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Inspired Living

Double Boston Marathon

Sarah Stanley

Some call it crazy, insane, freak, nuts, badass, or animal. They are really all words for "I want to be just like you" Why on earth would someone want to run 26.2 miles, let alone twice, and to top it all off, the famous Boston Marathon course? Because this girl is so freaking passionate about kids, health & fitness, she decided to run the Boston Marathon. Twice. Having just run a tough 50miler 9 days before hand, it was going to be a real challenge. But childhood obesity needs awareness & thus the double, an epic day was on.

As you know, Laura Yasso & I were chatting via Facebook 6 days before the Boston Marathon & mentioned the double option. After I arrived in Boston Thursday I talked with Mark G & 2 minutes later, I confirmed I would indeed make the epic trek from Boston to Hopkinton and repeat.

On Sunday I met up with Josh Cox, Andy Baldwin, Michael Chitwood. For some reason my Hammer Nutrition Perpetuem was not in my race bag. Needless to say I panicked. Thankfully Josh is sponsored by PowerBar and hooked me up. Thanks Josh!

Michael, Andy, me, Josh

While everyone else was having dinner & eating bon-bons, I was tucking myself into bed at 6:30pm. Thank god for really heavy shades.

Woke up at midnight because I kept thinking that the 3 alarms I set wouldn't go off. Dork.

3:30am finally came & I heated water in the coffee pot for my oatmeal. It never really got hot, so I ate half cooked oatmeal. Yummy.

Slathered on the Vaseline, got my fuel ready, looked longingly at the bed wishing I could crawl back in and knowing when I did so I would in serious pain.

4:30am, 32 degrees. Marathon Monday. Patriots Day. Double Boston Marathon day. Bring it.

4:45am. It was early. Nothing was open. Not that I drink coffee, but when the city is empty it just feels slightly lonely. Made my way to the finish line, um, start line.

Finish line at 4:30am

There were 5 (I think, brain is still fuzzy) guys that were also running a double. Translated, that means I was the only woman running it this year. Thanks Laura for leading the way:) She and Bart started this "tradition" in 2001. After a few photos, chilly hello's and a few pleas to go back to bed, we were off at 5am. The guys took off. Laura & Richard hung with me for a few miles as they were fun running 15 miles or so. A garbage truck almost took me & Laura out in the first 300 yards or so. No, we didn't scream, we just ran for our lives:)

About 3 miles in, Laura had to make a potty stop and they told me to keep on running. More like a slow trot, but whatever. It was fun to watch the sun come up, although it was behind me. The trees were beautiful. Grass was green (thanks to the 11 inches of rain the previous day).

Lovely trees on the way out

I was posting updates via Twitter & Facebook. I'll post them here for your amusement.

5:31am. 30min into double #bostonmarathon. Twill be a long day

6:02am. Running past people's cars getting towed. Oops.

Because I am used to running for hours, I will admit that the first hours are like running in a twilight zone. A very slow & painful twilight zone.

7:01am. Monday Fun Fact. I am the only woman running a Double Boston Marathon in 2010. [I believe this qualifies me as a badass.]

Now 2 hours in to the run & I ditched the sweatshirt. I kept the gardening gloves Laura gave me. Thank god. My hands are always cold.

8:05am 15miles in. Tad on the tired side. Very lonely out here. Getting water when I can.

This was not only a solo 26.2 jog, but to top it off, was also a self supported run. Not the easiest thing in the world. I planned the best I could, but one can only carry so much GU, water, fuel along with my dear blackberry of course.

I saw 2 guys up ahead at one point. With a water bottle. I ran up beside them & with one breathe told them what I was doing & 2 seconds later I had fresh water. Yay.

8:23am. @richroll And keep an eye on @sarahstanley doin a double Boston 52.4!

8:26am. 52.4miles to raise awareness for childhood obesity

8:43am. You can't be shy when running long, slow AND solo. Just pawned off a banana & 3 bites of a bagel from some kind person. [ My eyes were running faster then my legs. I tried to spot people with grub WAY before I reached them. Poor things. They had no clue that their breakfast was about to become mine. ]

Thankfully as time went on people were setting up chairs, tents, couches (yes, seriously) and other paraphernalia.

