So the short story is that I finished my first Boston marathon, despite wind, rain, and cold, for a finish time of 3:28.54. This takes almost 6 minutes off my last marathon time and requalifies me for Boston should I have the audacity or desire to completely disrupt our lives during the next two years.
The long story, and the thoughts that have taken up so much of my thoughts while we were in Boston for five days (when not stalking the Boston weather page and praying so hard that the weather would just. please. change.) are not about the race per se (though you can expect a lengthy, self-indulgent debriefing of the Boston experience when I get a chance to sit down and write it all out) but about the getting there, particularly the people in my life who made Boston a possibility.
It is humbling to me how often it takes so many people to make anything possible anymore. I would like to think that I can self-sufficiently breeze through and handle things, when in truth, with small children, nothing is ever easy anymore and it is good for me to remember (and thank!) those who are part of the process rather than being frustrated that I can’t do it all on my own.
So without further ado, the lead roles of Ingrid’s 2015 Boston Marathon, in roughly chronological order.
First Running Buddy in New Town: The first person I ran with after moving states nine months ago who convinced me that running a marathon in 7 weeks would be fun. It actually hurt more than it was fun, but it qualified me for Boston, which had not been on my goal list for the year.
Husband: Who not only cheered me on during the Estes Park marathon while driving a minivan with three screaming children in it, but then insisted that I run Boston. He gave me endless grief until I committed and sent the BAA my credit card number while I protested all the while that I wasn’t sure I wanted to run Boston anyway.
Fairy Godmother: Swooped in, waved her wand and sent glitter flying everywhere. She then proceeded to tell me to follow my dreams. No mice or pumpkins were harmed in the process.
Coach: Originally this role was going to be filled by the all reaching Hal Higdon generic Boston training plan (the shortest I could find). In a fantastic change of casting events, this role was filled by an accomplished runner who was willing to email me my training as the weeks progressed, listen to me whine about workouts, and give helpful advice. If there is anything that’s going to keep you going through a hard workout, the knowledge that you are going to have to email your coach at the end of the week and detail your running does the trick. Truly one of the people I have been most thankful for during the training process. No one else cares that your 3K time dropped in your training runs except your coach!
High School Babysitter: Found right after marathon training began, this responsible individual never knew if I would be studying pathophysiology in the basement or going out to run 7-10 miles in the wind/snow/rain (or sometimes) sunshine.
Really Awesome Training Buddy: Who, while training for her own first marathon that she is going to rock in a week and a half, was willing to lower her pace runs by 30 seconds to match my marathon pace segments during my Saturday long runs. Also put up with my erratic pacing (Faster! We’re barely at a 7:43 pace! Oh, whoops, that mile was a 7:18.) and didn’t let rain, snow, hills, or sick children deter her.
Dad: Who returned early from life in the exotic far reaches of Thailand, leaving his lovely wife and really cool vacation spots (think elephants and awesome shopping) to come to rural Colorado and hang with a 3 and 5 year old boy. For five days. Yeah, five. That is a LOT of hours with kids, even if they are your grandsons.
College Roommate: Who (along with her husband), was willing to add our youngest child who was a bad sleeper and eater and only mostly weaned to her collection of three children under 5. For five days. This should guarantee her some sort of medal as well as the ability to call in favors from us for approximately half a century.
Aunt and Nice Friends of Family: Fantastic aunt from back East who had family friends who were kind enough to allow us to stay with us on our jaunt to Boston, making the trip a possibility without having to re-finance our children. Lovely people!
Supporting Cast: All of my dear friends and family who let me talk about the marathon, checked my status online, gave encouragement, followed my progress on the course, and congratulated me upon finishing. As silly as I thought the text updates were, during the actual marathon it was such an encouragement to cross one of the mats and think that people in California, Colorado, and Michigan all knew where I was and cared about me.
Soundtrack: So my sister sent me two cds of songs that may be the best running music ever – but my computer wouldn’t read them so I was stuck with my old play list along with two new additions, One Republic’s I Lived, and Rachel Platten’s Fight Song, which I’d heard on the radio and loved. More helpful at mile 10 than at mile 24, but still good running music. Really though, Boston is so loud that the spectators are all the sound track you need!
Thank you to all who helped to make Boston 2015 a reality!