Saturday morning I woke up, got a light two miles in, packed the car and we were on the road by 930… I thought perfect because that is Ella’s nap time and she will at least sleep for half of the ride… NOPES! That backfired and she was crazy the whole 3.5 hour ride there… Because we couldn’t check into the hotel until 3, we picked up my race packet and grabbed lunch. Packet pick up was EXTREMELY organized! We couldn’t find parking so I just ran in quick and ran out and it literally was done in 5 minutes… After I got my packet we headed to Olive Garden for lunch where I carb loaded with Fettuccine Alfredo, salad and breadsticks (Ella is a carb lover as well).
After lunch we checked into the hotel and with a whole afternoon to fill we decided to head to Niagra Falls. Apparently so did everyone in upstate NY because it was packed! But I’m glad I got to FINALLY see it (check off the Bucket List). The line for Maid of the Mist was insanely long so we decided to head home and grab dinner… I had my typical pre-race spicy tuna roll, spicy crab roll, and edemamme, got all my stuff together for race day (because that was what I was REALLY there for), and put myself to sleep.. kind of.
I mentioned before that I developed a cough throughout the week… and it kept me up MOST of Saturday night… I thought to myself “great”. I woke up at 4am, ate my breakfast, finished packing and we headed out by 530. Michael dropped me off and went back to the hotel to sleep (lucky bastard) and I did my warm up thang. Before I even started I promised myself that no matter what happened I was just going to have fun. At 7am the gun went off and I started with the 3:30 goal pace group. I though maybe I’m being a bit ambitious, but if I’m not feeling it I will just fall back, no biggie. By mile 2 I was bored, so I picked up the pace a bit. I wasn’t pushing it, I was just chillin and by mile 10 I was with the 3:20 pace group. What?! But I felt great?! What was happening?! As we approached the half marathon mile mark, I said to our pacer, “I’m having red bib envy” (the red bibs were the half marathoners) and she looked at me and said “you won’t feel that way when you run a 3:19”. I couldn’t believe that was even a possibility for me! Could I actually BQ?!
The second half was not as effortless but I overall felt great. I just kept refueling and hydrating. At mile 24 I looked down at my watch and it read 3:04. I swore my watch was broken…I had 2 miles to go and even if I ran 10 min/ miles I could still break 3:30. At mile 25 I felt my final gel kick in and I picked up the pace. There was a woman in front of me and I just kept telling myself go get her.. I kept telling myself to put one foot in-front of the other. I felt great! at 25.5 I caught her and kept running. At mile 26 I thought to myself “Holy shit! I just ran a marathon!” I came around the corner to the final stretch and I heard Michael whistle… the clock read 3:23.. I sprinted in finishing unofficially at 3:23:51!
The minute I crossed the finish line I text my friend, “Ash… I just BQ’d!” I think it’s finally just hitting me today because as I type this I find myself in tears. I qualified for BOSTON!!!!!!!!! Honestly, I didn’t think it would ever happen. I thought IF I was going to get a chance it would be in the fall, and I wasn’t even sure it would happen than!
I PR’d by 2 hours and 12min!!! That awful first marathon is now out of my mind (never forgotten though because it taught me a lot). I didn’t die Sunday, as a matter of fact I ran conservative because I was out there to have fun. After I finished, we were walking back to our car and I was soooo proud! Proud that my daughter seen me finish, proud that I qualified for Boston, proud that I overcame that terrible marathon to finish with a smile on Sunday… On Sunday I felt like a super hero.
I said on FB that I liked parade day more than Christmas and I meant it… There is just something so nice about my little town gathering along Main Street for our tiny parade…. I love that my children get to experience something that I grew up enjoying. We gathered at our normal spot at my friends parents house, set out a blanket, and for all of 15 minutes… we watched the parade. We had a much needed family day filled with ice cream, playground play time and visiting family… perfect way to end my weekend….
And today I’m back to reality… listening to all of my students tell me about their weekends and telling them about mine…Maybe I’m not a real super hero, but I think moms are pretty damn close!
How was your weekend?! Missed you all sooo much!