Mission Accomplished

The 2019 Boston Marathon

April 17, 2019

Now that I have had a day of rest, which I took full advantage of, I can now sit back, look at the pictures, and reflect on Monday.

On the drive to Hopkinton, it was pouring, with thunder and lightning that lit up the dark sky. I hid close to the start line, trying to keep calm and stay dry, stressing about what to wear, and what I could live without on the course.As the waves left the start, and my time got closer, the nerves kicked in. When it was time to head outside, it was sunny, humid, and HOT! Way hotter than anyone had predicted. I thought I was doomed.

I stood at the start, in a massive crowd, and then someone said... there it is, there's the line, are you ready? I almost fell over. As I crossed the line, I hit start on my watch, and play on my iPod. It's go time.

The first few miles went by quickly. It was crowded, loud, and the road was littered with clothes people decided they could do without. Around mile 4, I started to get some breathing room, there were so many people, I couldn't believe it.

I was soaked by mile 5, and feeling good. I was on time to meet my goal of finishing in under 6 hours. Around mile 8, I started to think that all of my clothes were going to overheat me, so at mile 10, I took off a layer and left my sweaty rags with a friend on the side of the road. Poor Megan, I feel bad that I gave her my sweaty shirt!

At mile 11, I bumped into more friends enjoying what was a beautiful day for the spectators, and a hot and sunny day for the runners.

By mile 14, I was starting to have doubt. This was the same mile mark that I hit my low point during my 20 miler, so I knew just what to do... I phoned my BF. He told me he was at mile 20, and waiting for me. He said "you're doing great, I'm following your progress, keep it up! I'm proud of you".

As I reached the famous hills in Newton, the weather changed. It got cold, windy, and it started to rain. Why wouldn't it? It's only the toughest part of the course?!?

At mile 20, there was a group from Home Base there cheering us on, and there was my BF. He hugged and kissed me, took pictures, and emptied my hands of all of the stuff I didn't want to carry anymore. I had to go, I couldn't stop moving. "Only 6 more miles" they said, it seemed like an eternity!

At mile 22, I saw them go by me on the T. They waved and took pictures, as I smiled on the outside, and cried on the inside. 4 more miles... How am I going to finish this?

All along the way, the first responders yelled for me. The cops, paramedics, National Guardsmen, and fire fighters were so amazing. I couldn't have finished without them!

At mile 24, I saw the Citgo sign in the distance. It was beautiful! I am now 100% convinced that it should be preserved, and not because of the skyline, or that you can see it from inside Fenway. It is a beacon of hope to every runner that has ever tackled our marathon. I crossed mile 25, and there it was, up close! I was in Kenmore Square!!! 1 mile to go... the longest mile yet! The dip under Mass. Ave was like climbing Everest. I thought it would never end. And then... there was Hereford!

A man stood on the corner with a sign that said "Right on Hereford. Left on Boylston". This was it... the moment I dreamed about ever since I entertained the idea of running Boston. This was the bucket list moment! I couldn't run up Hereford, even though it wasn't that steep an incline, I was exhausted. When I stepped onto Boylston street, I stood in the middle of the road, in awe. I was hysterically crying by this point. It was overwhelming. I had nothing left. My brain needed an extra few seconds to process what was happening!

I heard a voice yell "Carrie"... it was a fire fighter friend across the street. He asked "You Good?" and I answered back "Yup!" and then, as if to snap me out of my haze, he yelled "Well go get it!", and I was off. I ran as far as I could, maybe a block or 2. I just couldn't move, my knees had been bothering me since mile 15 or so. I walked a bit, and realized that the finish was a block away. I couldn't walk it, I couldn't let the course beat me. So, I started running, and I heard my name get announced over the PA system, and the crowd cheered. I crossed the line, but kept running anyway, and someone had to tell me to stop, "It's over, you're done, you can stop running" he said.

My cousin grabbed me and hugged me. He pointed out my Mom, sister, and cousins who were watching from in front of Marathon Sports. They were behind what will be part of the permanent memorial to the bombing victims of 2013. 6 years ago, on that very same day, someone elses family was standing there and tragedy struck. Now, 6 years later, my family was there. The moment hit me hard.

I hugged the woman who gave me my medal, and was wrapped in the famous foil blanket, and made my way down to the finish line party where everyone was waiting for me. I am still in awe of the people that were around me that day. The runners, volunteers, first responders, and spectators. It was one of the toughest, and proudest days of my life. I will never forget it!

There is a reason why our marathon is special. Why people from around the world come here on the 3rd Monday in April. It's special. And this year I was a part of it. That will live in me forever.

Thank you Boston, for not letting me down. You were everything I had dreamed you would be, and more. I love you! #MistressRunsBoston