Boston Marathon

I wanted to say congrats to all the Marathon Runners on Monday. It was a tough day to run at all, let alone 26.2 miles. I was able to see all my friends who ran. Kate, my teammate and friend, Jenna, my old athletic trainer at Tufts and Bobby my old boss. I was even able to track a few of the patients of the clinic I work at. As you all know I didn't run this year but I wanted to share my account of running last year.  It was such an amazing experience and I think you guys will enjoy it.  Watching this year made me want to run again... Crazy I know. Maybe not while I am in graduate school but one day I will run again!

Boston Marathon 2013

"It has taken me a while to write this post and I think that is because I am still in denial that it happened. On Monday, April 21st I ran the Boston Marathon. I woke up at 6:15, got dressed in my pre planned outfit, attempted to eat a bagel with peanut butter, packed up all my GU and headed to the first of many buses.  That morning I wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be.  I couldn't eat a ton but it was early and I made myself eat.  I was nervous about having a ton of time to wait around the Athlete's Village before my start time but our bus  was stuck in traffic so it took us an hour and fifteen minutes (!!!!!) to get from the Commons to Hopkinton.  We ended up having just enough time to go to the bathroom, put sunscreen on, write our names on our arm, take a few pictures (obviously) and head to the start corrals. My start time 11:25 am was PACKED. I ended up not crossing the start line until 11:34am. I kept laughing at myself as I walked to the start line with my two best friends-- this was actually happening!

I ran the first two miles with my friends but they are much faster than me so at mile 2 I said goodbye and wished them luck and was on my own.  I was at a 10 minute mile pace at that time which was exactly what I wanted.  I kept on my way feeling great and eventually around mile 4 or 5 met up with some friends also on the Tufts Marathon team.  I had planned on finding them earlier but with the masses of people I couldn't . I was so happy to see them and we created a plan.  We would walk through all the water stops and get gatorade and water. It was HOT out and all of us knew we wanted to finish so water stops were a necessity. We also planned to start having our GU at mile 8 and walking as we ate.  (I had cliff bar energy shots actually-- they were great! ) I used strawberry, cranrasberry and another flavor I forget.)

Next we geared up for Mile 9! Tufts had a HUGE setup there for all the friends and families of the runners and it was amazing. My two aunts and sister were there and it was  great to see them. I was so caught up in the cheering I think I ran twice as fast and didn't stop at all except to hug our Tufts Marathon Team Coach.  Everyone had Tufts flags and signs. I felt like a local celebrity.

Next came the Wellesley tunnel, the town of Wellesley and the halfway mark! I felt great all the way through.  Shortly after mile 14 we stopped for a bathroom stop because one of my friends wasn't feeling well.  I leaned down to stretch my hamstrings and DAMN-- they were stiff but I still felt relatively good.

I saw my mom around Mile 15 at the Newton-Wellesley Hospital and gave her a big hug.  Next came the downhills and start of the uphills. The first big hill takes you over I-90.  One of my friends was having a hard time with cramps so we took the hills pretty easy.  We made sure to run up the first half of every hill and then walked the rest.  Around the 30K mark my dad found us and we were walking-- he was NOT happy. I felt really bad because he wanted to run alongside me on the sidewalk but there was still 10 miles to go and I didn't want to break away from my two friends and have to run it alone for the next 10 miles. We were able to jog a bit with my dad but not as much as I would have liked.  My dad headed back to the T to meet my mom and go to the family meeting area to wait for me.

Once we got to Heartbreak Hill we ran 3/4 of the way up and then began to walk. As we started walking, two of my good friends who are still on the Tufts Lacrosse team came out of no where and scooped me up. I ran up the rest of Heartbreak Hill with the both of them. I was convinced that they were going to get kicked off the course and kept telling them how amazed I was that they were running with me.  The entire time they were shouting "THIS IS OUR FRIEND KERRY. KERRY RULES, etc" so I couldn't help smiling and laughing.  I went down into BC like this and the crowd was going wild! It was so exhilarating.  They were able to run with me for 2 miles! The only thing that stopped them was their Athletic Trainer.  She recognized me and called my name so I ran over and hugged her and she was shocked (maybe a little angry) that they were running so they headed off the course.

At this point I was passing Chestnuthill Avenue and heading into mile 24 where I knew all my friends were.  I spent almost 3/4 of a mile zig zagging across the course hugging friends, waving and posing for pictures. I saw all my best friends, my roomies and even some random friends I didn't know were going to be there. It was great.  Everyone was shocked by how "good" I looked and that I was still smiling. I was just so happy to see everyone!!

Shortly after seeing all my friends, things got hard. I looked up at a bank in Coolidge Corner or Cleveland Circle-- I'm not really sure and saw the time and temperature. It said 72 degrees-- I did not want to know that.  NExt thing I knew, all I could think about was water. I needed to get to mile 25 and get water ASAP. Those last two miles (or 2.2 to be exact) were probably the hardest.  I knew I had seen everyone until the finish line and I knew I was SO close but SO far away still.  I walked a bit more than my pride would have liked but by the time I got through Kenmore Square I resolved to run the rest of the way.

As I turned right on Hereford Street, you could hear the crowd. I just kept thinking pick up your feet you are almost there. Little did I know (or you I'm sure) there is a little hill (very slight) at the end of Hereford. You probably wouldn't even call it at a hill but at that moment it felt like a hill.  Making the left on Bolyston I expected to start bawling crying.  This whole experience was so emotionally charged for me I did not think I would be able to keep my act together. Surprisingly, I was so determined to finish and to attempt to sprint that I did not cry at all.  I kept putting one foot in front of the other and doing my best to "Sprint"-- who knows what my sprint looked like at that point. Sure as heck felt like a sprint.  Crossing the finish line, I threw up hands up-- in joy, in astonishment, in pride.  I quickly snapped a shameless selfie and a volunteer told me she would take my picture.  I wandered through the post race area getting a blanket, a medal and getting my picture taken by all the BAA staff.  I was a little dazed and was kind of picking my way through the crowd looking for Clarendon where I knew I had to meet the TMT coach and my family. Seeing all my family was unreal. They kept repeating how proud they were but I was still in denial that I finished.  I hugged the TMT coach and thats when I almost lost it.   Next up, I found my two friends. The ones who had been there with me last year and the ones that had trained with me.  I gave them huge hugs and we complained about what hurt.

I still don't think I have processed that I ran a marathon. I am SO happy that  finished (5hours and 6mins! and proud!). I am even more happy that I wore the Tufts marathon singlet. It was absolutely amazing. There was not a mile that someone did not shout out a word or phrase of support for Tufts. I am so grateful to have been on the Tufts Marathon Team and to be able to show my resilience after last year."