Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Boston's Run To Remember Half Marathon

Boston's 6th Annual Run to Remember is a tribute run to honor Massachusetts Law  Enforcement Officers killed in the line of duty by celebrating their lives and giving back to the community. One way this race gave back to the community is by supporting the Boston Police Kids At Risk Program, which provides a safe encouraging environment to inner city kids to help them make better life choices, in hopes they will avoid joining a gang or get involved in acts that will lead to incarceration. I was proud to run in this race - it's great to know that by competing in these 1/2 marathons, I can honor and help (even if it's just a wee bit) others - and this year were 5,407 runners strong!

There we stood, all of us anticipating the start of the race, listening to the Star Spangled Banner. It gave me chills listening, being that it was Memorial Day weekend. I stood there, praying for all those killed in the armed forces and for all the families who lost a family member - a brother, sister, mom, dad, grandparent, aunt, uncle or cousin.
On my way to Boston's Run to Remember,
Memorial Day Weekend 2012
There was a brief pause for a PhotoOp, which was like this photo from 2011, but everyone was instructed to face the man with the camera, who was standing on the bridge behind us. This year, they didn't want a picture of the runners' backs or butts.

Speaking of butts, the laser treatments have been really effective. I had very little piriformis or semitendinosis pain, but I did have pain. Last Thursday, Coach had me scheduled for 4miles. My knee was giving out during that little 4mile run. It felt week and sore. This is the first time I have ever had knee pain, like this.

During my pre-race warm-up strides, my knee felt sore. I was soooo nervous. I didn't want my knee to give out and fall during the race. Ugh! I was shooting to finish in 1hour and 40minutes, no PR, just to get through. I was hoping to make the top 10 in the 40-49 age bracket.

The race course was very pretty, but of course, I am bias 'cause I LOVE Boston! It's such a great little city and I love all of its history - okay, yes, I'll admit, I love shopping on Newbury Street, too! Who doesn't? This race didn't go in that direction, though.

The race started at Boston's World Financial Center, went out toward Boston Harbor and the seaport area, and then continued out toward Cambridge and Harvard University. This was my only half where I actually eavesdropped on two men having a conversation about research on aging endurance runners. There I was, right by Harvard, when these two men passed me, and on the back of their shirts: HARVARD. Where else would you hear people talking about research while running in a half marathon, than Boston's Half through Cambridge, by Harvard University ...and it was research on endurance runners, apparently, "the only one of its kind". It was classic. Even suffering from the progressively worsening knee pain, I started to crack up!

A lot of the race was on Memorial Drive, which follows along the Charles River. It was very pretty. Coming back, the race took you passed the public gardens. By that time, it was pretty hot and humid. There was a little shade by the gardens, which offered a nice little reprieve.

Along the way, I think we crossed about three bridges. These were really the only hills - otherwise, the course was pretty flat. Still, with a bum knee, out and back over the bridges added up and by the last bridge, Seaport Blvd Bridge, I was in lots of pain. The last mile would not have been manageable had it not been for Side-kick and my two kids cheering me on. With the beautiful skyline ahead of me and a terrific crowd with lots of people screaming and cheering, I pushed forward. I really just wanted to give in to my knee pain, and walk, but I heard someone yell, "Finish Strong!" I held on to that and kept repeating it, until I crossed the finish.
I finished in 1:42.
Not my best race. 
No PR.
Somehow I managed to be in the top 10%! 
Not bad for having a bum knee. 

There were lots of goodies at the end to celebrate each runner's ability to finish Boston's 1/2marathon. I grabbed my medal ...
Massachusetts, State #10!
...hobbled over to the food line and grabbed a raisin bagel, a packet of peanut butter and a coconut water. Then, I hobbled over to the Red Cross Station. They were really busy! Lots of dehydrated runners and people with heat exhaustion. I felt guilty being there - I just wanted some ice for my knee. It was hard making my way through the crowd to the Red Cross station - it felt (and still feels) like the nerves on the inside of my knee are rubbing against each other and it's really painful to walk. Thank you to the nurses at the Red Cross station - you were all so kind and helpful and wow, did you ever have your hands full!

I don't know how I ran that half. Side-kick told me that when he saw me, I looked as if I were in pain - I was doing some sort of hobble/run move. Our bodies are just so amazing - they try so hard to keep going, even when rest is needed.

Well, it is time to take some time off from running. I have another 1/2 in June, in Vermont, and I am really hopeful I can run, but we will see. For now, I have a doctor's appointment, on Friday, which was the earliest one I could get! Until then, I'm icing my knee - 3minutes on, 3 minutes off - to get the blood to circulate for healing and a quick recovery, but more importantly, I am reflecting on another great half and time spent with my family!
Mini-man, Girlfriend and Side-Kick:
People watching on Boylston St!
Above all, I'm staying optimistic!
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