Post Boston Marathon – Quick Reflection and Many Thanks

Wow, what a ridiculous, incredible, unforgettable day April 16, 2018 was. I was able to take in and be in the moment several times while running the marathon, but all the emotion really hit me yesterday. I have honestly never been more proud of myself and more grateful and humbled by all the people who love and support me.

Thank You

First, I have to thank everyone who donated to my marathon fundraiser. You glorious, generous, humans with hearts of gold helped me raise a grand total of $13,508 for IMPACT Melanoma. Together our 36 Team Running for Cover members raised $368,588. THAT IS SO MUCH MONEY FOR SO MUCH GOOD!

I have to give an extra special thank you and shout out to all of brave souls who ventured out in the atrocious weather only to watch me run by for like 10seconds. I mean honestly, temps were in the 30-40s, there was constant rain and often torrential downpours with chilling headwinds gusting up to 40 mph. If you asked me, I’d much rather run in that weather than STAND in it. So now I know that I have some of the best fucking friends and family in the world because only  love and true friendship would possess a person to do something crazy like that. The cheers and signs were priceless and it really powered me forward from mile 17 and on. From the depths of my soul, I THANK YOU, I LOVE YOU ALL! Vicky’s posters got destroyed by rain but hers said “Fuck Melanie” and then “P.S. I miss understood the assignment.” Hirsch, Jack, Rachel, & Claudia had a sign that read “Just Keep Schwamming” which is fucking fantastic. Still collecting images and photos of my supporters and signs but here’s what I have so far:

Thank you to everyone who followed me on the app and sent me encouraging texts throughout the day, every single one made me smile.

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On behalf of all the Boston Marathon runners out there – I’d like to thank all the other spectators and college students who braved the weather. The crowds were astoundingly thin especially miles 1-12 so the people who were out there, I can assure you we fucking needed you and you guys showed up. Thank you for responding to my waving arms and shouting of nonsensical things with words of encouragement. Around mile 21 I yelled at a particularly glum-looking group of spectators “I had active cancer last year, LETS FUCKING GO” and they went nuts and then I ugly cried for like 1/4 mile – thank you glum spectators, I REALLY needed that release. Thank you to the volunteers who stood in the rain and opened gu packets for me when my fingers were no longer functional and kept me (over)hydrated – I had to stop to pee TWICE on the course and I’ve never once stopped during my 4 months of training. Thank you to the random spectators in the crowd who gave me hand warmers (LIFE SAVIOR) and even helped me shove my hands back in my gloves. Thank you to IMPACT Melanoma and Team RFC for providing me an opportunity to support a cause I care so intensely about while also allowing me to check off a lifelong bucket list item.

Thank you to my parents for raising me to be a strong, independent, goal-driven woman and for trekking around Boston in the rain to see me at mile 17 AND the finish line. Thanks to my brothers for toughening me up and cheering me on from afar. Thank you to Lege’s family who has been so amazing and supportive and also stood in the rain with incredible home-made signs. Not pictured is Casey who made me an AMAZING t-shirt, which will soon be on display.

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Finally, a super special thank you to Lege, who had to deal with my weather, wardrobe, ice bath, fundraising, and injury hysteria for 4 straight months and he STILL wants to marry me. His cheers/antics at mile 13 were so alarming that a literal stranger documented our rendezvous without being asked and then promptly sent it to Lege.

As for my time, my original goal was to finish with an average pace of under 10 min/mi. When the weather forecast showed unforgivable rain/wind and I had a couple late tweaky injuries, I decided I wasn’t going to focus on my time but rather enjoy the spirit of the Boston Marathon and try to hug and high-five almost everyone that came out to support me. I am so glad I did that and I wouldn’t change a thing. I ended up with a final time of 4:23:04 at an average pace of 10:02 which included 2 whole bathroom breaks and many other stops for hugs and hand-warmers. I even stopped at most hydration stations after choking at my first 6 attempts to drink from a cup while running or walking fast. Even though my average pace for long training runs were a full minute faster, this just sets me up to PR at my next marathon 😉 I couldn’t have accomplished any of this without all of you, so thank you all.

Other highlights and pearls from 26.2 miles

  • I accidentally smiled at guy holding a sign that said “smile if you sharted” I started shouting excuses at him but he wasn’t having it.
  • I seriously considered peeing my pants at mile 22 after holding it since mile 17. I didn’t want to stop because I was afraid of having to wait in line at a porto potty and becoming hypothermic. Also you guys, nobody would have noticed because it was monsooning out there #dontjudgeme. Luckily for my dignity, it turns out I am unable to pee and run at the same time, which convinced me I should just find a porto-potty because standing there peeing in the middle of the street at the Boston Marathon just wasn’t something I could do. I found a vacant porto-potty at mile 23, in case you were wondering, I made it.
  • I saw a guy running barefoot, but that was at mile 4.
  • I underdressed for the first time at the marathon in my 4 months of training where I constantly overdressed
  • my legs started hurting at mile 10. woof
  • One of the hardest parts for me was having to literally run away from my friends and family after just seeing them. I like, wanted to hang and chat but it turns out there’s no time for that in a marathon.
  • I ran a total of 420 miles from January to April 16th
  • I still can only walk down stairs going backwards 2 days s/p marathon
  • I initially wasn’t going to buy a marathon jacket because the color is just so terrible. After I realized it was socially unacceptable to wear my medal the day after the marathon, I went and got a jacket and haven’t taken it off since.
  • signs that said “never trust a fart” & “just keep swimming” made me smile
  • all the signs and supporters pictured below

More blog posts coming soon

Believe it or not I have a blog post in the works that details my marathon adventures and reflections in more depth. I actually still have to graduate NP school this month, so that blog post will be coming in a couple of days. I also have a long overdue Camp Koru post as well. For now, enjoy these photos of my experience. Videos will be posted on facebook (because I can’t post them on here) curteousy of my parents.

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3 thoughts on “Post Boston Marathon – Quick Reflection and Many Thanks

  1. Lauren Miller

    Thanks for the wonderful post, Elana. You are amazing! I’m so proud of you and all your accomplishments, the Boston Marathon being one of them.

    Lauren

    >

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  2. Dee Keating

    Hi Elana , Wow well done! A warm congratulations from us both, up here in the still-snowy North! Dee and Brian Keating

    On Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 6:54 PM Schwaming Cancer wrote:

    > schwambomb posted: “Wow, what a ridiculous, incredible, unforgettable day > April 16, 2018 was. I was able to take in and be in the moment several > times while running the marathon, but all the emotion really hit me > yesterday. I have honestly never been more proud of myself and” >

    Like

    Reply

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