My First Running of the Boston Marathon

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Pure Joy.

It was everything.

And more.

I have spent the past several days ruminating.  Chewin’ the cud, so to speak. Compiling my thoughts. Sifting through my emotions. And riding the wave of an unimaginable runner’s high. I am on Cloud Freaking 9.  Or 10.  I suspect I will be for quite some time. It wasn’t because I nailed my goal after months of training with Hansons Marathon Method. SPOILER ALERT: I didn’t. I didn’t PR. I didn’t BQ again. I guess I should be disappointed.

But I’m not.

It wasn’t because Hansons failed me. It didn’t. Not by a long shot. That plan works. I have never felt stronger. Or faster. Or more “runner” than I do right now. My 45 year old self can kick the snot out of my 25 year old self. Then run a half marathon, throw on heels and go out for cocktails right after. I used to strictly believe that perfect results require perfect conditions. I still believe that to be somewhat true. However, I think I need to redefine the terms a bit. “Perfect” comes in many forms.

This was my 10th marathon. I will go on record saying that I trained my heart out to run Boston. You know it. I know it. I worked. I wanted to prove to myself that I belonged. Crazy, I know. I qualified and all, but I’m just being honest. I also gave this race EVERYTHING. Everything I had. This is The One Marathon that I gave everything I had to give. Period. Physically. Mentally. All. I finished Depleted. I’ve never felt more spent in my life. Or more accomplished.  I ran the last 5 miles on The Edge. You know what I mean about The Edge, right?  It’s that point.  The limit. Your limit. That threshold. It was foreign ground to me. I reached my body’s limit. I toed that line, willing myself to go faster.  “This is BOSTON, Colby.  And this is YOUR fucking day. GO.”   Over and over in my head I shouted. And my legs? The wouldn’t. They wouldn’t go. They revolted. And cramped. It was so, so hot. So I backed off. And toed that line. That Edge. For the rest of the race. And soaked in every single drop of Boston. It was epic.

I’d never pushed myself that hard. Ever. At a point when I should have felt defeated, I didn’t. It was quite the opposite. Forget the goal. Forget the time. Embrace the effort. The work. The accomplishment. In that moment I have never felt stronger. It chokes me up thinking about it even now, 1 week later. This journey has taught me so much about myself.  I am so much stronger than I think I am.  I love what running has done for me. It has built me back up. Running has made me believe that anything is possible.  Anything.

The heat was oppressive last Monday. It was way hotter than I think anyone anticipated. And it was run mostly in full sun. Brutal temps with no lead in to acclimate. That’s a death sentence for me. Hot weather runner girl, I am not. I dumped roughly 22 cups of water over my head. I’m not even kidding. And drank even more during the race. And I’m still thirsty. Even without the heat, the course is relentless. The down hills. The down hills tear your quads to shreds. To me, they were far worse than the climbs, which were ample, long and steady. Cresting Heart Break Hill and thinking about all of the running greats who have crested before me made my heart swell.

It’s a course so rich in history. You feel it with each mile. As grueling of a road race it is, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I adored every hot minute of it. I did. I ran a 4:04:40 last Monday. And I am so goddamn proud. Right on Hereford. Left on Boylston. Then soar. Honoring those along the way and sopping up every ounce of emotion with a smile as big as the sun. I ran right down the center. Like I belonged. Fists pumping, tears falling. Such gratitude.  What a moment. Sometimes you may not run the perfect race you trained for, but somehow it still winds up being the perfect race of your dreams. ❤

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The Thrill of the Done

 

I can’t thank all of you enough for all of your warm wishes! And of course for following along on My Journey. I’ll post a more detailed recap next. But honestly. This week post-marathon has been so special. I’ve been replaying the race over and over in my head and soaking it all in all week. What a day!
xoxox,
Colby

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36 thoughts on “My First Running of the Boston Marathon

  1. It was awesome. Painful, exhausting, sweltering and HARD. But it was Boston and it was awesome.
    My favorite part (after crossing the finish that seemed like a mirage at that point) was definitely the bus ride!!!

