Boston Marathon: The Emotions

I don’t think I’ve ever obsessed over the weather nearly as much as I did leading up to Boston. I had added Boston to my weather app about three weeks before the race and checked their weather daily to see how close or far off it was from what I was training in in Severna Park. Once in Boston, I probably looked every hour, or more, at Monday’s weather. By the time it was clear that there was a guaranteed chance for rain I began obsessing over the hour by hour and how long I’d actually be running in the rain and how long we’d be facing head winds.

My weather anxiety is probably the only “negative” feeling I experienced. A little anxiety with races though is totally normal and generally a good thing too (keeps you from sleeping through the alarm!). My weather anxiety was fully cancelled out by my pure excitement to be running Boston. I was also in vacation mode which brings a certain carefree emotion with it. I had my family with me so I also felt fully absorbed in making sure they were happy and having a good time leading up to Monday.

Pre-race emotions were relatively steady and contained but in hindsight I feel like I could say there was a bubbling of emotions waiting to burst. When my alarm went off race morning I was wide awake and just felt ready to go (despite having been up quite a bit with my out-of-sorts 7 month old all night). Heading to the buses and riding up to Hopkinton, I would describe myself as calmly excited and fully aware. I was so conscious of wanting to take everything in and not miss a moment, or conversation, or experience.

Being in Hopkinton I simply felt humbled. It’s pretty incredible to be surrounded by SO many good runners. Runners of all types, all ages who busted their butts to be there. And many who have done it time and time again. They are runners I admire and whose footsteps I literally hope to follow.

By the time the race started I was in race mode. Never have I felt so focused on running my own race. I’m competitive enough that I often get sidetracked by surrounding runners who I believe to be in my age group but here I just wanted to run my own race. Maybe the weather distracted me. Somewhere around mile 16 I hit a point, like all (most) marathoners do, where I wondered, “why am I doing this?” And then it became a mile-by-mile race, all mental and all about remembering my training and thinking about the finish.

The last 1.2 miles were all grit and determination. I could feel myself getting more emotional the closer I got to the finish line. The tears that started to well up as I ran down Boylston stayed with me through the finish line, through getting water, through thanking volunteers, receiving the heat blanket, my medal. They stayed with me as I slowly made my way toward where I was to meet my family in Boston Commons. I got control of myself just in time to spot my husband and then I had one more round of cathartic tears. It’s that moment when all the training, all the doubts, all the miles are 100 percent worth it.

Before I had even stretched out from Boston 2015 I was trying to figure out how to get back.

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