8:45am. Thank for ALL your @'s means much. I'll finish one of these hours:) [the @'s I received were my source of encouragement. Really kept me going. If you are reading this and sent one, thank you, thank you, thank you].

Prime real estate

9:02am. Just passed the 10k point. Saw the elites fuel bottles. Cool! [This was neat. I didn't have a chance to snap a photo, but I wished I ran back & took one. I was afraid the elite bottle police would arrest me:) ]

I knew I had to somehow pick the pace up. My legs were not getting with the program! GRR.

Because the route is mostly closed at this point on Patriots Day, cyclists must plan an annual cycling event because at least 877.456 bikes passed me. I was ready to ask for a ride. Talk about torture!

A group of teen girls were having bagels. With cream cheese. Strawberry cream cheese at that. Heaven. I made that bite last a very long time.

9:18am These next 5miles are going to be the death of me!

9:44am. Wheelchair runners passing me on the way to boston. Almost to MY half way point.

9:59am. I can the sounds of the Athletes Village. Music to my ears. About damn time!

This is where things began to get interesting. The first wave went off at 10am. It took me longer to run then I estimated (can you say 50miler 8 days previous were haunting me?!). I heard and saw the fighter jets go over head. And while super cool, I knew I was in trouble. 10 seconds later I was faced with a crowd of guys. Running straight AT me.

I saw Ryan Hall & shouted "go Ryan!". That was wicked cool. Then the real joy began. I stuck to the left hand side because well, I had no other choice. By this time I was ready to kill the next person who told me I was going the wrong way. And the herd of boys did not disappoint. They shouted everything you can think of at me.

As if running 25 miles solo isn't bad enough, picture the last mile running against 15 thousand super speedy people, men peeing on you (why they have to go 13 seconds in to the race always baffles me), crawling over uber excited spectators, getting smacked it the torso & face from high fives and navigating rocks, bushes, briar's,  valley's and ditches, well, I was glad that mile was done. And I made it out alive. Barely.

10:25am. Made it to Hopkinton about 15min ago. My drop bag is MIA. Shoot. Had to run against the 1st wave cause I was slow:(

So I arrived at Athlete's Village. Or so I thought. Later I figured out that it was Spectators Village. Oops. I went over to the Medical Tent where my drop bag a friend had left for me. Or so I thought. The Medical Tent was a grass plot. I was SO looking forward to the PB & J. Damn it! I felt fine. Well, as good as one can feel about just running 26.2 miles only to do it all over again in about 9 seconds. I wandered around, trying to snag food. One lady gave me $5.00 ( I guess I won after all. Ha!) I came upon a shutter tent & they really hooked me up. I had a banana, fiber bar, chocolate chip cookie & some water. Before you judge, I needed calories. Remember I had 26.2 miles STILL to go.

I knew I needed salt. I saw 3 boys with a big bowl of fresh French Fries. With Salt. I was in luck. I walked over, told them I needed some and grabbed a handful. Yeah, that's how I roll.

10:28am. Scored $5 bucks for food & a LOT of "OMG". I feel ok. Ready for the 2nd half!

I heard the 10:30am start wave go off & I made my way over to the runners. Now the real test was going to happen.

10:28am. Back on the course. 1st mile done. Right leg not having fun. I'm still smiling though:)

11:23am. Someone told me for running 30 miles I still look beautiful. Little things in life!

I knew I still needed food, so I was looking for spectators along the route. With food. They were super awesome.  I will always remember ripping off a slice of bread & asking for salt. They dumped it in my hand. And I had to lick it up. Yummy.

After I left the self induced aid station, some dude shouted at me "taking a lunch break?". Wrong thing to say buddy. I told I just ran a marathon, and "be careful what you say". I don't think he will ever forget it either!

My right leg really started bothering me. And by bothering me, I mean stabbing pain. It was already injured from the previous run. I knew that the 22 miles would be hell. And they were.

11:46am. Sad fact Marathon Monday I am super slow today. Shocker. However I don't care! :)

12:20pm. I would do anything for a pb&j right now. Mile 34+ Its a beautiful day. Simply awesome out!

As the miles wore on, my run became a jog, which turned into a hobble.

1:11pm. Crazy. Insane. Freak. Its ok if people call me names. I know I'm doing the right thing.

This guy was amazing!

