Tuesday, April 22, 2014

So what happened?

What a relief it is to be able to leisurely check in with everyone and explain that while slow I still finished. I tried to thank all the course volunteers, but especially the ones at the finish. I felt queasy enough running toward Copley Square and they spent all day there.

I will continue thanking people for the foreseeable future. I am so grateful for everything - on race day I am thankful my family stuck it out waiting for me, thankful for Connie for catching me and her friend Gerry trying to massage my calves, thankful for Rebekah walking me up Heartbreak. 

I took about an hour and a half longer to finish than I'd expected I would.

I started strong, having trained pretty well although with a sore knee, and ran about twelve miles. The weather was a lot warmer than expected, and a lot of people were having trouble keeping things together. I thought I was drinking enough and taking enough salt/pretzels/sports drink to be replenished, but after mile 12 both my calves kept seizing up when I ran more than a few hundred feet. The sore knee I was running through. I could not solve the calves.

For the most part, I could walk, and as the day progressed the "Right on Hereford, Left on Boylston" refrain stuck with me. Perhaps if it was some other race I would have packed it in when I reached my family at mile 17.  

I knew I was in for a long day if I had to walk it but I could walk it, and I really really wanted the finish line under my own power. #BostonStrong and all.

I was at peace knowing I'd get there long after most of the crowds had thinned, and I was touched that there were many people still along the back half of the route happy to have someone to encourage!

A medical tent at Cleveland Circle finally fed me some salty broth. I kept walking, and trying to run without being able to get more than a few hundred feet before my calves seized. At mile 25, something fired up enabling me to run that last mile + .2, the mile I wasn't able to run last year. Right on Hereford, left on Boylston. In tears, relieved.

I got my medal, my mylar jacket, a finisher's time for coming in just under six hours, raised piles of awareness and funds for Samaritans, got to know some incredibly strong Samaritans teammates, and learned a little something about how generous my community is. I also did my small part to help Boston reclaim its signature race.

I have said for years that on marathon day you do the best you can with the day and body you have. Until yesterday, I had the good fortune to be able to work with reasonable days and a cooperative body. Today I'm walking, slowly, and grateful for everything. I guess this experience confirms that I'm a real marathoner.

I did learn that it takes a lot of work to come in last at a marathon, because there were plenty of people behind me.

There'll be pictures forthcoming.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Thank you.

So, here we are, the eve of Boston 2014. I feel about the same as last year, physically, but I am very hungry to get across that finish line tomorrow. 

First off, the letters t-h-a-n-k-y-o-u have completely worn off all the devices I use to communicate. I cannot say that enough to everyone who donated to Samaritans, participated in the Happy Holly Days or Joe Sent Me! fundraisers, donated stuff, encouraged me and supported my family (and each other) in the aftermath of last year and the lead-up to this. The community I come from is so strong, so generous, this has been quite an experience. I look forward to taking a couple of finish line selfies and personally thanking each of you after I've recovered a little bit. 

Second, I will not be setting any speed records tomorrow, but if you want to track me by text, AT&T can hook you up. My # is 32763, the link to sign up for alerts is http://www.baa.org/races/boston-marathon/participant-information/att-athlete-alert.aspx

I will start sometime after 11:25 and I will finish hopefully well before 5pm, if the proverbial creek doesn't rise.

How much good have we done? I project to have raised approximately $9000 dollars this year (or more than $16,000 over the last two years). The Samaritans team has raised over $240,000 - close to twice the initial goal set for us. The John Hancock and BAA Marathon charity program overall has raised nearly $25,000,000 for all the charities involved. I am proud to be a small part of something doing this much good. 

Lastly, you may remember the podcast produced last year by Amina Chaudary of The Islamic Monthly. She has taken that a little further this year and turned it into a short video production. I share it with you not to extend my few moments of fame but because it allows me to continue the work of spreading the message about Samaritans and the suicide prevention and grief support 
services they provide for free. 

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

RIGHT here, RIGHT NOW, or: Welcome to the taper...

Two weeks. 14 days. Approximately 336 hours. 20160 minutes. 1,209,600 seconds. 

Unless I get my adrenaline rush under control, the equivalent of 

1,008,000 heartbeats and
403,200 respirations
that my adrenaline wants me to DO ALL NOW! AT ONCE! RIGHT NOW!

The marathoner in me knows  about pacing, endurance, and that even if I did in some spectacular way manage to do all the physical business of being alive for the next two weeks IN ONE SECOND I would still have to wait 14 days for the rest of the world to catch up. 

Welcome to the marathon taper. 

Cute puppy video links welcome, it's going to be a long two weeks. 

This sums it up: The Boston Marathon for Samaritans by way of Crowdrise tracked on my new Bia Sport watch and held together with KT Tape and Joint Ventures PT by way of John Furey.  While rooting for the Red Sox and drinking lots of water. How much fun is this? 

To track me during the marathon, I am runner #32763