Last Sunday I did the Jimmy Fund Boston Marathon Walk with my Mom. There are 4 choices all following the Boston Marathon course: Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K and 3K. My Mom and I did the Half. I did this walk for couple of reasons.
All the money raised goes to support the Jimmy Fund and Dana Farber (Cancer causes)
I volunteered at a couple of the walks in the past and always wanted to do it.
It’s likely my only chance to do the Marathon course
It’s likely that I’m insane.
The fundraising effort to reach the minimum was pretty easy (thank you friends! and you can still donate through Oct 31st :). My Mom and I decided to do the Half since we figured there was no way in hell we could do the Full. Especially since we decided to do it about 3 weeks before the event and didn’t really have time to train. Other than, you know, walking. Plus, how do you train for a really long walk? spend 5 hours every other day just walking? I don’t know. Like, really. And how hard could walking 13.1 miles be? Turns out, pretty hard at times.
The day of the walk was beautiful. Sunny, comfortable temps. Yaay! I was a little tired as I had been on vacation for 4 days leading up to it and (un)wisely decided to have a cookout with all my old friends the day(night) before-thank god we’re old and it didn’t go til all hours. You know, like past 9:00. My Mom and I had a ridiculously epic ride on the T to the start point and started about an hour after we had planned. Oh well, it wasn’t a race. For us anyway, there were plenty of people taking it VERY seriously. very, very seriously, you know the type I’m talking about. Anywho, we started walking and felt good. They had aid stations about every 2 miles and lunch was even provided at one spot. As my Mom’s backpack became more and more stuffed with all the freebies, the first half of the race, I mean Walk, went really well. My Mom has back issues and was a super trooper through the whole thing. Uphill hurt her most so we made a few rest stops going uphill. My issue was downhill. with knee and hip issues, downhill hurt a little the first half of the race. We joked that she wanted an all downhill course and I wanted an all uphill course.
And then we got to Heartbreak Hill. About halfway through the Half, there it was. 1/2 mile up, 1/2 mile down. We had made jokes about previous hills being Heartbreakers and when we first started up it, we were all cocky and like “whatever”. It was a bit difficult for my Mom going up but she legged it out and didn’t complain once. We stopped as needed and rolled along. The downhill part hurt me a bit but we didn’t need to stop and kept going to the aid station at the bottom. Well, that looked like a triage area. People were limping around everywhere and walkers were dropping out and being picked up by vans constantly. I made the not so brilliant decision to sit. We decided to take a couple minutes to just sit. We hadn’t sat (other than porta potties-gross and lunchtime) for the first 7 miles. We were making decent time though definitely a little slower than we had hoped. Well, we got up and started again. That’s when I got a super sharp pain in my left hip shooting down to my knee that made every step excruciating. Sweet. As the old and infirm flew past me we slowed WAY down. The pain was disturbing for a couple of reasons: 1) I exercises frequently and a walk was doing me in and 2) my pain has always been in my right hip, left always carried the load. and by load, I mean me. At that point it just became about finishing, stopping when needed and trying to enjoy the beautiful day and the city. We barely stopped at the last aid stations and just trucked along. Every downhill was killing me and I got quieter and quieter. One of the many great things about my Mom is her determination. The worst pain I was in, the more hers was forgotten about and she just had her eyes on the prize and mentally carried me through to the finish. We had some more laughs the final stretch: we would slow or speed up depending on getting stopped at intersections (we wanted to be stopped every time lol) and then one of us (not me) misread one of the mile markers and thought she only had one mile to go when it was really two. D’oh! But we crossed the finish line in good spirits with our eyes on the pizza prize. There were some hilarious moments up and down the stairs of the T and then we almost both fell asleep at Pizzeria Regina. But I’m proud of us, especially of my Mom!