“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?” – Vincent van Gogh
Monday morning arrived fast. Before I knew it, it was time to head to the T with Mom. Once off the T, it was quick and easy to get to Boston Common and find the buses to the start. After I said bye to mom, I went through to the loading area. I was able to get right on the bus right away and settle in for the ride to the start. Thankfully, our Bus driver right off the bat knew where he was going and let all of us know. I sighed with relief after Stephanie said last year her bus driver got LOST. Say what?!
I ended up sitting with a woman from Australia which was amazing to me. She had only been visiting for 3 days and had a large trip planned in the states. We chatted on and off, mostly about how long it was taking to get to the start and that we were running a far, ha.
One we arrived to Hopkintown, I started to get excited. The athlete village was CRAZY. There were three HUGE tents, all the food and drinks you could want, plus a SEA of toliets. I decided that I would get in line for the porta-potty ASAP as I hoped it would eat up time but also I really had to go! I was scanning the crowds/lines while in line and wouldn’t you know who I saw? KRISTIN! I was so grateful!
Once we made it through the line, we just sat and chatted until we saw another college teammate Erin (who was in my wave/corral). It was a nice distraction especially since it was starting to get warm. Before we knew it Kristin was off to start. Erin and I just continue to chat before they would let us head toward the start.
It was finally our turn to walk to the start. Now, I was ready to just get going. One more bathroom stop and we headed to our corral. Finally it was the countdown to our turn to go!
To sum up the race, I broke it down to some thoughts per mile – otherwise we’d be here for weeks 😉
The Start: “Ooof, legs are a little stiff. They can get better, just need to loosen up.”
Mile 1: “Wow, stomach cramps already? Why do my legs feel so dead? Just shake it off. I’m nowhere near the goal”
Mile 2: Dodging people – “stay relaxed,” “Where’d this hill come from? I thought the first 3 miles are all downhill.. guess not. Poop.” “Why is my HR so freaking high..?”
Mile 3: “Ok, get some water and some gatorade. Stomach should feel better.”
Mile 4: “Umm.. this doesn’t feel right…why do I feel so terrible?… I have another 22 miles to go?…. Sh*t this is going to be a long day.”
Mile 5: “Take your gel – it’ll help. Ignore the stomach, ignore the legs. It’ll be ok..”
Mile 6: “I only have 20 to go… 20 miles is far.” “Look there’s the T, Kristin said I could ride for free..” “Just keep moving..” “Mom cursed me by buying that stupid jacket..”
Mile 7: *looks at watch* “Ignore the pace- it’s fine.” “It’s hot… this sucks.” “Maybe I should stop by medical and call my mom and Doug? They’ll know what I should do.” “Ironman Lake Placid is more important – what do I do?… I don’t know what to do>”
Mile 8: “Don’t cry,” “These hills suck and we’re not even to Newton.” “Santa get out of my face.” “Is that Stephanie?”(starts to hyperventilate – she would be my life savor). “Keep it together, Lisa.”
Mile 9: “calm down, calm down..” “I’m so glad I caught Stephanie.. she’s doing awesome” (Stephanie was telling me stories about her trips to Boston..). “Just run with Stephanie for a bit..”
Mile 10: “Take another gel.. just get it down..” “That last mile went by fast” “10 miles down, we’re doing this,” “Thank goodness I found Stephanie.” “I hope my family knows I’m ok as long as I keep moving..” “Hope everyone is still proud..”
Mile 11: “Wow, these miles ARE going fast,” “Are those the Wellesley girls already? They weren’t kidding about those screams.” (Just kept chatting with Stephanie).
Mile 12: “Those girls are LOUD…”
*This is where I read every sign the Wellesley girls had.. they were comical*
Here’s some of my favorites (view them & more here):
*from here spectators are lined the rest of the way to Boston.. it’s insane.*
Mile 13: “Look for Oiselle.. There’s cowbell corner.. WAVEEE and look I’M SMILING!” (Unfortunately we were on the opposite side of the street. I also celebrated a little here – I made it halfway and was in a good place mentally – as good as I could be.)
