First off I want to say how amazing it was to go through this experience not because the story I tell below but because of the amazing support and connection I felt with others, not just during the race but before. Sharing this process has been such a reminder to me that love and believing can make just about anything possible. I could not have done it without all the encouragement. I know many of you have told me that hearing about my journey has inspired you and I want to thank you because in return you inspired me to keep going when times were tough!
now... the story of Boston
For me It all started with a club. And to be honest with you, For me the dream did not start as wanting to run the Boston Marathon. That was not the goal until it was already happening. But let me explain how I think it happened:
In life we do lots of little things that add up to some really big things sometimes they are intentional and sometimes they are not. Some Goals start as a big dream and a person will do all the baby steps to get there. Other Goals are the cumulation of a lot of little dreams that combine and be come a really big one.
There are so many amazing people at the Boston Marathon I'm sure there is every combination of dreaming and doing all the right things that one can imagine. That is what is so cool, about marathon running, everyone has their own story of how they got their. Especially the Boston Marathon, because you can not just wake up and decide to try it.
I am so impressed by those who set out to one day reach the Boston Marathon. For many marathon runners it is like the holy grail. And now after running it I can see why.
For me, it happened the other way though. I have spent most of my years training and running the 5k. Until about a year ago when some friends of mine decided they were training for a marathon. (see image above, most of those people had something to do with this adventure)
So my first little goal was to train with my friends for a marathon. Then I was convinced I should race it. Now, some might say I am a little competitive, but I like to think of it as I don't like to give less than my best, so running it wasn't enough.... okay maybe I am a little competitive because racing it wasn't enough, so race to morning I decide: I am going to try and win it.....
Sometimes it is good to learn a lesson, sometimes it is painful to learn a lesson, I'll say that was both. Needless to say I did not win, going out to fast caused me to have a very painful and slow second half. But later I found out it my time had qualified me for the Boston marathon. So I guess you could say I by chance came to this very big new goal.
I started training about 6 months ago, with the goal to just run more consistently (and hopefully less painfully).
Training itself was an adventure that I got to share with so many friends and family, and especially my boyfriend Kyle. If anyone put in hard work for my marathon as much if not more than me it was him. We had many early, cold, and often winey (by me) mornings. But some how through the help of so many, we got here!
Before I knew it, it was the Friday before and we were picking up my parents to come to Boston. With a 7 hour drive ahead of us (not including stops) we found out my mom's bag was lost and we would have to wait for it to come in. Leaving at 8:40 PM and needing to arrive at Boston before 7 am.
So when was the last time you pulled an all nighter with your parents?
But we made it! and Kyle and my Dad ran the 5K we explored some of the city and had a pic-nic. Later we headed to our hotel after seeing the expo and enjoying the wonderful weather
Again, I have to say part of what made this such an amazing adventure was the unbelievable support and out reach I received from others.
The hotel I got to stay in was so beautiful and only about half a mile from the finish line. Thank you again Deva for making that possible and always believing in me!
That night we went out to eat and had some amazing food at really cool gastro pub that used to be a corset store . I have to say all of our eating experiences in Boston were amazing and made for great race prep food! I had sweet potato gnocchi with vegetables mmmm mmm
Before we knew it, it was time for a pre race dinner. Mine is always chicken veggies and some sort of simple carbs!
Then It was time to sleep so we could do what we came for!!!!!!
As they drove us it seemed a lot farther than 26.2 miles and I wasn't sure I wanted to even try to get back to the city. But once we arrived in the Athlete Village I started to get excited again! It was amazing to see SOOOO many runners in one place.
The places you go and the pople you meet!
To me the coolest part about marathon running is meeting all the people you are going to spend the next 3+ hours with and are the same amount of crazy as you.
What was even cooler is in the Boston Marathon you are surrounded by thousands of people who run such similar times as you that you will come across the finish with many of the people you started with.
I met one girl who traveled all the way from Australia and shared with me her goal of reaching 20 marathons by the time she is 40, with 11 down and 5 years to go she is hoping for 2 a year. I mean how cool is that!
I also met another woman who's goal was to run sub 3, and here is where I may have gotten into trouble, I asked if she minded my tagging along with her plan.
This brings us to.....
Starting out was amazing we could hear them announcing the elite men and the energy started to grow. Right from the start the streets were lined with cheering people.
26 miles of people cheering and encouraging. It choked you up, it made you feel strong, it made you feel loved, it made you feel patriotic, and it made you feel like you could run 26.2 miles!... no problem
Then later I think it was the only thing that kept us from noticing the cold and soon to be pouring rain.
At mile 7ish I saw my dad and Kyle it was so awesome seeing them and their excitement, it made me feel like a warrior as it started to rain. They also handed me gloves which helped because even by my 7 my hands were already starting to go numb.
I ran the first 14 miles with the girl trying to go sub 3 and then I got an itch to go a little faster knowing our pace was a little behind. Around miles 15-18 though the cold set into my legs and I had no control over my body slowing down.
But right about then I heard some familiar voices. Brandi, Rafael and Joel were cheering me on, I could go a little further! And it helped me make it up the hill. To be honest I didn't know what hill I was on and where, so heart break hill didn't break my heart. I actually enjoyed the hills because that was when other runners were encouraging each other. My Shirt had my name printed on then back and so many of the other runners would run by and say "come on Casey you can do it" "come with me Casey" "Casey you're almost to the top"
I mean how freakin cool is that!
In this one race I believe I had a million different thoughts and feelings about running marathons and how much I did not enjoy them. Okay and a few about how much I didn't enjoy the concept of them, but I could not even bring myself to hate Boston. Because you could not hate something where so many people where cheering for everyone and supporting everyone in reaching a dream!
By Mile 20 I was completely red and blue. I pushed as hard as I could and said okay, my goal is to not slow down past 7min miles, but my body said otherwise, then I said okay 5 miles to go don't walk, but my body said other wise, 2 miles to go and my body wanted to quit but my mind and heart said otherwise.
In a down pour of rain I finished. Contemplating walking until the very last step and fighting a calf cramp the last 20 meters I just didn't want to fall over before I got there.
I finally finished! Then I cried, then I walked or stumbled as fast and far as I could hoping not to get pulled into the medical tent. All I could think was just make it out. Wrapped in a blanket and mixed in emotion. I found my dad and Kyle, then I cried, no I sobbed, then I laughed, then I said I was mad because I knew I wanted to do it all again.
As it stands now, I am not sure how to express it, I know I finished, I did it, but its like their is something left uncompleted. A little fire still burning.... Marathons 2 - Casey 1.9 and I am so mad that I must go another round.
But that is the sport... the addiction... the love.
Plus in the end you get to EAT! After the race they rushed me back to the hotel room where I jumped in a bath, still wearing half my clothes, to prevent any further hypothermia. I ate cookies and talked to my biggest fans recalling the race. If anyway hasn't tried it I would recommend eating in the bath, you feel like a queen... or maybe its just me because those are two of my favorite things. After I warmed up and rested we went out for a big dinner and celebrated! My food of choice fish and sweet potato chips and an Allagash White Ale mmm mmm.
The next morning we got up and said bye to Boston Before heading and an adventure showing my parents the east coast....
I live a lucky life!
P.S. 3 days later I can finally walk kinda normal!
P.S.S. Thank you again for believing in me and sharing this journey with me! I love you all!