Josh’s Boston Marathon Experience Part 2

My worries were pushed to the back of my mind as I entered Athlete’s Village on that crisp and cool Monday morning.  Thousands of runners from all over the world were there, all of them just as eager as me to see the dream become a reality a few short hours away.  The hours melted into mere moments as we made our way to our respective starting points.  I was all warmed up, said a quick prayer, and got ready for an experience unlike any in the world of running.  Men and women, young and old, veterans and first timers like me surged forward as we approached the start line.  The crowd of thousands that surrounded me on all sides seemed to flow together as one, like a school of fish, or flock of birds.  The sheer number of people overwhelmed the pavement, covering every square inch.  The adrenaline pulsing through me propelled me forward through the crowd, as thousands more people gathered along the sides of the course calling out encouragement to their friends and family.

Three miles into the experience of a lifetime the pressure in my knee started to build.  Feelings of panic gripped me, was I going to come all this way just to not finish?  No way!!  I decided it was all or nothing, if I was going to have to stop then i was going to make it as far as I could first.  Time to ramp up the pace!  I picked a runner up in front of me and ran right on his hip.  Together we weaved in and out of hundreds, maybe even thousands of runners.  I did my best to ignore the now extreme discomfort I was feeling in my knee.  Seeing the half way point did wonders, boosting my determination and focus.

Cruising along in the later stages of the race

I crossed at 1:27 which was better than I could had dreamed going into the race with all the weight and fear of injury.  From there on out it was one mile at a time.  I kept telling myself that I would stop and stretch my IT band as soon as I saw my Dad and friend Loren, who came to Boston with me. They saw me at miles 10 and 20, but they were lost to my searching eyes, standing amongst the thousands of spectators.  So I did the only thing left to do, I kept going.  I was really struggling to keep running by mile twenty.  The lack of running over the past month and a half was starting to show as the fatigue threatened my chances of finishing.  But, at the top of heart-break hill I found new energy as hundreds of crazy screaming Boston College students urged us on! With five miles it was mostly down hill to go.

I pushed like I had never pushed before my confidence building with each mile.  Then there was only two tenths of a mile to go and I emptied what little energy I had left from the tank, finally finishing the race! I was done, I did it without stopping despite the pain and the fatigue, and that in it self felt good.  When I finally found Loren and my Dad they gave me the best news of the day. Not only had I finished, but I ran a new PR! My official time was 3 hours 8 minutes and 12 seconds!  At that moment it didn’t matter that every muscle in my body ached with soreness, and in two weeks time I would forget about any IT band problems.  I did it!  Thank you so much to everyone who supported me through the tough times and celebrated with me in my success!!

Mission Accomplished

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