Sunday, December 5, 2010

Reminiscing About Boston 2004

Apparently, midriff tops were acceptable in 2004.

There have been so many blogs I've read lately that have mentioned the Boston Marathon.  So many runners are starting to get ready for their 2011 Boston training, some are making plans to have a blog meet up there, and so many are just so excited!  I'm so excited for them!

 A shout out to two of my favorite blog friends who will be running Boston :  The Hungry Runner Girl and Elkton Runner.  Reading their blogs tonight got me thinking about when I ran Boston in 2004 and made me want to go through old pictures and remember that time in my life. 

 I was 25 years old in 2004 and I was teaching 3rd grade at the time.  My husband and I were newly weds living in a cute little apartment in a trendy neighborhood in the city.  Life was full of adventure, travel and and possibilities!

When I qualified for Boston at my first marathon, I had no idea what it really meant or what to expect.  I just knew that I should probably  take advantage of the opportunity to run it when I could because who knew what turns life would take and when I'd have the chance again.  I am so glad I decided to run it!  It is one of my favorite memories and tonight I've decided to celebrate my memory of Boston by sharing some pictures to go along with this post. 

But first....HOW did 7 years already pass by since I ran this race??!  What?!  It seems like just yesterday!  I don't feel older than I did at 25.  I don't look any older either.  Ha, okay, so maybe a little bit but I can  tell myself whatever I want, right?  And nothing in life has really changed unless you count the 3 kids I've popped out, our move to the suburbs, our 7 years of marriage, my career change, and just a few major traveling experiences.  Not much at all.  I might as well still be 25! 

 But seriously, life goes by before we know it and it really is too short to not do what we love.  For so many of us on here, Running is a passion and when we can't run, life isn't as enjoyable.  Coming back from injury makes me so much more aware of what a special gift running is.  I understand now (after my first major injury) just how difficult it is for runners who can't run due to injury.  I'm also beyond thankful to be back and I'm excited to train for another marathon and hopefully run Boston again in 2012 or 2013.  I have not run a marathon since Boston.  Portland Marathon was going to be my 3rd and I was hoping to be in Boston in 2011.  I'm okay with everything that has happened though.  In fact, I'm convinced that my injury was a blessing in disguise (as most things in life are).  Because of my injury, I was challenged to truly reflect on my life, think about things I wouldn't have thought of otherwise, and realize the things that matter most.  I also learned some new things in the process, found other ways to exercise that I hadn't tried before, and I started this blog as an outlet!  So glad I did!  Oh, and because of my injury, I have a fire and determination in me that I never before had as an athlete...It will fun to see what I can do with it! 

Enough of the almost midnight ramblings.  Here are some photos of my Boston 2004 experience. 

Getting ready to head to the bus that took us to the holding area before the start.  I wish I still had some of that muscle in my quads!  Oh, and forget the muscle...where the heck did my boobs go?!  The ones in this picture are so far gone it isn't even funny!  Yes, that's right, nursing three kids and not having much to begin with really sucks it out of a girl!  Good thing my husband didn't marry me me for my perfect B cups because those are history folks!

Ha!  Check out those stylin' shorts!  

I'm pretty sure this is at the top of Heartbreak Hill.  My husband had the perfect spot!  I still can't get over how amazing it was to have sooooo many people cheering on the sidelines.  Every single step was filled with so much energy.  My first marathon was The Napa Valley Marathon where I pretty much ran alone on open roads through vineyards so this was such a different experience. 

So proud and JOYFUL to have finished!  3:32:35.   It was so fun to return to my third grade class on Monday.  They thought I was a superstar!  So cute.  The entire school had announced my progress throughout the race as they received news of it from my timing chip.  The librarian even taped it for the kids to watch.  The kids seriously thought that I was waaaaay better than I really was.  They thought that I won it or something and that they would actually see me on the race coverage!  So funny.   Adorable.  I loved seeing those little faces light up and hearing their shouts and cheers when I walked in the room.  It was all icing on the entire Boston experience. 

