After 4 months and 246 total miles of training (complete with blisters, chafing, sweat in places I didn’t know could sweat, and many sore muscles), race day finally arrived. So, after carb loading like there was no tomorrow, I somehow managed to run 13.1 miles in 2:08:21.
To be honest with you all, as I sit here writing this post, my legs currently feel like they are going to fall off and the very idea of squatting to pee or going down the stairs makes me cringe. There are also currently the BIGGEST blisters known to mankind on my toes right now that not even the best pedicure in the world could remedy, not to mention a rash in my underarm from chafing (sorry if those last two details were TMI).
However, for some reason, I’m LOVING it. Maybe it’s the endorphins, maybe it’s the satisfaction in knowing that I accomplished something I never, EVER thought I would do, or maybe it’s a combination of the two producing what just may be the best “runner’s high” ever. Whatever it is, it’s pretty darn amazing.
And if I’ve learned anything over these past few months, it’s that…
1. Anyone can do it.
Trust me, I am the opposite of athletic. I played (if you could even call it that) tennis in high school, but that was pretty much the extent of my athleticism. Let’s just say being graceful is not one of my best qualities (case in point: when I sprained my ankle sophomore year after tripping down the stairs. NEVER READ WHILE YOU’RE WALKING, PEOPLE).
And if I don’t have you convinced, this definitely will.
2. Running partners are amazing.
Added Bonus: you can cross the finish line holding hands, which makes you feel that much cooler and bad-ass.
3. Always pee before the race.
Trust me, I spent the first 6 miles having to pee and it wasn’t pleasurable.
4. Boston will forever have my heart.
Although I always knew Boston was a great city, only after running through Beantown has its staggering beauty really struck me. I’ve run through Coolidge Corner, Fenway, BU, Kenmore, and the Boston Commons. I’ve run past hoards of Bostonians in Red Sox hats and Celtics jerseys, past more dogs and babies and taxis and cafés than I can count. I’ve run in the scorching heat and the brisk weather of fall. I’ve run early in the morning and later at night. I’ve run Boston – and I’m itching to keep going.
5. Running is so much more than exercise.
I like to think that, through all the miles of training, I was (literally) chasing after something that could never be learned in a classroom or in a library, something that required me to stop analyzing the past, worrying about the future, or trying to plan and simply put on my sneakers and run. Because if I continue to move forward, to put one foot in front of the other, it stands to reason that I’ll get somewhere, right? And that “somewhere,” even with the pain of blisters, chafing, and soreness, may just be infinitely more beautiful than I ever could have imagined.