Sunday, April 22, 2012

2012 Boston Marathon...done and done!

Ya know, the 2012 Boston Marathon was the most surreal, awesome experience of my life. I mean, DUHHHH....right? I simply don't even know where to begin. I wish I wasn't so lazy the last week leading up to the run to really give you better perspective on what was going through my mind.

I was stressing the F out over reaching my fundraising goal of $5,000 for the Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership, but we made it happen the Friday before the run!!! How awesome is that!??? (and by the way, thank you so much to all my friends, family and professional contacts for your relentless support and generosity - I am completely humbled by the out pour of support....and acknowledge that I need to start saving up for all the causes you'll be supporting and will be hitting me up for donations...hey what's fair is fair!).

I was quite relieved when that was all said and done, then Mother Nature decides to strategically have the mother load of menopausal hot flashes ON MONDAY, APRIL 16th. Really, Momma couldn't post-pone a day or two? As I'm sure you all were made aware, the Northeast was about to have an unseasonably warm day on race day. Now, I understand one would think, "ohhh that's great right??? Warm weather is easier to run in??". And the answer, unfortunately is "yes, it's great or the Kenyans who are quite acclimated already". As you all know, I am not Kenyan. Naturally, I panicked, had my girly emotional roller coaster waaaahhhhhh moment, then decided to suck it up. The Marathon organizers were sending out emails discouraging people from running and giving us the option to defer to next year's race, which scared me even more. However, the only thing I kept thinking is, knowing my luck, I'll defer to next year and it will be another freakish 90 degree weather day. So, I said, time to put on my big girl pants, suck it up, be extra cautious and just get through it. And that I did!
Me at the Runner's Expo picking up my Bib

Then came Monday - what an explosive, awe-inspiring day. Turns out there were plenty of other nut jobs out there who said the same thing as me, "F*&*! It! I trained the last 5 months for this thing, I'm running it!"
Hey, I have to go to the Vet....Cause these puppies are SICK!!!

I purchased some damn good sun block, sprayed myself down multiple times in the morning before I even got started and one last spray right before go time. I figured I'd be out in the sun for a stupid amount of hours and my pasty white, winter skin is not prepared for it, but dang that sunblock did the trick! I also took the sound advice seriously from an old-father-time looking runner to keep dumping water on my head to keep me cool. By the look of crazy in his eyes and his clearly emaciated running physique, I figured home boy knows a thing or two and I should listen to this guy! So, I ran the entire thing soaked from head to toe...literally.

Go Time Baby!

The spectators were amazing. Really, all the communities along the route really come out and support the runners. There were people with hoses, sprinkler systems set up, one automechanic with his power washer - it was honestly what saved my ass. Any chance I got, I ran under a hose, dumped a cup of water over my head, soaked my clothing to keep my core temperature cool. Had I not done that, I would've been puking alongside the road like some of my less fortunate compadres.

The crowds energy was explosive and so supportive. When I felt myself struggling with the heat, hunger or fatigue, I simply started giving high fives to the crowd who would burst with explosive cheers, or talk it up with a random runner next to me on the course. Matter of fact I stopped listening to my music a couple miles in to it, because clearly what was going on around me was much more entertaining!

I think I enjoyed the simple fact that I could control whether or not spectators were energized. The best part was an old Vietnam Vet war looking dude standing outside his house hooting-hollering at us runners. It was rather quiet till I started hollering back at him - the best part of the whole run, his response, might I add at the top of his lungs, "PAIN IS TEMPORARY....PRIDE IS FOREVER!!!!" Every runner around me starting cheering uncontrollably and you just felt everyone picking up their pace. Myself included because I triggered that very moment.

This race was not about competing, it was about completing it and enjoying the experience of it. Once I let go of the idea of beating my best time and just enjoying the moment, I truly did just that.  The best part about crossing that finish line was knowing my parents and my dedicated Coach (aka Boyfriend) were there waiting for me - Yeah, I'm a happy girl!
It is an experience I am really proud of and grateful for the opportunity to run for a great cause.

Might you ask what is next for this little Portuguese-Sicilian pit bull?

Welll......Tough Mudder, Mt. Snow Vermont is in a month....

ANNNDDDDD.....I dropped my name in the bucket for the 2012 NYC Marathon...we shall see!!! Stay tuned for more adventures from Maria's Jog Blog!

Thanks for following my journey!


Maria D.

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