Getting dressed after the race.  So HIGH on Running!  Before the race, someone was passing around a marker and we all wrote our names on our body.  It was so cool to hear my name being shouted out from people along the sidelines.  It was as if they were all there just for me!

Ewwww, bloody shoes!  Definitely time to get some new ones! Shoes, not boobs. 

 And this is when I should have gone directly back to the hotel to take an ICE bath!  Instead I took a warm bath and went out on the town for the night.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.  I almost had to use a wheel chair in the airport on my way home because I hurt so badly but pride got in the way and I made my way onto the plane!  Next time...Ice bath!

A close up of my shoes.  I'm kind of glad that my toes were bleeding because doesn't the blood just look cool?! 

Okay, we really do look way younger here than we do now.  At least by a few years. 

And this one is just funny because woah, who dresses like that?  What a dork!  Really?  A jean jacket with jeans?  hmmm.  But note that I wore my medal out on the town.  Damn right!  I worked hard for that medal.  Ask me where it is now though and I probably couldn't tell you. 

Thanks for letting me share!  Thinking of all you blogger friends out there that are gearing up for Boston 2011 or working to qualify in the future! 

What is one of your favorite running or race memories?  Please share! 



  1. I love the pictures - what great memories. You will be back!

  2. Great post. I really enjoyed reading it. Especially the part about you being you being a star for your students!
    I hope you get back there soon.

  3. Great pics! The jean jacket with jeans-you would totally be in style in my town-ha! Oh God, I was totally laughing at the boob situation. ALL GONE here too-those kids and this running have just totally drained me of my womanhood!!

    Love hearing your Boston experience! Perhaps I'll see you there in 2012!

    My favorite running experience, my first half. At that point 13 miles was like an ultramarathon to me and I had only ever run 12. I set a goal before the race and beat it by 8 minutes. Just the ultimate feeling of satisfaction! I was on a high for a week and I swear I felt faster then than I do now...

    Really enjoyed this whole post-I enjoy ALL your posts!

  4. What a great recap! And don't worry, midriff tops WERE the rage in 2004, so you're fine. It seems like you had an amazing Boston experience. I will be a spectator again this year (2nd year in a row) and it's pretty amazing to watch. Maybe when I'm 80, I'll qualify!! :)

    My favorite race memory is at my 2nd half. My first half turned out with less than steller results so when my 2nd came around, I was a bit nervous. Halfway through the race I hadn't walked a step and I started to cry and thought, "holy @#$%, I can do this!" It ended up being a great race and I ran it faster than I had expected.

  5. I love your Boston story! My favorite race was my 2nd marathon - Portland 2006. I had a pretty miserable race in 2005 and my first thought after crossing the finish line was NEVER AGAIN.

    However, in 2006 I actually TRAINED appropriately and when I crossed the finish line, I didn't feel like stopping. I had a lot more in in me and felt like I could have run forever :-)

  6. That's awesome! I hope you make it back!
    I know what you mean about your kids at school. Mine were so excited after I came back from running my first half. I'm sure it wasn't anywhere near as cool as yours though since my race wasn't on TV. : )

  7. I absolutely LOVED reading your 2004 Boston adventure! I think those of us lucky to have run Boston will always have that first one embedded forever in our memories, I think it's part of who we are! :)

    Funny about the marker, I guess it's tradition b/c when I did it the first year (2009) someone told me it was a must-do. I didn't do it this year cuz I felt it unnecessary for how ill-trained I was, but that just made me laugh.

    Maybe one day we can do it together again :). And oh, my Boston medals are hanging on my dresser mirror, where they'll probably be forever! Hehe.

  8. You know what? I think I had those exact same shorts that you're wearing in the first picture, probably around the same time, too! I think running clothing has changed for the better, huh?

    What a great race recap! I'm sure you'll be back. And I love your perspective on an injury--there IS some value to take away from injuries, even though they suck!

