Sunday, May 25, 2008

I'm home, I'm happy and I'm reallyreally sore

I got home a few hours ago from a great weekend in Boston, where I DID successfully complete the half marathon on one of the most beautiful days ever. Before the detailed race report, let's start with these shots that sort of capture the essence of the run.
Here I am before:

And just after:

What I'm thinking here is: WOW do my legs hurt.

Okay, let's back up. Here are some pre-race pictures. The race started on the Boston waterfront. It was sunny and breezy and about 65 degrees. Just lovely. Unfortunately I was not feeling great, still suffering from the lingering chest cold that plagued me all week. I was really discouraged on Saturday fearing I wasn't going to make it because my energy was low and my chest hurt with the congestion. I was very annoyed that I was not at my best for the big day. Anyway, I thought postive thoughts and was certainly caught up in the excitement of the crowds and the really, really loud music at the starting line.
Adrienne was feeling and looking great, in top form for the big race.

A quick shot at the starting line and then off we go. We DID, yes, run with my tiny little camera so we got just a couple shots during the race.

I started slowly and tentatively and so I was behind my usual pace by about mile 5. My chest was bothering me, but I knew if I just kept plugging away I'd be fine. I encouraged Adrienne to run ahead of me after the half way point, which she did, trotting away like a cheetah.

I felt at my very best between miles 6-8 when my cold sort of left me (maybe I sweated it out?) and things were looking up. The course was BEAUTIFUL, through the cool, brick streets of Boston and then along the Charles River for a while, then back again. It was just the bluest-sky day with billowy clouds and lush green parks (and colleges) everywhere you looked. I was thrilled to pass the 10 mile mark and from that point on it was gritting my teeth because of how badly my knees and hip joints felt. I started comparing the run to childbirth at that point (there are a lot of remarkable similarities, actually) and became convinced that the mile markers were at least a mile and a half apart. But I miraculously made it to 11, then 12, and then pretty soon the beautiful sight appeared of the final bridge, and then the finish line with rows of people cheering me in. I made it all the way, not walking once.

Adrienne had a fantastic run, beating me to the finish line by about 20 minutes. She was there to get my finish line shots and welcome me to the end.

As I ran across the finish line I did (you saw this coming, right?) burst into tears at the sight of my friend. I couldn't exactly describe why I cried, but it was a good mix of pride, relief, pain, exhaustion and sympathy for my poor legs. Just like childbirth, I told myself I was NEVER doing this again, and just like childbirth, I was already talking about doing it again about 30 minutes later.

I love getting race medals!

And here are some shots from the rest of our wonderful weekend together.

Adrienne told me at least 7 times when we were planning our trip that she wanted french fries and a beer after the race. Indeed, her wish came true.

Some other shots around Boston:

After our meal I said goodbye to my friend (after firming up plans to do some sort of race together next summer) and headed north for the 4 hour drive home. While driving I did feel a huge sense of accomplishment for completing a distance I thought impossible just last year, but also a bit of sadness that it was all so suddenly over.

I came home to find my kids both sleeping and the house completely shiny and clean. Sam had a good two days at home, jam packed with playgrounds and lunch dates and flower-planting.
And finally, here is the card Skyler had waiting for me, a drawing she did of me running under a lovely, orange sky.

And now I am having a beer and going to bed.


Lloyd said...

fantastic! enjoy that beer and recover well... you deserve it.

Tiercy said...

Emilie, that is awesome!! Way to go with tenacity (sp?) I am so happy you accomplished what you wanted to and maybe your next run, you can be at 100%.

Donna said...

Oh bravo! You must have such an amazing sense of accomplishment after completing that marathon. You've worked so hard, you should to feel like you've conquered Everest!

Meredith said...

Yeah! Well done.

Carver Fam said...

You are a rock! Even more impressive that you did it with the cold- that is what proves character and stellar training. I thought of you all day and am SO PROUD OF YOU! Skyler's picture at the end made me tear up. Love, Suz

SNW said...

hot mama! you did it AND looked like a nike model. you should wear your hardware to school tomorrow. :)

Kara said...

great job em!!! I loved the pics and the story. I always look forward to your new material.

beth said...

Fantastic Emilie,
Congratulations--Sam and I know how hard you have worked to accomplish this goal. And you did it with such style! I was also impressed with how well Sam handled the 48 hours with the two kids--I was especially wowed to see him arrive at church ON TIME, looking sharp in his sports jacket, with two kids, well dressed. You two are a Power Couple for sure. And after seeing your photos I know I have to find a way to get to know Boston--it looks fabulous. Think I could do a marathon????? Or may be just a leisurely weekend getting to know the city .
I am so impressed with your accomplishment. Now do you think you could take it easy for a few days? Give your legs a rest, for crying out loud!

Frederique said...

Congratulations from Delaware!!! I loved reading the whole story; I can tell you are a teacher!!!

Christine said...

I was thinking of you all weekend. It's silly, but I actually have chills as I write this. You should be incredibly proud of yourself and I know you are! What a role model you are for Skyler and Reed (and everyone else out there) - set a goal and work to achieve! What a novel idea! You did it!

Sarah said...

every race i cry at the finish. every single one. way to go, sister.
and by the way, you look terrific.

Adrienne said...

we are warriors. so proud of us. maybe we should listen to that teeny tiny little voice? i'm just saying...

Michelle said...

Thanks for sending me the link to this! Yes you were right I did start reading way after you ran in this one.

I'm so silly... I found myself tearing up as I read of you bursting into tears crossing the finish line.

Thanks again, I continue to be inspired!