Let’s begin at the finish….there were tears. Yes, mine. All mine. Hard earned tears that were not allowed to be shed (but very close to it) as I ran through Wellesley at mile 13. I am sure the following things were directly related to the tears…exhaustion, THE FUCKING BOSTON MARATHON, thinking about the preparation that went into every single step I took (even the painfully slow ones), and most importantly feeling the support of all the badass people in my life (albeit remotely). Also, I started my period that morning? Yea that had something to do with it. Those tears at the finish were the perfect representation of what it feels like to be caught up. So caught up you can’t influence your reaction…fear doesn’t exist, nor does doubt, nor reason, nor control. Is that what meditation is? Finding that space between thoughts? If you can arrive at the same destination via running, I very much prefer that. Back to the race…
I ran a 3:16.
This is a PR, just barely! Not as fast as I had somewhat arrogantly hoped for, but I’m proud of my effort. It was a big one, and I felt like shit the whole way (for some odd reason). In an effort to ignore the sluggish pain, I was dishing out high fives to the crowd (mostly kids) like it was my job. This helped immensely and also really slowed me down, but I didn’t want to miss out on those brief exchanges of energy. It was like this ongoing unspoken dialogue of “you’re really doing it Caroline!” and me saying (via high five) “oh man, oh man I’m really doing it you guys!” it was awesome. Here’s a hot tip: if you want more attention from the middle aged male population in the crowd, you need to wear a bright pink sports bra and short shorts….oh…and makeup.
On a macro level (apologies for the occasional econ term, I “work” in finance) things were okay. Considering I was telling myself that running a marathon was a bad decision at mile 5, I would say I turned it around and had a strong, smart race. Boston is a tricky course and can be quite deceptive. The steady downhill throughout the first 20k or so seems like it would be a dream, but it beats your legs up…and this is coming from a self-proclaimed downhill running stud. I fought the urge to really open up the legs and push hard for the first half so I could have a little something left for Heartbreak Hill (which is over-hyped if you ask any Bay Area runner). I hammered up that bad boy no problem, but unfortunately I didn’t quite save up enough to keep a more respectable pace the last few miles. But alas I still practiced self-restraint. Chris would be proud. This whole endurance thing is finally catching on…as my dentist said “oh, so like….it’s not just about how fast you go, it’s also about stamina.” yes, Dr. Wu - it’s about stamina too.
Overall, Boston is a freaking fantastic city. Chris and I had the most gracious and entertaining hosts (Jenny and Dan) who were great super fans and drank copious amounts of beer with all the wounded Olympic Club soldiers after the race. Post race was fun, very few of us had great races. In fact, I believe we all concluded that we felt completely flat and hurt the whole way, but not one person was wallowing. We were just celebrating our accomplishment, the day, the race and our appreciation for the sport that challenges all of us everyday.
Since Boston, I ran The Relay (191 miles from Calistoga to Santa Cruz) with 11 of my BlackRock co-workers. We were 6th overall and 2rd in the corporate division, which we’ve decided basically means 1st place because the Google runners shouldn’t count as full-time employees. Right? No? Anyway. I’ve also started really ramping up training for my first full Ironman in Idaho at the end of June. That has entailed more tears, but for different reasons…and when you’re in a pool, you can’t tell they’re tears, so its fine. Right, Chris?
Has everyone heard of Oiselle? It’s an amazing women’s running apparel company. Check ‘em out: www.oiselle.com their brand and purpose are very relatable. I love their tagline….”go fast. take chances.” I’ve been falling back on it a lot lately and plan to until I decide which mantra will be mine. Too many to choose from right now.
Take care now. Bye bye then.
Post race with the Olympic Club crew (I'm in the middle in the back with my buddies Brooke Wells and Chris Mocko). My main man (fiancé) Chris Coble is on the far right with the black hat.