  2. Cheers! I’m always proud of the time no matter what the clock says if I gave it an honest hard effort and laid it all out there on the course. That’s what this was for you. I’m so proud of you and what you’ve accomplished in these last two years. It’s been amazing following you on this journey.

  3. I am so stinking proud of you!! And of Tina and Tim…and of all the others….

    It’s like i am having a mommy moment.

  4. That race WAS epic. Second running here, but first time remembering and being able to run the last five miles 🙂 I am still high as well, randomly crying. There’s nothing like it. Ever. Anywhere. And honestly, I don’t think we will ever get over it. And why should we?
    Congrats to you – it WAS a fucking hot day, and you relished in it. That is just, well, AWESOME! Unicorns and marathons and Hereford and Boyleston.

    • CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Tell me that’s not THE greatest feeling? I will never forget this one. Ever. And you’re right. We shouldn’t! So hot. So damn hot. I swear I’m still thirsty. Xo

  5. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! Best Boston recap I’ve ever read. It isn’t about running another BQ at Boston, it’s all about the journey getting there. Race day is just the cherry on top, a day to be savored and “enjoyed” on that brutal, historic course. Kudos to you for loving it despite the heat. ❤️❤️❤️

  6. Many, many, MANY congratulations Colby. It sounds like you gave it everything, but were beaten by the conditions. (I know how you feel). But, as you’ve explained so eloquently, it’s not about the time, it’s all about the experience – both the race and atmosphere itself and, even more importantly, what you find out about yourself. THAT’s the whole point of marathon running. It’s a test of character and you NAILED it. 🙂

  7. What a sweet and genuine recap! And so nice to read a positive one amongst all the negatives this year! Good job out there. You deserved the day of your dreams!

  8. You don’t need to PR Boston. BECAUSE YOU ARE FREAKING RUNNING BOSTON.
    And I love that you loved it, and also that this is your “First” running of it. You’ll be back!

  9. Definitely been waiting for this post, and it was worth the wait!! I’m so happy for you and just love the way you enjoyed every second from start to finish. Also love your heart and the way you give it your all and more. You have pushed yourself and have achieved such Heights (that is a BC reference, had to throw one in given the BC students that cheered you on!).

    So, our crazy marathon story for the day is that we had until 12:30, then we had to get our new kitty to a farm where they were “fixing” and boarding her while we went to the airport later that day for our flight to NC. I remembered starting the marathon at about 10:50, so I assumed you’d start at about 10:15 (I was wrong there!!), and we’d have plenty of time to see you. We really should have left at 12:00, but we pushed it (only saying that so you know how much we wanted to be there for you!!), and I think you ran past us probably minutes after we departed.

    Such a bummer we couldn’t see you but again so very happy for you!! We were tracking Tim and Tina too. We wondered what happened to Tim at the end? An injury or cramps from the heat? Hope he is ok!

    • You are so sweet!!! I’m so sorry I didn’t get to see you! It was such an epic day. And yes- he had major issues. He went into it injured and then his legs seized up. Such a rough day for him. 😦 It was so fantastic running with my two most favorite people- every time is a good time if you’re able to run it. Hope to see you both soon!! xoxoxoxo

    • Thank you so, so much for being my friend. And for your support, inspiration and encouragement. I’m so happy we are friends! I can’t wait to see you here. And you will be here. Of that I am certain. xoxoxo

  10. This is AWESOME…after following your journey and sharing some of that pain, I’m cheering you reading through your summary. Totally incredible. I hope you enjoyed and are still enjoying an insane celebration which is so well deserved and hard earned. Though, I think you got your biggest celebration out of Boston itself. Congratulations!!!!

  11. Pingback: The Return to Earth | It's A Marathon AND A Sprint

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