On Marathon Monday, I got up at 4am. I kind of laid there for 10 minutes or so in shock. “I’m running a marathon today?” I rolled over and said to Irving, “Um, I don’t want to run a marathon today!!” He said “Too bad. Get up.” hahaha
I met my team at the Marriott in Copley and we all walked together to the busses. I had no idea that the busses were on Tremont Street! It was a long walk!
But it was fun to pass Emerson College on the way!
The bus lines were CRAZY! But it was well organized and the lines went quick.
The bus ride was about an hour long. It was crazy because the further the bus was driving, the more I realized that I had to run all the way back! That’s far! haha
The busses dropped us off at Athlete’s Village, but we were able to bypass the crowds and head to our VIP DFMC refuge at a church near the start line. It was really nice to have a place to hang out for the 3 hours we had to kill before the race.
We stole some street signs along the way. I know, that’s probably illegal, but look how cool they are!
PS, that’s my new friend Alicia! She’s awesome and I was so excited to have a teammate to hang out with! Plus, I love her braids.
Inside, I couldn’t really sit still. I would get up and down. Pack and repack my fuel belt. Three hours is a lot of time to kill when pre-race jitters are setting in! There was so much going on around us! I had my breakfast while I was waiting. That helped a bit. 🙂
We also killed some time by remembering the reason we were running. There were banners to sign for kids who are currently fighting cancer. They’re rockstars!
And Uta Pippig was there signing Jerseys!!! She signed mine too!
Finally, it was time to head towards the startline! Then things really started happening fast. I didn’t even know what was happening. It didn’t feel like I would be running 26.2 miles in a few minutes!
It was fun to see the sea of DFMC jerseys walking together to the start!
I can’t believe I’m one of the runners!
We found our corrals and hopped right in!
My number was 22501 out of 26,000. So that means there were about 4,000 people behind me!
The weather was PERFECT! It was 47* at the start.
And then the countdown to the start began!
All of a sudden, the next thing I knew, I was running! Somewhere in the first mile, I hit “stop” on my watch! But I caught it right away. That would have been tragic. Whew!
Peter kept reminding me to slow down. It was downhill, so it was easy to go out too fast. It was elbow to elbow runners for the first three miles or so. I stuck with my 5:5 intervals, and I kept thinking I was going to get trampled every time we stopped. But we hugged the guardrail on the side so we didn’t get in anyone’s way.
My fuel belt was way too big. That’s what I get for trying something new on race day I guess. It kept riding up and it was annoying. But after awhile, I found my rhythm and it was fine. I remember miles 1-3, but for some reason, I don’t remember the next few miles. I think I was just going with the flow. It didn’t even feel like my legs were moving. It felt—easy.
Miles ahead of me was the elite runners. My family and friends took pictures of them.
This is the pace car. Hannah Kearney was in it. She won Gold on the moguls in the 2010 Olympics! I love athletes!
I didn’t see him, but my “fans” caught Ryan Hall zooming by!
Another elite man:
The woman who WON! Her body amazes me. Congrats!
I love this picture too! Those guys do the whole race with upper body strength. Amazing.
So anyways, while they were like at mile 20, I was still chugging along through the early miles. I remember passing the 6 mile marker thinking, only 20 more miles to go! At that point, it was a piece of cake. Anything less than 20 miles to go was doable. I didn’t have the slightest twinge of pain anywhere.
At Mile 7.8, you could see yourself running in the windows of Hansen Electric!
Here it is zoomed in!
Around mile 8, Peter took off. I wanted to maintain my energy and I knew I had to slow down a little if I wanted to make it over the Newton Hills.
Miles 8-11 were fun. All the little towns along the way were great. There were so many people cheering. People kept screaming my name. It was pretty awesome. Some of the local bars had karaoke going on. Hearing “sweet caroline” was a great boost. All the runners were singing along “so good! so good!”
Then I was just excited to get to Wellesley College. I heard that was one of the highlights of the race. I could actually hear them screaming about a half mile before I got there!
Here’s a video:
They were really inspiring. It gave me strength through the next few miles. I started to slow down a little around mile 14. Not too bad, but I think I got a little lonely. There were still TONS of people cheering, but you could see the crowd thinning out a little. Not too many runners around me at that point either. But I kept going. I kept repeating out loud “wow, i’m running the BOSTON MARATHON”! I was running the same race on the same day as Ryan Hall!
After this, I was just running for the Newton Firestation. Once I got there, I knew I was in the home stretch (as far as I’m concerned). It’s at mile 16, which is the start of the newton hills. Finally, I saw the turn!!
There are four Newton Hills (the last one being heartbreak hill)
I was pretty much walking at this point. (Running the downhills and the flats, but walking up). I didn’t think they were too bad, but they were long. At one point, I thought I was on the 3rd hill, but turns out, it was only the 2nd. I started to get a little anxious because I knew all my friends and family were coming up!!
Finally at the bottom of heartbreak hill, I saw Chely! She ran up heartbreak hill with me! I was SO happy to see her!
It was so nice seeing her!!! Thank you, Chely!
Here we come! My sisters and Irving came down to see me at that point too!
And at the top of the hill, everyone was there!
Look at this fan club I have!
PS… love the “Run Dana-Fahba” haha
They waited for like 4 hours for me!!!
They started to get creative. haha
And then finally I got there! I was so happy to see everyone!
My mom had my orange slices ready. HAHA LOVE HER! Thanks mom!!
They rounded up a bunch of BC kids to run with me for a bit. haha Irving and Laurie went a few miles with me. I was really happy to have the distraction! I just started to get a little tired.
And then I saw my friends!!!!! Hi Steph, Katie and Mark!!! So excited to see you guys on the side! They came with me down Beacon street for a while. Sorry I wasn’t too chatty at that point. But I was SOOOO excited to see you guys!! Thank you!
Then they jumped on the T to head to the finish line, and Irving went the last few miles with me (all the way to mile 26!) The police were threatening to open the streets to traffic, and the busses kept going by me, trying to pick me up! But I ran pieces and walked really, really fast and they left me alone. 🙂
In fact, we were walking so fast that I maintained a 13 minute mile through the end! Then I went under Mass Ave, and saw the right turn onto Hereford. I knew the finish line was right around the corner!!! I picked it up a little bit and as I ran down Boylston Street, I saw my family and friends again!
They were on both sides of the street!!! Here are a few of the pictures they snapped!
And there you have it! My first Boston Marathon! A PR by 31 minutes! I finished in 5:57:17.
An average pace of 13:38!
I’ll be posting official race photos, statistics and my reflections and thoughts on the race this weekend! Stay tuned!