This past Monday I ran the Boston Marathon. Even though I can’t say I ran the time I wanted to run and felt that I had trained to run – I can hold my head up proudly and say that I think this was all in God’s plan.
After staying with a friend for one night in Boston we decided to switch to a hotel to make things easier. The hotel was a very short walk from the finish and right next to Treemont where I needed to load the buses for my ride to Hopkinton. To my excitement when we got the room key it said – 843 – the last 3 digits of my race number – 14843. When we got off the elevator and were walking to our room I looked directly at the room across from us 818. At this point even Eric said he might actually start believing me about this number thing. I felt this was a sign that I was going to have a great race.
Ultimately the wind and the hills proved too hard for me to run a PR that day but I still re-qualified for Boston by 35 seconds! I was beating myself up a little on Tuesday wondering if I shouldn’t have run the first half of the race at such a controlled pace – wondering if I should have just killed it in the beginning because I had died at the end regardless(though I did run my last miles stronger than I did at MCM). It was only until I looked up my race results and my placing among the 26,000 plus other runners who finished – that I realized that God does indeed have a plan for me and my life – I finished 1,843 in my division.
I can truly say that Boston is the greatest marathon and what makes it so special is qualifying for it. It was remarkable being in a city where there were so many fit people – so many people who had trained so hard just to get to this point – so many people who had a common love for running.
Here are some things that I saw/learned/felt this weekend –
1. I got to run next to Bill Rodgers – not only did I feel like a champion – I was running with one
2. The only time I cried during the race was when I ran past Team Hoyt (www.teamhoyt.com) – they are the truest definition of parental love that I have ever seen. TRULY REMARKABLE
3. I am a Boston Finisher
4. I am a two time Boston Qualifier
5. I have four of the very best friends(Amy, Sarah, Claire & Ashley) in the world – they continue to teach me what friendship is all about
6. You do feel cool just being in Boston! At the expo Eric asked me if I wanted him to hold my bag – I said “NO I sort of want to feel cool walking around with it”
7. Through my jobs at Moving Comfort (www.movingcomfort.com) and Brooks (www.brooksrunning.com) I have met and become friends with some of the nicest most caring people on this planet
8. Without my friends and family’s help and support I never would have been able to train during the winter with two kids for this race. There should be an * after my name that reads *Ashley Lowrey, Lesley Cranshaw, Jessica Thoburn
9. I am honored to be a part of the Saucony Hurricane Team (www.saucony.com) – Hearing everyone cheer for me at mile 20 put a little extra spring in my step
10. My husband gets dad of the year award for dealing with a crazy almost one year old for 26.2 miles – Miles literally lept into my arms minutes after I finished (he’s a little attached!)
11. Boston is pretty much the only marathon where the course stays the same – this means you literally run in the footsteps of generations of runners – it also means anyone who has run it before completely understands any and all stories you tell about the course
12. I like HILLS – these hills will humble you
13. Anyone who tells you that the first part of the course is easy because it is downhill has clearly never run Boston before.
14. The Boston Marathon is the most organized and efficient race I have ever run – if only the BAA could run our government!!!
15. I having been rockin my Adidas Boston Track Jacket all week (Thanks Craig!!) The tags stayed on it till after I finished the race – got to earn the gear before you can wear it!
16. A truly great friend helps you to not feel embarrassed in a very embarrassing situation (Thanks Andrea!)
17. I had a blast and can’t wait to run Boston in the future even though on Tuesday I felt like my thighs had been hit multiple times with a sledge hammer
18. Nothing beats a home town marathon.
19. I think running a marathon is harder than giving birth – when you are in pain you can get an epidural
20. It’s a special thing to be able to say I ran the Boston Marathon with my mom
21. Running changed my life – it continues to change my life – I am finally a runner girl and not just a girl who runs
22. A true friend texts you and say’s – It’s okay Kara Goucher didn’t PR either – you are still amazing
23. Have I mentioned lately that I love running? Frank Shorter once said “You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can’t know what’s coming.” I’ve already forgotten and can’t wait for MCM ’09
24. Hopkinton – Ashland – Framingham – Natick – Wellesley – Newton – Brookline – Boston – 8 out – 1 Day – 8 back
25. I hate tapering – I hate recovering – but they are a small price to pay for running a marathon – especially Boston
26. April 20th – the day Eric and I got engaged – I can think of no better way to celebrate than running since really that’s how we met
26.2 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”