A goal of mine is to one day run the Boston Marathon. After running the Hartford 1/2 Marathon in October 2008, I was pumped and ready to do Boston the following April. However, by that time I was well into my pregnancy with a growing Aiden. Then I took most of the summer off from running while my body recovered and while I was spending so much time with my infant. When September rolled around, I was more than ready to get back to it but had only been running a handful of times when I somehow injured my knee.
Very, very slowly that has been healing. I've babied it and done lots of strength training to help support my knee. I was still gun-shy about using it for running though because I was enjoying going up and down the stairs without the intense pain I had been experiencing.
However, several weeks ago Sarah and I talked each other into doing the 1/2 Marathon we'd been tossing around for a year+. Because of the short notice, I got in very little training, but I felt confident I could do it.
I stayed over Tony and Sarah's house the night before so I could be 1 1/2 hours closer to the race and we could ride in together. The night before we loaded up on carbs.
The next morning we left their house at 7 and my brother-in-law drove us right there. I knew it could only be good when I saw that the race festivities were set up on this beautiful beach.
Here we are before...smiling! The run went off at 8:30 AM.
In case I haven't already shared enough details that you really don't care about, here's even more. I realize there are about two of you who will care about the specifics, but I want to document it anyway. 2:29:30, which is a 11:34 minute pace. A year and a half ago, pre-injury and with good training, I did 9:30 minute miles. Big difference. To all the family that asked how we did my answer was "Our goal was to finish on our own two feet and we did that". Between miles 5 and 6 I felt my knee and for about a quarter mile was limp-running and coming with a strategy for getting back. But then it worked itself out and I was fine the rest of the way save the downhills...those were tough...I would have preferred to do the entire race uphill then to deal with going down.
Truthfully, most of the race was a blur. I just put my head down and repeated my mantra You and me God, You and me. It was a beautiful course, through a mostly residential area...Fairfield, CT...one of the most affluent towns in the country. Actually, I looked it up and found the estimated median house or condo value in 2008: $589,179. Yeah, nice.
My brother-in-law runs the Athletic Shoe Factory so thanks to him I've been running in good shoes that are appropriate for my foot type for a couple years now. Before him, my only shoe requirement was that it come from the clearance rack and if they were still white, they were still good. Tony has educated me and what a difference! Actually, thank to him and my sister-in-law, I looked the runner part from head to toe. The right equipment is so helpful!
Sarah was having foot trouble and had to stop and walk for a little bit somewhere around mile four. When I tried to slow with her, I felt my knee, so I started back up. We reconnected once after that and not again. It was disappointing to see the results and to know that we finished less than a minute apart...would've been fun to do those last 8 together. Tony, our one cheerleader, met us at the finish line. He was a huge help making the logistics of the day go smooth for us.
We're glad we did it and are setting our sights on the next time.
Sporting our medals...and ice-packs (clearly not as young as we used to be)!
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.