Just about 24 hours after finishing I’m very sore, have a severe case of marathon brain, but am incredibly grateful.
Before getting into the details of my day, I have to say thank you to Katie for enduring yet another marathon training season, Lara and Peter for being Lara and Peter, Greta Teller and all of Team Brookline for giving a miserable winter a light at the end of the tunnel, and everybody that helped me reach my $5000 goal for The Brookline Community Mental Health Center!
Now to the day itself. How efficiently the Boston Marathon goes off never ceases to amaze me. Even though I was woken up at 4:30 in the morning by Brookline municipal workers getting everything set up, everything went off without a hitch. A teammate gave me a ride to the Brookline HS, from there we boarded a bus to the Common where we got on another bus that took us to Athlete’s Village. Along the way, yes, it started to rain. Here’s what I’ll say about the weather — you can’t do anything about it. You just have to go out and run the best you can that day. In 2012 it was 90 degrees. NYC Marathon ’14 was frigid with 40 mile per hour headwinds. This year’s Boston was cold, rainy, with a headwind — so, what about it? Once off the bus I felt something I had never felt before — a pain, from deep inside my knee. Not much I could do about that either, just go out and run the best I could.
Once at the village there was very little downtime from when we arrived to when we started the slow march to the start line. I waited until the very last minute to take off the layers I’d brought – – the gun sounded and a few minutes later I was over the start line. I had to contend with a very congested first mile, training to stay off to the left and find a groove among all the fourth wavers. Here’s how everything went down after:
Miles 2 – 8ish: My knee was on fire from step one. Mostly down hill, lots of people. It took until mile 4 to finally find a groove. The entire time I thought, I can’t run an entire marathon like this. I’m going to have to drop out. I decided to just take it one mile at a time.
Mile 8ish – 17.5: Somewhere in mile 8 there is an uphill in Framingham. I don’t know what it was, but my knee opened up on this hill and I felt ok. I decided that I still needed to focus on getting through each mile at a time. Mile 12.5 or so when you enter Wellesley College was absurd. I could feel the cheering from the girls in my body. I kept trying to remain focused on each mile. The downhill into to Newton Lower Falls felt like a gift from God and even the incline over 95 wasn’t as bad as I thought.
Turn at the firehouse through Cleveland Circle: Once I made the turn at the firehouse onto Commonwealth three things happened: 1) my knee was throbbing again 2) the wind was directly in my face and strong and 3) I slammed into the Wave Three that had left before us. Between the pain, the wall of people, and the wall of wind – – I had to slow down. I bit it into each hill just deciding to get up each one and then figure out how I was feeling. I hate that first hill on Comm Ave — it’s steep and painful. Hill two is just a blip. On the flats before Heartbreak I ran past my friend Meg Reilly who had started with Wave Three. I yelled ‘move your ass, Reilly’ and she quipped back ‘What took you so long, Kimmerer?’ That may have been my favorite moment of the day. I hoofed it up Heartbreak, passed all the classless BC students (side note: the BC girls are totally trying to jack the Wellesley Girls’ style with kiss me signs. Here’s the thing though, the WC girls are buzzed to possibly even sober – – the BC students were sloppy and questionable) and heading into Cleveland Circe was evaluation time. I knew I just needed to survive. My knee still hurt, my hamstrings were getting sore, and my calves felt like Jello, not muscle.
Cleveland Circle to Finish Line: Once on Beacon, I knew I was on home turf. I just needed to make it. I was focused on just getting to my family and friends near Coolidge. The hills roll here more than you think they do, and it was tough. I ran past my family and friends and gave them high fives, but I couldn’t stop. If I did, I just would have walked the 400 yards to my apartment. I kept running through Coolidge, where the Team Brookline Cheer tent was — so glad I saw that. I saw my friend Tim, whose wedding I’m a part of a little later this spring, a little after 24 in front of his apartment and gave him a wet high five. Made it over Mount Kenmore and into Kenmore Square where it was so wonderfully loud. Through the torturous rollercoaster that goes down and under and then back up under Mass Ave and then up over Hereford until I crested on to Beacon. Even though the finish is still so far away, I could feel it coming to a close and ran as hard as I could through the finish.
It was awesome. I got my medal, was helped into a space blanket and then went to my office, grabbed the change of clothes I had left there Sunday night, showered at my gym, came home, went to dinner at the Publick House with Katie, Lara and Peter (burgers beers and fries baby!) and then went home and to bed.
Today I’m walking like an octogenarian, but who cares? I just had lunch with my sister, Greta, and her brother. And now, now I’m going to take a nap. Boston #2 in the books. I gave it all I had given all there was, I have no regrets, and never will after finishing running a marathon. If you ever do, you’re doing it wrong. Even though my nipples did bleed… just a little bit. Maybe that I regret not preparing for better.
Time : 3:22:36