Thursday, April 18, 2013
This was to be one of the biggest days of my life, second only to my Ironman Louisville back in August of 2012. I trained the hardest I have ever trained, made sure that every training session fulfilled its purpose and was meant to make me faster and stronger. I used recovery days just as much as my training days. The days leading up to the Marathon were some of the best, it was stress free enjoying friends, the atmosphere of Boston, and the overall experience that was the Boston Marathon. I met my friends Berly and Corky and toured some of Boston as well as spent some time around the Health and Fitness Expo. Carlos came into town, where we again toured some of Boston and spent some more time at the Expo.
I also got to meet someone that, little does she know, is a motivational force behind me as well. Melissa Black, a friend/client of mine in the Mass area. We spent some time chatting and then drove the course, something that I must say was the nicest thing anyone could have done. We stopped to take some photos at the Hopkinton, It All Starts Here sign. Finally, went and had my pre-race sushi dinner! All in all, it was a great couple days leading up to the final event.
I woke up Monday morning to feel the best I had in a very long time. I felt ready, fully prepared, and ready to have an amazing race day experience. Spent some time taking it all in at the start and athlete village. Walked up to the Start and off I went. It was by far the most crowded start of any race I have every taken part in. There was no way that I could have kept up with my 7:05 mile pace. I believe the first 4-5 miles were in the 8 minute plus range as I ran around people, over guardrails, around bystanders, through mud and water, and anything else I needed to dodge to get ahead of the pack. Finally, around mile 6 it broke loose and I was able to keep my 7 minute pace. I enjoyed every moment of it, smiling ear to ear for most if not all of the race. I was still having the best race of my life. Pain free, felt great through the whole race. I stopped to enjoy a popsicle and some gummie bears to help me fuel along with gatorade and water. I never stopped to walk, taking time to run over to Carlos as I saw him in the crowd. As I approached Heartbreak Hill, Berly came out to run a little with me. It was great to see her, and as I told her, I felt amazing! I couldn't have asked for a better race experience.
As I continued to head towards the finish, passing along Wellesley College was amazing! There were 1000's of girls holding signs that said Kiss Me I am Graduating, Kiss Me I Code, and Kiss Me I am Horny! Their screams and cheers helped to push me to run even faster! Finally, as I approached Boston College, I looked over to see the Medical staff of BC Eagles EMS with my MERET line of products, brought a smile to my face! Then, as I counted down the miles, I saw the CITGO sign, knowing that I had a mile left. I pushed even harder, hugging the left side of the course. Finally, making that last turn onto Boylston where I could see the finish line! I pushed hard, my face hurting from the massive smile I had on my face! I knew the finish was near, and yes I might have missed my BQ, but I was to finish the 2013 Boston Marathon with a 12 minute Personal Best! It was 2:30pm EST and I finished in 3 hours and 25 minutes (3:25:08). Medical stopped me as I looked around the finish line aimlessly for Carlos. I told them I was ok, but would be even better with 100 of Fentanyl and 1000cc of IV Fluids. I then proceeded to get my mylar blanket, as the wind really picked up at the finish. We then hit water and gatorade, our medals, and finish line photos! I finally saw Carlos and walked over to give him a hug. He walked me outside the fence to the morning clothes buses where I grabbed my bag, some food, and then headed to the change tent to put on my race hoodie and some pants. On the backside of the medical tent and about to exit the secure zone, we heard and felt the first explosion. I immediately looked over to Carlos and said, "In my previous career, I would be worried. That was a bomb!" No sooner did I say that, that we then heard and felt the second explosion. We were exactly 2 blocks from the finish line where the first bomb went off. With the second explosion, I told Carlos that we needed to go help and we ran to the medical tent to assist, identifying myself as a Paramedic. We were there as they loaded the first patient from the explosion, a young man missing both legs, into a waiting ambulance. At that point, we were told as athletes, their number one priority was to get us to safety by a Boston Marathon Security person. We were then forced to evacuate to Boston Commons.
Carlos and I walked around aimlessly, just in awe that this had occured. To this day, I still can't believe that this still has occurred. With all public transportation shut down, not a cab in sight, we walked the long 7 miles back to our hotel in Cambridge. We tried to respond to the over 100 text messages, emails, voicemails, and countless Facebook Notifications we both had. Still in shock, we showered and headed to Harvard Square to get some food. Just about every place in town was closed down. We finally found something to eat and spent the evening talking about our days experiences. While at first I was certain that a Boston race would not be in my future, I have decided that I will race in 2014! Bring on my BQ! I have had several sleepless nights, nightmares, and just an overall sense of sadness since Monday. I know that I will slowly get over it, but it takes time. I appreciate the thoughts, concerns, and messages from all my friends. I really enjoyed being able to share in not giving up and support Boston with my 9News Commercial with Susie Wargin. Yet another step in the healing process. I know that if I ran 12 minutes slower, or if Carlos had not been mugged and was at the finish line waiting on me, this message might have been different. I guess someone was looking after me on that day. I live to race again, I live to help others reach their goals, and I live to support those affected by this senseless tragedy.