1:12pm. And FTR being at the back of the pack is kind of cool:)

Since I wasn't going for any world records (hey, I was already the only women and won $5 bucks!) I decided to "enjoy" (read with a grain of salt) and talk with kids along the way. I was doing this for them after all. And this was the highlight of my run. While besides getting peed on of course.

These girls were so inspired by what I was doing!

It was awesome to be able to chat with kids and teens along the route back. I will do this again for this very fact alone.

Encouraged them to be active!

The miles wore on and so did my discomfort. All I wanted to do was sleep. Get another right leg. And eat a PB & J!

1:41pm. I love you guys/girls. Feeling very tired right now & your replys are really helping me. Keep em coming please:) 3/4 done

1:58pm. Mile 40 or mile 14 Boston finish line can't come soon enough!

Big kid at heart fan

The weather changed. The sun was now clouds and a slight breeze. Thankfully I was able to score a random jacket on the ground so I wore that.

1:59pm. My face hurts from smiling so much:)

Didn't know I ran to NOLA!

These people actually made this for the race! How cool is that?!

2:19pm. It should also be noted I ran #50miles 9 days ago. Perhaps that's why my legs/body are protesting right now:)

2:48pm. I'd kill for a chair, nap or anything doesn't involve my legs being the main source of power:)

Love the kids!

3:11pm. Today is an epic day:) just wanted to use that word, haha!

Sadly they didn't pick up hitchhikers :(

The pain wore on and the miles loomed ahead. Why didn't they move already? Running mile after mile with no familiar faces to cheer you on, wave a sign at you or give you a pat on the back.........I was starting to feel very emotional. And yes I cried. I was in major pain, damn finish line was NOT in sight and all I wanted was a hug for Pete's sake. God must have heard my plea because I was running up heartbreak hill and a little 5 year boy ran over to me and gave me not one, but TWO kisses. Hershey Kisses. Before you get all critical, just try running MANY miles without support. Yeah, I thought as much. His dad ran hobbled along me, gave me a pat on the back & told me to go get 'em. It was just what I needed. Thank you to them!!

2 kisses!

To be honest the hills were not as bad as I thought they would be. But that's probably because I have run many hills that were much, MUCH worse.

I was fading fast and just wanted to get the hell done. And with that I posted my last tweet.

3:47pm. I need a hug. Like 1 million actually.

All I remember was trying to run, but being forced to hobble. Crap. Crap. Crap. My goal was to get to the Citgo Sign. Because when you reach THE sign, it is exactly 1.2miles to the finish line.

1.2miles to go!

The sign seemed to loom in the distance. But with time, I FINALLY reached it. A few people were still out cheering for us stragglers. I for one, was happy about that. I must have looked rough because quite a few people kept asking me if I was okay. A few guys shouted "go baby go" and "come on sweet heart, almost there!". It was great to hear those words. I was too tired & in to much pain to even explain that I was on mile 50. I high five'd a the few folks that put their hands out. Barely made a connection.

And then, I knew Boylston Street (finish line) was right under my nose. I rounded the corner and there she was. The FINISH line. Home sweet home baby. Home sweet home.

11:56:23hours, 52.91miles

I actually ran 52.91 miles in 11:56:23 hours. And it sure felt like it!

I did it!! 52.4miles

Reward.

My feet are very happy to be done. No amount of Vaseline could help them. Poor babies.

Best. Medal. Ever.

It was great to finish. And to get the most coveted medal ever. How I love thee! I had to drag myself back to the hotel. I was really in bad shape. I made a promise to myself to never do an ultra with out having someone with me. That night I had two allergic reactions. Not being able to breath or swallow is kind of scary. I think even the hotel was scared. I posted this before I went to bed:

I'm not doing any more races "solo". I need someone to pull my socks off. Applicants will be selected very carefully:)

After a fitful night, I did wake up. A long recovery road ahead. I tore the muscles behind my knee. But even though I was (and am) in pain, I would do it again in a heartbeat. I know that besides kids lives being changed, kids at heart were too. And that is why I do crazy, insane, nutty distances and challenges. I'm not fast (not yet anyway), but its my passion for helping others that drives runs me.

And that my friends is a Double Boston Marathon EPIC race recap. I'm going to pass out now. Cheers!

 

Post photo by Randy. The rest by yours truly :)