2014 Boston Marathon Recap

I know it’s been a week since I ran the Boston Marathon and I owe you a recap of my amazing time, however, every time I sit down to write about it, I cannot seem to come up with the words to capture my experience.  Epic, joyous, superb, meaningful, celebratory, memorable, unforgettable…these words barely begin to scratch the surface.  So instead, I’ll attempt to sum up the day in pictures.

Getting ready to leave my hotel around 6:45am.  I wrote the initials of the 4 that perished last year to remind me what is really important this day.

Getting ready to leave my hotel around 6:45am. I wrote the initials of the 4 that perished last year on my arm to remind me what is really important this day.

Met friends prior to boarding the bus in Boston Common.

Met friends prior to boarding the bus in Boston Common.

Got to Hopkinton and hung out at Athlete's Village for about an hour and a half.  Sun was shining and it was starting to warm up.

Got to Hopkinton and hung out at Athlete’s Village for about an hour and a half. Sun was shining and it was starting to warm up.

In my starting corral ready to go!

In my starting corral ready to go!

A few miles into the race.  Yep, just a bit crowded, we already lost my friend Lorina.  Fortunately she went on to run a great race (much faster than I could have done), but we missed running with her!

A few miles into the race. Yep, just a bit crowded, we already lost my friend, Lorina.  She went on to run a great race (much faster than I could have done), but we missed running with her!

 

Fortunately my awesome friend, Sheilah, and I were able to stick together the entire race, despite me telling her to leave me behind since she is super speedy.  Although she did just run an ultramarathon the weekend before!

Fortunately, my awesome friend, Sheilah, and I were able to stick together the entire race, despite me telling her to leave me behind since she is super speedy.  (I guess my pace was a good recovery pace for her since she just run an ultramarathon the weekend before!)

 

The infamous Wellesley College girls offering up kisses (looks like the guy in yellow went in for one!).

The infamous Wellesley College girls offering up kisses (looks like the guy in yellow went in for one!).

I didn't know that Sheilah had taken a picture of me taking a picture of the Wellesley girls!

I didn’t know that Sheilah had taken a picture of me taking a picture of the Wellesley girls!  (I’m in the blue tank top and hat.)

 

Around 14.5 miles, best part of the race, getting to hug my sister!  I missed seeing her last year on the course, so this made me SO happy to see her!

Around 14.5 miles, best part of the race, getting to hug my sister! I missed seeing her last year on the course, so this made me SO happy!

Mile 21, Boston College, "The Heartbreak is Over" sign marking the end of Heartbreak Hill.  Whew!

Mile 21, Boston College, “The Heartbreak is Over” sign marking the end of Heartbreak Hill. Whew!

The famous CITGO sign.  Not too much farther to go, thankfully, because I'm really struggling by now, feeling the heat and some MS symptoms that come with it.

The famous CITGO sign. Not too much farther to go, thankfully, because I’m really struggling by now, feeling the heat and some MS symptoms that come with it.  Made a stop at a medical tent to get some more ice.

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DONE! Crossed the finish line in 3:56:23 hand in hand with my race day angel!

Back in March I mentioned Lorina being my race day angel when I ran the Phoenix Marathon.  In Boston, Sheilah filled that roll.  Running 4 hours in the midday sun is very tough on my body and my MS.  Thankfully, Sheilah was by my side making sure I was fueling, getting water and telling me to pour it on my hands and arms, she even ran to the other side of the road to get me ice chips, and put them down my back to help keep me as cool as possible, not to mention getting other runners to sing me happy birthday a mile before we finished!  It was truly a blessing to get to run with Sheilah.

Just like the 2013 Boston Marathon, I will never forget this day.  However, the memories will be much sweeter and more joy-filled because the day went off without any issues.  Thank you to the city of Boston, the volunteers, the best spectators ever, and all the police, firemen and military that helped keep the race safe.

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“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.”  Isaiah 40:31

 

Happy Birthday to Me

Could this day get any better?  It is my birthday AND I get to run the best marathon in the world!  I will not forget just how blessed I am each step of my 26.2 mile journey today.  Thank you to all my friends and family for your support, prayers and well wishes.  And most of all thanks and glory be to God!

Today is the day

 

Boston start line

Off to run my 11th marathon and 7th one PMS (Post MS Diagnosis)!

“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”  Hebrews 12:1-2

 

One year ago today

One year ago today I was celebrating my first Boston Marathon in the finisher’s chute when I heard two explosions go off a few hundred yards behind me.  Please join me in lifting up in prayer the families of the 4 who perished (3 at the finish line and the police officer killed during the hunt for the bombers), the many people that were injured, and all who were affected by the terror of that day.

Just after I crossed the finish line and minutes before the explosions.

Just after I crossed the finish line.

The next day looking toward the finish line were the first bomb went off.

The next day looking toward the finish line where the first bomb went off.

6 days from now I will be back at the starting line and, God-willing, eventually at the finish line to support this amazing city.  I am blessed to be a part of so many people that will come together to show that perseverance, strength and love ultimately win.

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2 Weeks Away

It’s been a busy few weeks for me between family, work, training, and a 5 day bus trip to California with 38 middle school kids!  Yes, I was “lucky” enough to chaperone my daughter’s show choir to a competition in Southern California.  It was a whirlwind of a trip with very minimal sleep and constantly being on the go.  Other than one early morning 5 mile run to help maintain my sanity, there was no other time for training.  That is unless I count 14 hours on my feet at Disneyland as a long run, which I’m tempted to do because I felt just as exhausted (probably more) as after an actual 20 mile run!  The trip was tons of fun and the group even won the middle school competition.

Stopping for a quick picture on my morning run

Stopping for a quick picture on my morning run

In 2 weeks I will be running the Boston Marathon for my second time.  I am beyond excited and a bit emotional at the thought of being back in Boston after last year.  Unfortunately, my family won’t be able to come with me as it is quite expensive for a family of 4 to travel across the country, but my sister will be meeting me there again like last year.  We had a great time together hanging out in Boston the days leading up to the marathon and she was a huge support and cheerleader for me on race day.  We are so blessed that when she came back from watching the race near the halfway point on the course, she was not able to get close enough to the finish line to watch me finish due to the crowds of spectators.  As it turned out, we were both a few hundred yards away from the bombs and were able to find each other quickly and make it safely back to our hotel.  Everything about that day has stuck with me throughout this year, and I think it will be a very emotional trip to Boston, but something I am looking forward to.

Finish line