I think about the marathon every day, especially on days when I go running, and on those days, I tend to remember aspects that wouldn't come to me when, say, my mind wanders while reading If You Give a Mouse a Cookie for the third time in a row. For example, nearly every day I wonder if I could have finished, if the pain wasn't really that bad. That's why it was so essential for me to go until they put me on a stretcher (literally), because I knew I would have the nagging thought afterwards if I stopped at any moment before an EMT made the decision for me. And yet, I still have that question mark in my mind, even though my body, the race volunteers, and the EMTs gave me no choice.
On my run this evening, thinking these thoughts, I remembered my highest point in an otherwise excrutiating two and a half hours. The Wellesley women are legend at the Boston Marathon because of the unique "tunnel" of screaming and high fives they provide, a tunnel I could hear for several minutes before I could see it. The support these women provided was amazing, like nothing I'd ever experienced before -- vocal chords and lungs to compete with opera singers. I was thinking about how their encouragement must have carried me an extra couple miles, and then I remembered how my knee felt every time I raised my hand for a high five from one of them. A sharp and shooting pain stabbed my knee with each slap, and yet I kept doing it. Slap after slap after slap. Stab after stab after stab. This thought brought it all back. If a fairly tame high five could be felt in my knee (even when I was landing on my left leg), there probably wasn't much hope for finishing.
Still, knowing others have finished races with similar diagnoses, I keep wondering if...
Today's mileage: 2
Conditions: 80 degrees, sunny, dry