Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Boston Marathon

The Truth:

Sorry for going silent. Every time I sat down to write a post about Boston, I just couldn't do it. I'm not an overly emotional person, but writing about the my race seemed impossible when other people's lives were irrevocably changed forever. I think part of it is that I work in the same building as Captain Davis. Both Captain Davis and his wife were injured in the blast. His wife lost her foot. The week before Boston another co-worker had a heart attack. He had a bad reaction to a medication he was given and lost both his legs below the knees. Needless to say being at the office has been tough, and I just haven't felt like writing.

The Race:

Here goes...the race was a bit tough. From the start, I had a stabbing pain in my right calf. It was strange given that I had no calf issues going into the race, but you know, it happens. I can only hypothesize that standing outside for an hour or so prior to the start made my legs tight, but that's just a guess. I actually ran the first half at what felt like a very easy pace. My heart rate was low, but my calf continued to get worse. By the time I got to the hills, my whole right leg was having issues. And then I sort of just gave up, or at least that's what I thought at the time. I knew I wasn't going to make my goal. I knew I was having some major leg issues.  And so I gave myself permission to just relax and get to the finish. 

Once I had finished, I was grateful that I had taken a cautious approach because I didn't feel well. I was limping, cold, and nauseous. Sometimes when I'm running I don't really know how bad things are until I stop. The next day I took off my compression socks to find my lower calf and ankle all black and blue. It actually looked worse than it does in the picture, and even after 15 days my right ankle is still black and blue. After 10 days, I went to the doctor to make sure it wasn't a blood clot. She told me I tore some muscle fibers that caused the bleeding, and the bleeding seeped into my ankle. She doesn't think it's anything serious. I am definitely not fully recovered though. Besides my ankle still being discolored, I have trouble running much more than 6 miles. Partly I don't feel like running right now, and that's okay.

My 5K splits are listed below. I know some will think that I went out too fast, but I don't think I did. My recent 18:34 5K and 1:25:59 half marathon both predicted a marathon time of 3:01. I purposely ran slower than that pace for the first half, but it didn't matter because my leg was simply having issues. And I'm okay with that. I'm glad I ran as well as I did under the circumstances.       
5K: 0:21:52
10K: 0:43:38
15K: 1:05:29
20K: 1:27:37
Half: 1:32:26
25K: 1:49:59
30K: 2:13:08
35K: 2:39:10
40K: 3:06:56
FINISH: 3:18:27

The Good Parts:

While there was heart wrenching tragedy at the April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon, there were some nice memories before that tragedy struck...Some of the things I'd like to remember include:

I saw little kids so excited to hand out orange slices and give high fives that it was impossible for me not to smile. I did high five several little kids. They were so cute in their excitement. I saw one runner do a cartwheel because he was so pumped up by the crowd, and the crowd responded with screams of enthusiasm. I saw runners stealing kisses from the ladies in Wellesley, and it was adorable. My co-worker, Liz, swapped out my water bottles at mile 16, and her husband Steve jumped in the race and ran with me through the Newton hills. Steve has never met me, but was amazing. He'd urge the crowd to cheer for me by throwing up his arms and screaming "Let's hear it for Katie!" I remember running by Newton-Wellesley hospital, where I was born. My friend Ana-Maria jumped into the race for a bit around mile 19 to cheer and say hi. When I finished, fellow runners were giving congratulations, a volunteer wrapped a blanket around my shoulders, and another volunteer placed a medal around my neck. My parents found me in the crowd in the family meeting area and gave me a hug. When I got home I got a huge hug from Nick, and some big squeezes from my little girls. Those are some of things I'd like to remember about April 15, 2013...

The Reality:

It wasn't until Tuesday that I realized we were still within 300 meters of the blast when it happened. I was watching the video and race clock read 4:09. My parents and I were heading towards Fenway, where their car was parked. We had to pass by the finish and then by the 26 miler marker. I remember the 26 mile marker clock reading 4:30 and thinking it had taken so long to pick up my bag and find my parents...but we were on the opposite side of the road and crowd was so crazy thick there that we couldn't really see or hear anything. When we got to the car around 3:15ish, people were already calling and texting. We were lucky, but I still get choked up when I think about the people that weren't so lucky...


