Where were we?
Oh yes mile 16.8 where I stopped to hug and kiss my wonderful supportive family who waited patiently for me! They saved me.
This marathon, it was all about mental toughness. You know I have often said I can run at my happy pace forever. I stuck to my happy pace and stayed in the 9s most of the time. But mentally parts were tough.
Once I got those hugs, I felt renewed. It was like a burst of energy for me and I knew then that I would be finishing strong if for no other reason, than for more hugs because I knew that they would be at the finish line.
Miles 17-22 were tough. I was hot and the hills were rough. I did not stress it though. I had made the decision that this time for the first time running a marathon, time was not an issue. I walked sometimes when it got rough, I ran when it felt good.
I started taking water at every stop. I made sure I ran under every single hose or water sprinkler. This race was a whole new beast. As I got to mile 19 I got a terrible pain in my foot. I stopped and loosened my shoe a bit and kept going. I told myself at that point that at this point I had come too far to stop. I kept saying, Colleen you do not give up, you do not quit. Never give up. Over and over again until I really embraced it.
The beautiful part of this race, the crowds. By mile 23 the streets were packed. I did not even know where I was within the city, all I knew was the crowd support was incredible. People were cheering and shouting, I felt like a rock star :) I made sure all the out stretched hands I saw got a high 5. I was yelling and shouting woo woo and when people saw how pumped up I was they got excited. I kept hearing people say go pink go Colleen and it kept me strong.
I was grateful. All week long, thinking I would not be running this race, and here I was running, finishing strong. I felt so lucky. I thought about all of the people who dream about running Boston, like I had for the last year and I told myself this was worth it. The heat, the exhaustion, yes it was hard but it was also amazing. Being a part of the 116th Boston Marathon was an incredible experience!!!!
I finished right at 4 hours and 11 minutes. My slowest marathon ever but also my most mentally and physically challenging. I really think I did a good job of maintiainnig a steady comfortable pace and at the end of the race I still felt ok. As you can see coming into that finish line area I was clearly hyped up!! Thank you to my friend Gene for capturing some awesome pictures of me!!!
I proudly took my medal and was smiling so big :) I took some pictures with it and then it was mission find my family time!!! I headed to the family meet up area to find them!!! And of course they were there smiling with me and celebrating. They even had Starbucks waiting for me :)
They ARE amazing!
Marathon #3 is in the books!!!!!
After the race we rested a bit and went out for a little celebatory dinner :) Of course I got to be with my Peanut too! I will post more on that tomorrow!!!!