Wednesday, April 23, 2014

boston- take two

an email in my inbox today broke it down. Congratulations on finishing the 2014 Boston Marathon! it said.
Erica Robertson
Net Time 6:02:09
Overall 31013/31931
In Gender 13846/14356 (Female)
In Division 6729/6979 (F18-39 Age Group)

It made me laugh.
I knew the 6:02:09 and I knew there werent that many runners coming in behind me-but less than 1000! in a field of nearly 32,000!  too funny. and it is so not fair that im up against 18 year olds!

well before i crossed the finished line (holy crap i can finally say that) my garmin died.  likely due to it telling me too often that I was "behind pace".  no kidding, im walking! so i wasnt sure exactly what my time would be but i knew i was not going to reach my goal time around mile 13. and the time on the clock when you finish is the time from the very first wave so there is math that has to happen to figure out where you are and after that much pavement-no math is happening.

there are a lot of reasons for my lack of speed-

it was REALLY warm out. and super sunny.  nothing like 2012 (upper 80's i cannot even imagine) but still way too warm.  and our wave went off at 11:25am which didnt do us any favors.

i did not train as well as I needed to.  not even close. and I knew that going in but i thought the crowd would get me there-and they did, just not as fast as I had hoped.

in reality i truly didnt care about my time, just that i would finish a race that was literally two years in the making.

i wanted to really take it all in-again-and focus on the people-the special meaning of this race, this year.  coming back to take back that finish line and help boston recover a little from the tragedy a year ago. 

this time was so different from last year.  military police everywhere, boston PD as well.  helicopters overhead. the crowds were even bigger.  so much cheering.  the wellesley girls louder than ever.  deafeningly loud. i smiled a lot more, and struggled more. 

i stopped to take a photo at the spot where the race ended for me last year.  an officer asked me if i needed something and I said-no this is where i was stopped last year, i just want to take a picture.  he said " yeah i was here too" and i looked at him and just said "thank you".  i thanked a lot of people.  regular people that were spending their day cheering us on-even the slow ones.  they stayed the whole time.  and they thanked US.  for running for boston.  a kid about 12 was yelling like a mayoral candidate: boston is only as strong as its people!  thank you for running for boston to make us stronger!  we are boston strong! he was so into it and meant every word.  

i had pretzels, oranges, a giant strawberry, gatorade, and a chocolate chip granola bar along the way.i took ice and got sprayed by several water bottles and hoses. i declined a PBR, a heineken, many otter pops and a push pop.  

there were again many great signs: "you have stamina, call me!"  "because 26.3 would just be CRAZY!"  "i thought they said RUM!" but my favorite was "when you feel like quitting, remember why you started."  i pointed at the woman holding that one up and smiled.  it is for the girls.  just keep moving.  

the entire 5 or so miles from where I was stopped last year to the end was new to me.  it was great to see the 1 mile to go sign and the 1k to go sign.  then the 26 mile marker.  boy that .2 seems far at that point.  but by then you are on boylston.  the cheers are intense. you literally feel like there isnt anyone else there (and hey in my case there actually might not have been), but you still feel like everyone is just cheering for you.  it was one of the most amazing and moving moments of my life. im sure I didnt walk one step on Boylston.  i looked to the left, where the bombings had been last year and thought of last years victims.  and I put my hand over my mouth and cried.  and then it was there.  the finish line.  my hands went up and it was over. i made it.  

i walked over and got my medal then my heat sheet, then some food.  then i walked to the Taj and met Red and our friend Gary for a drink or three. we sat in one of the finest hotel bars in the city sweaty and gross and owned it.  Red had finished in 3:55:55, amazing. we did it. we finished Boston.  Strong. 


Colleen said...

Yes.You.Did. So so proud of you!

Anitaprofessional said...

Great post...thanks for all the legible "ink" on Monday, it was great being on your team!