By the time I went to sleep on Sunday night, the rain had become pretty steady and still was when I woke up. I packed up the last of my belongings and turned on the tv to watch the beginnings of marathon coverage. They were saying nothing new, so I went ahead and grabbed all my bags and left them with the front desk of the hotel and headed towards the T.
I managed to get to the commuter rail station just in time to get my tickets for the day and sprint to the train, which was truly an amazing feat since I was wearing rain boots. (I pretty much immediately got a blister on my heel.) I sat down and after catching my breath I started eating breakfast (a picky bar) while the train chugged away towards Wellesley.
Once I got to the Starbucks, there were a few other members of the Volee so I went ahead and chatted with them before getting coffee. By this point a few of the pushrim athletes had already passed (I was a little disappointed to have missed Tatyana McFadden, a fellow Marylander, who went on to win her division.) Once the pushrim athletes were beginning to pass by more often, we stood at the fence and cowbelled and cheered for them. We were basically warming up until the elite women came through. It was just as I remembered last year, except even more exciting because we had the best chance of a woman winning Boston in several years.
Then the parade of vehicles began. First the police on motorcycles.
Then the pickup trucks, with the first one showing the runners gun time. Then the rain came down even heavier and all I could do was laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation. I was already soaked and starting to get cold, but it was so worth it.
And then the first elite runners--the women!!
Shalane and Desi!!
They make running 6:00 miles look so effortless!
Soon after the women passed, a few of us went back inside to keep tracking their progress. Within a few minutes I said "the elite men should be passing by soon" just in time to look up from my phone and see the men glide past the window. From here we cycled between being in the rain, cheering on runners to drying off and warming up in Starbucks and checking on how the women runners were doing and how our friends and other runners were doing. This year since Meb was running for charity, he started in the second wave and it was great getting to see him really enjoy himself. (And he waved at us when he heard us yell for him.)
About an hour after the elite women passed I started refreshing the BAA app, we noticed that Desi was at the front of the pack. And with less than two miles left, she was the only one popping up in the elite women's section and that's when I realized "You guys! She's by herself!"
We started watching our phones like hawks and then we saw the news: DESI LINDEN WON! Our table in that Starbucks erupted in cheers, and I pulled out the poster board and sharpie from my backpack and I excitedly wrote "Desi Won!" and shoved the board into a clear plastic bag. I also opened up a bag of twizzlers and had the sign in one hand and twizzlers in the other by the fencing showing the runners my sign.
It wasn't much, but the reactions were priceless. You could tell who the running nerds were, and generally the reaction was "REALLY?" then as they kept going you'd hear "Yaaayyyyyyy"
Occasionally I'd pass out twizzlers to fellow spectators as they got water logged (it turns out we were basically right after an aid station with gu, so not many runners were interested.) And we enjoyed seeing people's reactions to Desi's big win, and giving hugs to friends who needed the extra encouragement. Soon the group of us trickled down into just Sally Bergesen, Lesko, and myself. I couldn't leave yet and not just because the next commuter train was scheduled at 2:50 and it was only 1:00. My DC Volee teammate, Jill, hadn't passed yet. I told her I would be there. Then she finally got to us at 1:38 and her face said it all.
Story time: Yesterday in Boston was hard for everybody. I stood out at the fencing when I knew someone was getting close. And cheered and offered a hug and a twizzler. One of my fellow DC volee teammates knew way ahead of time yesterday would be rough. So I asked @travel.run.repeat if she needed anything. She said twizzlers. So I bought 2lbs (that got my carry on bag flagged by TSA) and on race day I stood out there with my bag of twizzlers. As they started to get water logged I started eating them and offering them to others around me. I knew Jill would be looking for me. I had to be there. She did the same for me during my first marathon last fall. I watched the BAA app as she got closer and I could tell she would be hurting. Finally I saw her and she came over and needed a hug first. Then twizzlers. Then reassurance that it would be okay and she can and should keep going. The interaction maybe lasted less than a minute but my heart broke for her because this was not the race she was expecting, even more so because of the weather. But she did it!!! She finished AND got her sixth star and now can be called a World Marathon Major Finisher. But even more so she’s a finisher of one of the hardest years for the Boston Marathon EVER. Congrats, Jill!! You did it!!! Photos by @drlesko . . #sweatpink #sweatpinkambassador #oisellevolée #oiselleteamdmv #sistersinsport #bostonmarathon #runboston #bostonmarathon2018 #bostonstrong
All I remember her saying is "It's so hard!" And soon she was on her way and the three of us went back into Starbucks for one last cup of coffee.
I still had time to kill so I said bye to Sally and Lesko and waited inside Starbucks until it was almost time for the train. This year it was slightly easier getting back to the train, because by this point the packs of runners had almost completely passed through and the spectators were pretty much gone. It was so hard to get the motivation to go back out in the cold rain because I was freezing and completely soaked, but I found it in a little Italian market up the street that also had a deli. (I had only eaten my picky bar and twizzlers so I was a little hungry.) Walking in the place looked amazing. But I only had eyes for the deli counter.
MUST EAT ALL THE CHEESES!
Okay it only ended up being one: Fresh mozzarella.
I ordered my sandwich and was practically drooling as the woman pulled out the leg of prosciutto and started shaving off pieces for my sandwich. I was running low on time so I shoved it in my bag and went back out in the rain to wait for the train. Once I got to the station, everyone was gathered under the overpass to try and get some shelter from the rain. And naturally the train was running late. I kept reminding myself that soon we would be on the train and this was only temporary. And people are doing something much more difficult in the rain right now. I'm just waiting for a train to get back to the hotel to get my bags before heading to the airport.
Once I got back to my hotel, I retrieved my bags and went to the bathroom to change into some dry clothes. (I have never been so thankful to overpack by one whole outfit.) Then I took a seat in the hotel lobby and took out my sandwich and bottle of sparkling water. And they did not disappoint.
Prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil leaves. It was perfect.
After inhaling my sandwich, I started checking my email and there was one from my airline saying my flight was delayed from 7:15 to 7:55. That was fine, I could just relax in the lobby a little longer. Soon it jumped to 11:15. I still had my can of White Claw hard seltzer from the Runner's World pop up hoping to drink it at some point. I look over and see someone getting a pizza delivered. Seconds later I see another email saying my time was bumped up to 9:40 and it was almost 7:30. I grabbed my bags and went to throw out my trash. I saw the person with her pizza at the elevator and offered her my remaining drink.
"This is going to sound really weird. I'm about to get on a plane so I can't take this. Do you want it?" (Show her the can of hard seltzer)
And feeling like a magical booze fairy I run out the door to catch the next train to the airport shuttle.
And then by the time I got to the shuttle, my flight got bumped to a later time. After a few more bumps, I was flying home at midnight on what should've been a 7:15 flight.
I finally got home at 1:45am. And when my head hit the pillow, I crashed hard. I was exhausted by the amazing weekend, but as always it was oh so worth it.
I went into this weekend swearing next year I'll spectate from home.
By the time I started to head home I began making plans to come back next year. This time with some of my Badass Lady Gang in tow for the ultimate running nerd weekend in Boston for Marathon Monday.
Boston, I love you.