Monday was my third Boston and the 14th marathon finish line I’ve crossed. It was the most prepared and in shape I have ever been before even though the results don’t necessarily show that.
I finished in 3:25:53. I positive split like a champ. 1:33:17 through the half. And 1:52:xx the 2nd half.
Of course I am disappointed. I didn’t bust my butt for months to run 13+ min slower than I did in the fall. But, some days, you’ve got it. And some days you don’t. And there’s no way to plan it so that you race on the days you have it.
But like I have said the last few weeks – this training cycle was a huge success – regardless of what the finish line clock says when I cross it – and I still believe that to be true. It was truly a breakthrough cycle for me and I’m grateful and excited for what I was able to do the last few months. And regardless of anything else, it’s a pretty darn good day when I can finish a marathon!
I plan to do a full recap later this week. My husband, mom and I returned home almost immediately after the race (I went back to hotel, took a bath and then we were on the road by 3:15pm). I took off on Tuesday but I stayed off my computer and social media and spent the day with my little guys – lunch, Barnes & Noble, basketball and soccer in yard and then dinner. So no time has been spent writing down my thoughts yet.
I am disappointed but I’m also relieved. I’m thrilled that I was able to run on Monday – and that I was able to finish. A small group of family and friends knew that Monday almost didn’t happen for me. Starting early last week, I began feeling off – not sick per-say – just that something wasn’t right. There was some nausea, stomach pain, splitting headaches, achiness and restless nights of sleep – not all at once but a little here and there.
I spent most of the rest of the week grasping for straws – trying to pinpoint what could be the cause and what I would need to do to feel like myself. For several days, I attributed it to lack of sleep, so I focused on sleep (skipped a few runs and slept in). Then I thought maaaaaybe I could be pregnant. So Thursday morning, I ran to the drugstore and took the test in my work bathroom. Negative. Then I assumed it was dehydration – so I started increasing my water intake (even more than I normally do during race week).
But then I woke up Sunday morning with swollen fingers, a headache and nausea. This is when panic was starting to set in. This was day 5 of feeling not-right and I was 24 hours removed from the Boston Marathon. After chatting with my sister and brother-in-law, we thought it could be seasonal allergies. I don’t have allergies nor have I ever suffered from them, so I had no idea what the symptoms are. Made a run to the store to buy some Claritin to see if that helped the situation.
Shortly after that, I had the thought that maybe I was actually overhydrated – I had drank about 90 oz of water in a 3 hour window the day before. So maybe that coupled with a huge decrease in running (b/c of how I felt all week) could have been too much for my body? Sure, why not? So rather than drink a ton of water/fluids on Sunday, I sipped on Powerade and Generation Ucan mixed with water.
I spent a large part of Sunday in bed – trying to fight off whatever I was feeling. And went to bed not knowing whether or not I would even race on Monday. I was devastated. But it was so much bigger than the race at that point. I had no idea what was causing me to feel the way I did. And it was a completely helpless feeling.
I woke up Monday and felt a bit better and knew that I couldn’t pass up the chance to run. It was the freakin Boston Marathon. No way was I going to sit out. I wanted to take a chance and run. To fight for the work I had put in.
I won’t go into details about the race here. Suffice to say, I went out fast, too fast given the heat and how I was feeling. But, my sense of perception was off because of how I felt. I didn’t know if it seemed so warm because of how I was feeling. Or that the pace felt too forced because of how I had felt the previous few days. So I decided to just go for it.
I never felt good. It never felt comfortable or relaxed. And I didn’t really enjoy myself. And that is what is the most frustrating thing. I love the course. I love the crowds. And I felt like I missed out on the experience.
I visited a wellness nurse’s office yesterday. Walked her through my symptoms and steps I took to remedy how I felt. She sent me for a ton of labwork – we are hoping to pinpoint what could have caused how I felt last week and race morning. Will definitely keep you updated on things. It may end up not being anything – maybe stress from work (busiest and most stressful week of work yet), hormones, nerves (I really don’t think it was this – I was so incredibly calm for most of the week). Combination of a lot of things? Will definitely share what I find out – regardless of what it is.
For all those that cheered – whether in person or from afar – and those who volunteered on Sunday, a huge thank you! I heard every cheer and scream – and appreciate every single one. I’m completely overwhelmed with the emails, comments and messages I have received. Like I said earlier, I am disappointed. Of course I am. But, looking at the big picture, I know I will run a faster marathon. I know I haven’t reached my potential. And I know I will rest, recover and eventually be ready to have another successful cycle. It’s just one race. This cycle showed me what I am capable of – and that is a very exciting thing!
And for everyone who raced on Monday – congratulations! It was a hot, tough day and we finished – so that, alone, is worth celebrating!