It was everything.
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. ❤
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!