Race Recap: Boston Marathon

by: Kelly Leighton
April 30, 2014

The third time was not the charm.

boston marathon

I was very fortunate for my first two marathons, having pretty awesome races and totally surpassing my goals.

However, after a year and a half of waiting and 16 weeks of seriously busting my butt, I’m sad to say that the Boston Marathon was anything but a great time for me.

If you checked out PennLive last week, you may have seen my recap there. To make a long story short, I got sick around the third mile, and spent most of the race cramping up, throwing up and doing a pathetic run/walk/jog. Most people who were tracking me knew something was wrong, and most who saw my finishing time (4:25), were okay asking, “Uhh, what happened?”

Part of me was really embarrassed that I was SO far off my PR (59 minutes — I picked it up as much as I could during the final stretch to not let it be an hour). Now that I’ve had a week to reflect, I can’t be embarrassed anymore. I honestly don’t think I could have done anything to make it better.

I found out in early April that I am “severely anemic,” and that my body is most likely not absorbing iron. I’ve been poked and prodded and in and out of doctors’ offices trying to figure out what’s wrong. Paces that once felt easy now feel like speedwork, and even after sleeping 9-10 hours a night, I wake up completely exhausted and worn out. If it had been another race, I would have DNS (did not start). But it was BOSTON, and my qualifying time isn’t good for next year.

boston marathonBesides the disappointment that accompanied the race for me, I still had an unbelievable time. I am used to small races, and running with 36,000 runners was a totally new experience to me.

We were bused from Boston Commons to Athlete’s Village and you could feel the adrenaline and excitement in the air. I was in the second wave, sixth corral, so I didn’t have that much time to wait. Regardless, I used my time wisely to wait in porta potty lines. Twice.

Besides the whole feeling-awful during the race thing, I can’t deny how excited I was to be there.

The Boston Marathon.

The race is a blur of pain and nausea, but mixed in there is also a blur of cheering faces along the course, hilarious signs (“Smile if you peed yourself!”, “Chuck Norris Never Ran a Marathon!”), Boston Strong shirts and signs, and an undeniable feeling of togetherness. After the bombings at last year’s race, emotions were at an all-time high for this race. We were taking back that finish line.

I’ve never felt more a part of something. Even though my contribution was minor, I was still there, and I will carry memories of that day with me forever. I am sure the frustration and disappointment with my time will fade over the years, and instead I will just remember completing the 118th Boston Marathon.

As for me, I plan to keep running (obviously!) but to take some time off from racing and get my health figured out. Although I swore “never again,” last Monday night, I am hungry to BQ (Boston Qualify) again and go back there to do what I had planned to do.

Categories: Running, Travel

4 thoughts on “Race Recap: Boston Marathon

  1. Scott on said:

    You finished! Despite all the adversity you finished! That is amazing and fantastic and you are still my favourite Harrisburg runner.

    • kelly on said:

      Haha, thanks Scott! 🙂

  2. Liz on said:

    I agree w/ Scott! You’re still my favorite harrisburg runner too! I like the “Chuck Norris never ran a marathon” sign. Made me lol.

    • kelly on said:

      Haha, I should have added “And my friend Liz gave me a good luck charm for my shoelace!”

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