Michael said...

Probably not much solace in knowing you did everything right. But, you did and you will again when you feel better. In the meantime, enjoy the extra time with the family. Especially now.

Karen said...

Oh wow, your ankle looked awful! I was a little worried not hearing about your race for a few weeks, but it is understandable why you didn't write. I think your finish is a fantastic time!!! Hope your leg heals up quickly.

Ana-Maria RunTriLive said...

So excited to read you report. You are such a fighter, even when you think you are giving up, you are not:) That ankle looks awful! So, so glad it is OK. So glad you are OK, and you have some great memories from the race. It is a very special one.

Anonymous said...

I was getting pretty worried that you hadn't written anything so I'm glad to hear your report!

I was in the UK last week and Captain Davis's wife was on Scottish TV news one night. My friends and I were all in awe of how upbeat she was and how she had this amazing "get on with it" attitude.

I think it's good you didn't push too hard on that leg issue. I hope it heals up and lets you get back to running--when you feel like running again.


Healthy Ambitions said...

So glad you and your parents are ok. You are such a fighter & I hope you feel recovered soon. Take care of that ankle!

cheap nfl jerseys said...

Very happy things. I know you like this kind of life.

Tia said...

I do not think you paced your first half too fast at all! I'm sure if your calf hadn't been an issue you could have pulled off a 3:01. Your recent race times and training definitely put you there. We ran very similar splits at the beginning. I'm sorry you had to deal with a very last minute injury. Yikes- that picture of your ankle looks rough! I've missed seeing you on DM but I know you need to heal.

I had not heard about the Captain and his wife but I clicked on that link you gave and read their story. I cannot imagine what they are going through (as well as many others in their situation).

I hope you heal soon. Is your next marathon Baystate? I am trying to figure out mine. I had originally planned to wait until December but I am thinking about one in October. We'll see. Kind of enjoying a break from all the miles right now!

michelle contini said...

Wow! Your foot looks awful!! I am amazed that you were able to even finish with a foot like that, let alone do as well as you did. Kudos to you.

When I think about the blast happening at 4:09 I get almost panic-y about it. That is my standard marathon finish time. I think about how that could have been my family waiting there for me to cross. Silly of course, since I would never qualify for Boston, but upsetting all the same. I can't imagine how you felt actually being there

Rae Crowell said...

So glad you are ok, Katie. When you are up for it and healing, let's do the tyngsboro/dunstable 16 mile route I mentioned. We can pull Michael Wade along too (he knows the route), and make a nice morning of it. :-)

Ewen said...

Well done for writing about it - must have been difficult to find the right words.

Sorry your race wasn't what you'd hoped for, but you did the right thing by just easing up and getting to the finish. It's worth asking again about the possibility of a blood clot if you still have swelling (I have blood clots in my arm for which I'm getting treatment). An ultrasound will show whether that's the case or not.

lindsay said...

I can understand having a hard time finding the words. So glad you and your family are ok (well minus that crazy looking ankle) and sorry to hear about your friend/coworker. Sounds like they are some tough folks and I hope they will rise above this tragedy to do greater things.

sea legs girl said...

Wow! That leg looks terrible. I am also completely dumbfounded by what could cause something like that. I had been wondering what happened near the end of your race. I was impressed that you started conservatively but KNEW something went wrong near the end as I was checking updates on you ever 20 minutes or so. You seem way too experienced to "hit the wall" so thank you for posting this. I hope you recover quickly, both from the leg and from the shock and sadness of the terrible events afterwards.

Raina said...

Somehow, Katie, I completely missed this report until now. I can understand the need to wait and process everything before writing about it.

In no way did you go out too fast. Things were lined up for a great race for you, and you went out conservatively. There is a sub3 waiting in there!!

Very sorry about your co-workers :(

The good memories of Boston were fun to read. It must have been nice to have those runners joining you for some of the race. Crowd support is one thing that is fun at Boston :)

The calf/ankle is a mystery - and a little scary. Did your doc send you in for an ultrasound for a DVT? I hope things are back to normal with running for you!

spenco said...

good of you to write it all out, does it make you feel better?