back to Beantown!
Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that (for once!) the weatherman was correct about the race day forecast:
My husband was concerned about hypothermia and knows my stubborn streak. He asked me to sit this one out and just enjoy Patriots Day with my friends from college, Heather and Jack, as an indoor spectator.
I didn’t feel like I had anything to “prove” per se, but I did feel like I need to do it. To me it would be more insane to qualify, come all the way here, leave all 4 kids for 3 days, and not even TRY to run. Plus, I already knew an important fact from my hot weather experience in 2012: the city of Boston will not let you quit!
I purposely took a late bus to Athlete’s Village, as my concern wasn’t running in the rain (as I’d soon find out, more accurately described as “torrential downpour”). My concern was all the waiting around to begin. Armed with an extra pair of shoes and socks, I showed up with just enough time to use the bathroom, pose with the famous Hopkinton sign, vaseline my face to protect from windburn, and get into dry footwear.
Temperatures were in the upper 30s, but the “real feel” was 27 when I began at 10:50 am in the third wave. Note: my qualifying time gets faster and faster each year while my wave and corral has been pushed farther back. I’m sure there is a statistic somewhere to support it, but my antidote says a lot about the growing level of talent out there in the running community right now!
What was it like to run in constant showers and gale force winds of 25-40 mph? Miserable. After running for what felt like at least 30 minutes only to look up and see the 1 mile marker, I decided to put in headphones and listen to an audiobook- I needed to dissociate!
There were many moments where it felt like we were running through a car wash- inches of rain on the ground combined with gusts of wind made for crazy conditions. Still, the city of Boston didn’t disappoint.
Families were out with rubber boots and umbrellas in Hopkinton handing out high fives. Restaurants were packed with crowds on patios and in parking lots in Framingham and Ashland. The Wellesley “scream tunnel” at mile 13 could be heard from mile 12. Funny and inspirational signs were wrapped in clear trash bags and lining the hills of Newton. Even with a rained out game at Fenway, folks lined the streets 10 people deep screaming their heads off and handing out gear (thanks for the dry socks I used as gloves, random stranger!).
My finish in 3:40:37 wasn’t my worst time by a long shot but was also about 10 minutes slower than I was training for. Know what? I’m really proud. This race was, hands down, one of the toughest mental and physical challenges I’ve ever been handed.
Not a single mile of the 26 was comfortable. I found fortitude I didn’t know I had, as did most of the runners out there- 95% of the participants who started on Marathon Monday finished the race. I’d love to say that Boston marathon runners are a special breed, but I know an important fact that has now been twice proven to me first hand: the city of Boston will not let you quit!