  9. thank you so much for your comments and stories. I love hearing from you...these stories make me smile. Makes me remember when my husband came to see me in Iowa for my graduation from college (my boyfriend then) and a bunch of us decided to run 15 miles ot the next small town just for fun. Nobody was even near trained for it but we did it and felt awful and wonderful at the same time.

  10. I love this post! And the part about the 3rd graders at school cheering you on is too cute!

  11. What great pictures! You look adorable! What a neat experience to be able to share with your class, too. After doing my half marathon, another teacher friend of mine emailed me and said, "We should wear our shirts to school today and bring our medals." It was so fun to be able to show it to the kids...and explain to them that having a medal didn't mean I WON, just that I finished.

  12. awesome pictures!!!
    I hope to qualify some day. It would be cool to do it barefoot. So far my debut barefoot marathon was my best experience so far. I hope to PR next year now that I know what to expect :)
    Yep, nursing and running make for small boobies. I can attest to that. Less bounce to control in running though for the upside!

  13. AHHH!!! This is my favorite post ever! You got me so so excited. Girl, we WILL be meeting up for 2012 or 2013 Boston Marathon. P.S. can I PLEASE have your body. You are pure muscle. Time seriously does fly and 3 kids in 7 are a rock star. You don't look a day over 25 and I am glad you don't feel like you are either.
    LOVED the recap you got me super excited and I am so happy you are back in action!

  14. Kicking butt and taking names WITH 3 kids. Can I get a HECK yes?! Want to move to Santa Barbara and marathon train me (<;?

  15. It might be 7 years gone but I really enjoyed your report. Loved the picture of the shoes - they're shoes of a warrior.

  16. Thanks for the trip down memory lane! That's so cute your school kids got to watch you. :)

    My best race memory is of my first half, last year. Although i didn't meet my time goal, i still am proud of myself for even attempting to do it!

  17. What a great post! The pictures are awesome! Love the cool shorts and jean jacket! ha ha! :)

  18. such a great memory! I Love hearing about those memories. Bloody shoes and all, haha!
    My most memorable race....hmmm... It was probably my first triathlon I did. So clueless but fun, haha.

  19. Love this post! Thank you! You have some serious guns in these pics! So cute that your school announced your progress...

  20. I think you still look amazing! 3 kids, who?!

    What an experience to be able to qualify for and participate in Boston. And do so in a super finish time! wow!!!

    Great post!

  21. LOVE the photos esp the one of you barefoot. You made me even more excited for Boston. Now if I can just heal the damn hip. So...I am following you so watch your back.

  22. Oh I am SO EXCITED now!!!

    Your photos really tell a great story. As a former teacher, I can completely relate with what your cheering section at home was like. :) The funny thing is, that I taught high school, so the kids would have been too cool for that (unless it meant they got out of work somehow). ha. The photos from Eugene that I have on my RR are with 3 students who graduated in 99 and still keep touch with me on FB. They came to my race wearing viking horns! I have no idea what my support at Boston will be like since it's so far away. For sure, I know that my sister will come.

    You really crack me up about the boobs because as another mom of 3 (we have a few things in common, eh?) mine are in a similar state. :/ Legs are great though =D !

    How did your shoe get so bloody?

    I can't wait to get more tips/suggestions about this race from you. I am TOTALLY rooting for you to requalify too!!

    Thanks for the link to my blog. You are so kind!!

  23. That was such a fun post to read - and great photos! I love the bloody shoe! I had that happen to me during a run a few months ago, and I of course had to get pictures of it. It made me feel so hard core - even thought it didn't hurt at all and I didn't even realize it had happened until I saw bloody footprints in my house!

    You are just too cute - even if you do wear jean jackets with your jeans. ;)

  24. This is such a fantastic post! I'm running my first Boston this year and I can't wait to live this experience. Thanks for sharing and I love all of the reflecting...especially your denim tuxedo ;)

  25. I loved this recap!! Your picture captions are too funny! Here you are 8 years and 3 kids later doing it again and I guarantee you will smoke your old Boston time!