Things have been a whirlwind since I went to bed Sunday night after qualifying for Boston. Woke up Monday morning, graded some papers while we drove the rest of the way home, went directly to school, skipped my afternoon classes to get home and work on an assignment until midnight, and woke up this morning and started preparing for a talk I have to give tomorrow, which will take me through the rest of the day.
I really haven’t had a chance to sit back and think about this accomplishment. I have, on the other hand, been taking frequent breaks to read your wonderful comments on yesterday’s race recap. I can’t tell you how touching it is to know that so many people were cheering for me and that people found so much inspiration in my achieving this goal that seemed so impossible after I ran my first marathon in 4:53:41, almost four minutes per mile slower than I ran on Sunday. The privilege of motivating and inspiring people just by pursuing a personal goal is really an awesome gift, and I’m so grateful to have had that opportunity. It’s especially neat to hear from all these first time commenters whom I didn’t even know were following my journey; I hope you find reason to leave me more comments the future!
Congratulations to Holly, Erica, Robin, Megan, Angharad, all of whom ran races this weekend and did some inspiring of their own, and to Pete, who ran his two weeks ago and whose training and actual race eerily mirrored my own.
We left in the motorhome Thursday night and drove to Williamsport, Connecticut Pennsylvania (oops), where we stayed in a Wal Mart parking lot. (Wal Mart is very RV-friendly.) Williamsport is where the Little League World Series is held each year, so we got out for a quick photo op in front of the main field.
From there, we headed up to Corning, NY, where we stayed at a campground. Much nicer atmosphere than Wal Mart for the marathoner-in-waiting.
Since it’s hard to eat vegetarian and eat well on the road, especially when you’re trying to eat a lot to fuel up for the race, we made a lot of meals in advance. Here we are chowing down on some carb-heavy orzo (ah, the sacrifices family made for me) on Friday night.
Contrast this with what we ate on our cross-country motorhome trip out to Arizona for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in 2006:
Can you believe I still married her? Please accept my sincere apologies, not for eating meat back then (what can I say, I was young and stupid), but for the UnderArmour turtleneck. Now we know why it’s not called OverArmour.
Saturday we went to the expo, where I picked up my number.
There’s nothing like shopping to bond father and son. Oh wait a minute, yes there is. It’s called “anything besides shopping.”
At least Margaret scored a nice top!
After the expo we went to a winery (an obligatory motorhome-trip pastime). Erin has been telling me since we’ve met how beautiful upstate New York is in the fall, and I think I might finally be convinced.
Then we checked out the marathon course and the start line, which made me realize this thing was really happening tomorrow and I started to get a little nervous.
Using modern tools to build a campfire: one of the aforementioned many things better than shopping to bond father and son.
I got the best night’s sleep I’ve ever had before a marathon. Here’s a little video of Erin helping me pin my number on, which she always does because I make it crooked every time.
And another, of me doing some of the weird-looking warmups that I do before I run.
Then before we knew it, it was race time.
A video after four miles:
And another at 19 miles, when things were just starting to hurt. It was windy; sorry about the noise.
A few shots of my cheering section, who made lots of friends during the race when they drove by, cheering, in the motorhome.
And finally, the finish line.
I posted this photo yesterday, but I love it and it’s such a perfect ending. I’ve never in my life felt so bad and so good at the same time. What an amazing day.
This post is part of 10-part series on qualifying for the Boston Marathon. Check out the rest!