Thursday, May 10, 2012

When The Boston Marathon Gives You Lemons

Kim and her three cute kids

by Kim Arnett

It’s been a few weeks since I ran the Boston Marathon, which means I’ve had lots of time to think about the race and analyze it from a hundred different angles!  I think that interestingly enough, despite it being one of the most difficult races I’ve done, in some respects it was also one of the best.  

I remember looking at the weather report for Boston a few days before the race and realizing as the race inched closer that the forecast was indeed accurate and we were in for an unseasonably warm run.  I tried really hard to kind of discount that fact and tell myself a little heat was not a big deal.   Then, when I was told that for the first time ever, the marathon was offering “deferments” and race officials were actually encouraging non-qualified runners to not run, it was hard not to become a little anxious!

However, after finally accepting things for what they were, HOT, I decided to just enjoy the race for what it was…the Boston Marathon.  I allowed myself to really take-in the sights and sounds of the course.  It was so nice to stand in the staring corral and not feel the anxiety that I generally do.  Like most runners, I put lots of pressure on myself to make each race my best one yet!  Knowing that doing so was absolutely out of the question, I felt much more relaxed than I have at the beginning of any previous marathon.   

It was still very difficult.  The heat took its toll on many of us, including my nephew (an elite runner) who was pulled from the course at mile 22 and didn’t finish. There were a few times when I questioned my own ability to finish, but when I did finally cross, with my very loyal and dear running partner and friend, Barbara Brimhall right by my side, I experienced the same flood of tears that come at the end of every marathon.   

Whether you finish fast, slow, or somewhere in between, finishing a marathon is a tremendously gratifying experience.  That sense of satisfaction is what keeps me running marathons.  I’ve heard a few fellow runners say that the experience of running Boston in record hot temperatures has put them into retirement!  For me, my experience has left me hoping to have the chance to run that historic race again.  And if I do, rain or shine, I plan to enjoy every single step!

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