It’s been an exciting year of racing already, as I’ve traveled to two incredible cities in the past three weeks – Washington D.C. for the Cherry Blossom 10-mile, and Boston for the biggest race I’ve ever run in. I am so grateful for these experiences, and so so tired from the aftermath. Yes, I am ready to let my body rest.
Yesterday, I ran the Boston Marathon. It is an event I had greatly anticipated, planned for, and trained for in the best way I could through a string of lower leg injuries. It was a goal, a dream even, to be at Boston and run. Even despite my rocky training, I felt really good about the race, confident I could get through it. It ended up being so much tougher than I imagined, so much harder to run fast and complete that hilly course on a hot day. Once it was finally over, I walked away (more like hobbled) knowing it was not my best performance, but it definitely was a hard earned finish.
Many times during the race I wasn’t sure if I would finish. Doubt crept in as early as mile 4 when a heel blister flared up, and I already felt my energy levels dwindling due to the heat. Two months of shin splints is what I thought would get the better of me during the race, but it turned out to be much more about the heat, and the pounding downhills that my body wasn’t prepared for. (Lesson learned: train on downhills!)
Yet I ran on, and slowed my pace early, knowing that it would be my only way to get through it. The energy of the crowd and the encouragement of other runners kept me moving forward, and seeing my family at mile 17 brought a smile to my face. I welcomed the uphills between miles 18 and 22, as they felt so much better than the downhills that took a slow, painful toll on my quads. Surviving to mile 22 was one feat, but those last 4.2 were the hardest. I dug deeper and prayed the whole way to the finish, already crying as I crossed the line. It was an emotionally, mentally, physically hard day and I am so grateful to have gotten through it!
My body is beat up and tired, and eager for rest. I may need to take longer than my normal recovery before taking to the roads again, but I know I’ll be back… stronger and hopefully much faster. And if I come back to Boston, I’ll be praying hard for cooler weather!
Thanks to GVH, my awesome team who helped support me to this race, Hammer Nutrition for fueling me every day, and my family and friends for all the love and encouraging words!