Mile 14: “Gatorade down my mouth.. water over my head..” (I’m sure some guy ran into Stephanie this mile too.. and almost every mile after..).
Mile 15: The miles then went by fast – not sure what we talked about during this mile..
Mile 16: Newton = hills. Walked with Stephanie.. Back started cramping. “TWO HANDS TO GO!” (Yes – you get this desperate – 10 miles doesn’t seem that far.) “This is a big hill..”
Mile 17: Nuun guys were here – I thought that would be a good idea. “Nope.. (spitting it back out immediately).. not what my body wanted.” A woman says she has pretzels..”NOMS, that is definitely what I want.”
Mile 18: “Walking up the hills isn’t so bad.” “arhhhh.. quads cramping.”
Mile 19: Walking up a hill.. a fellow walker looks over and asks us why we’re walking… “Thanks for reminding me that my race is crap, and that this isn’t my day..” “Oohh.. it’s kind of cold now..”
Mile 20: “Eeeeeeek! We’re almost to one HAND and we’re past 20!” “Booyah” “AHH There’s Caitlin!” (gave her a big, gross, sweaty hug..) “We’re going to do this.” “Thank you to you volunteers” “Thank you to all the police officers” (this happened the whole rest of the way).
Mile 21: “Oh Heartbreak Hill.. this was easier than the first hill..” “MAPLE WATER GET IN MY BELLY” (That maple water totally saved my crampy upset stomach). Also where I saw my friend Matt – finally someone who can tell Doug that I am not fully ok – but functioning.
Mile 22: “4 miles away. ONLY FOUR” “Hmm.. I see what Stephanie meant.. the road is sticky from the gatorage.. yucky..”
(At this point, I just soaked up all the noise – the drunk BC college bros made me laugh.. a lot.)
Mile 23: “Hmm.. Those people during the first 8 miles were cheering for me.. not some girl named Giselle…” (Stephanie laughs at me because I didn’t put two and two together, after we already talked about the Gieslle cheers were because people didn’t know it was Oiselle. I seriously thought there was a woman named Giselle around me at the beginning. Yes- it took this long.).
Mile 24: *Laughing at all the Gieslles* “ONLY 2 more miles” “THERE’S THE CITGO SIGN” “This is ANOTHER HILL? My legs and BODY hates me”. “Oooh that sign is funny – ‘If Trump Can Run, So Can You!'”
Mile 25: “OH GOD.. a mile.. That’s it..” *tears started to cry*
RIGHT on Hereford – *HOLD it TOGETHER HOLT – HOLD THOSE TEARS BACK* (this was my FAVORITE MOMENT on the course. IT was SO LOUD and it gave me goosebumps.. or it was that I hadn’t eaten in 3 hours ;))
Mile 26: “Here’s your Left On Boylson” “Wow, I can’t believe I’m here” “Oh Look there’s Doug!!! *Waves* I wonder where Mom is.. hope she’s not missing this” “Stephanie is amazing – she just did a marathon 19 weeks preggo.. wow”
Finish: Crying. *Hugs on hugs to Stephanie*
We were coherent, we were safe, we did it. I’m disappointed in my race (trust me really bummed) – but I had a great experience during the race. I was in a deep, deep, dark place prior to finding Stephanie. Full on tears at one point. I know this is no indication of fitness and I’m proud of the fact I finished (I owe a lot to Stephanie – if you didn’t get that). I’m proud of the determination, the grit and the fight I gave to this race. I’ll be back and I’ll try again, but any day I make it to the finish line is a great day.
Post race hills, downhills and stairs were really fun, NOT. Biking the next day after race was hysterical. Still not entirely sure what happened race day. Part of it could be it was hot, part could be I finally got part of Doug’s cold I had been trying to avoid, or part could have been it just wasn’t my day. We learn, we live and we move on. Here’s to moving on and being proud of the races that don’t go right.
I’m impressed you made it this far, Thanks. I owe a big hug, lots of love, and thanks to all my friends, family and more for the support, tracking and love I felt that day. Words can’t describe how much every text, tweet, and message meant to me. I’m getting emotional as I write this now. I hope you all know you carried me to the finish line. Always and forever grateful ❤