Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Marathon

Yesterday, I ran the 111th Boston Marathon. The Nor'Easter ended up giving way just a little bit for the race, so we didn't end up having to run in pouring rain (although we did run in some rain). We had a 30mph headwind, but most of the race it wasn't too noticeable because of the thick crowds of people along with some trees and houses, although we started to feel the wind pretty heavily once we hit the Newton Hills, so it was a tough time for the wind. I was running with my college teammates Ben and Jonathan and we were running with a few other people that we met up with as well, although we weren't all able to make it to the finish together. It was a lot of fun along the course, although everyone said that the crowds were incredibly thin because of the weather. I'd love to see what it's like when the weather is good! The Wellesley girls lived up to the reputation of being amazing cheerers at the half marathon, though; you could hear them for almost a mile before you could see them.

We were running 5k's just right around 20 minutes the whole way (right where we wanted to be for a 2:50 marathon) until everything fell apart for me at the end. My quads started hurting pretty heavily around mile 12, which made me a bit nervous setting in that early, but I held pretty steady through most the race until the last 10 km. We lost a lot of our crowd in the Newton hills around miles 17 and 18 and I was running with Jonathan (pictured in the second picture at mile 24 of the race). With 0.8 miles left to go, I had already been slowing steadily, but my hamstrings completely locked up and I literally couldn't even walk. I was leaned over to stretch out my hamstrings and couldn't even stand up straight for a good 2-3 minutes (it felt like forever with the crowd yelling wildly and runners zooming past toward the finish). I looked at my watch and said, "Okay, you have 20 minutes to run 0.8 miles in order to qualify for next year's Boston. You could crawl it if you have to. Just relax, take your time, and get moving." I managed to stand up and then start to walk very slowly. I was able to increase it to a shuffle and then finally a very slow jog. I had to stop once more to stretch out a hamstring cramp with less than 0.5 miles to go and one of the spectators was going nuts encouraging me. Once I started walking he was shouting "That's it...you're moving now! You can do it!" and when I just barely started jogging I thought he was going to jump the barrier with excitement yelling "You've got it now!!! Go!!" It was really pretty hillarious and--despite the insane pain--a lot of fun. I finished in 3 hours, 46 seconds. Well off my goal, but meeting my during-unbelievable-muscle-cramping revised goal of qualifying to come back next year. Perhaps I'm insane that I want to do this again already even though I can hardly walk right now.

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3 comments:

Lori Northcraft said...

Awww...cute picture of the 3 Davidson boys. Glad you had "fun" in the marathon...can't wait to hear more. Hopefully I can get a qualifier before April '08 and be in Boston too! :)

Anonymous said...

Great that you did it! And that you had "fun"...and want to go back. Judy

Anonymous said...

Go Wellesley! Congratulations on your marathon!

Kelly