When your legs are tired, run with your heart

“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”  Isaiah 58:11

One of my dearest friends prayed this verse over me, and I don’t think it could have been more perfect for race day. Today was much warmer than usual, and there was a nice head wind. Through it all, I felt  strong, and I took hope in my Creator’s provision for me. I have been beyond blessed by friends and family supporting me as I’ve gotten back to training post-partum. I’ll write a race report later, but for now, I just want to get down a few of the highlights of the day.

I boarded the bus at 7:45 am, along with all of the Wave 3 folks. I had been awake since 5 am, so this felt like a late start to the day! It was obvious already that the day would be warmer than expected. The guy in the white and blue jacket shaking hands in the picture below is Dean Karnazes! How cool!

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The bus ride was abuzz with nervous excitement and singing. It took us about 30 minutes to get to Hopkinton, and the whole time I was thinking about how we had to run all the way back!

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Athlete’s Village was held at a school with big tents set up on a big lawn.

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There were runners everywhere doing everything from warm-up runs, special stretching (some moves I’ve never seen before!), eating,  and waiting for the bathroom. That’s where I fit in– waiting for the bathroom. The lines were so long and slow, but there was plenty of toilet paper and hand sanitizer. 🙂

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I brought my manual breast pump to the start after getting cleared with a medical device tag, and I was extremely pleased that I was able to utilize the medical tent with two other moms who were also breastfeeding. The volunteers were incredibly helpful, and they even provided much needed sunscreen. This is not my first race since I started breastfeeding, but it is the first race where I needed to pump at the race location without my car as an escape for privacy. My priorities and perspectives have all changed since having Cadence, and my body clearly puts her first. Despite my body running 26.2 challenging miles in the heat, I still pumped a total of 29 oz starting at 7 am until I showered after the race. I can’t help but wonder how much that expended energy costs my body while I am running. But it’s all worth it, and I am amazed that God created the female body to provide for our little babies! ❤

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At 10:05 am all of the Wave 3 runners left the Athlete’s Village and headed to the start. I’m not sure how far we walked, but it was a little hike. And the start area provided more Porta Potties, this time with no lines. I was in Corral 1, so I got to start near the front. I actually didn’t realize that we were at the start line when the gun went off. For some reason I thought that we still needed to walk to another start line. Either way, we all started running in a pack, and I wouldn’t have been able to run a fast start anyway. We were concentrated for about a mile or two, and then it thinned enough to run my pace with a little dodging.

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I’ll write a race report later, but I did finish with my goal accomplished at 3:24:05. The course was challenging with the hills stacked at the  end, plus heat and headwind. I was thirsty, and I know that my fluids were being diverted to make breast milk, as well as serving to cool me. But overall, I felt terrific and enjoyed every minute of every mile! It was really neat to run amongst other fast runners. And crowd support was phenomenal! I kept seeing signs that said “When your legs are tired, run with your heart,” which I think is a great race strategy.

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Jon was right at the finish with our adorable, perfect baby. I thought of them so much during the run. I am blessed beyond measure, and I think that running helps make me a better wife and mom.

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We had a good dinner without any wait for a table! There are a lot of locals out enjoying Marathon Monday too!

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So the Boston Marathon is complete, and we’ll go back to being tourists tomorrow before our flight. That is, assuming that I can walk. My legs are feeling the pain of a satisfying race, and I might lose my first toenail because of these Boston hills!

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