About two weeks ago, I saw something on my Facebook newsfeed that stopped me mid-scroll: the weather report for the upcoming Monday showed a light monsoon with teeth-chattering temperatures. On any other Monday, this type of disheartening weather would be, well, just another Monday. But it just so happened that this Monday was also the day that roughly 30,000 runners were planning to make the 26.2-mile trek from Hopkinton, Massachusetts, to Boston, an event formally known as the Boston Marathon.
As a registered runner who’d been training for the race for almost five months, I began to feel my excitement for the race turn into unease. Maybe it won’t be so bad, I thought. Maybe it will be like one of those snowstorms they make a huge deal about, and it doesn’t even flurry!
It ended up being a historic race for many reasons. Not only were the wet, cold, and windy conditions some of the worst many of the runners had ever seen, but Olympian Desiree Linden became the first American woman in 33 years to win the marathon. But more on that, later.
This was my thirteenth marathon, so perhaps I should have had an inkling that something would happen to throw it out of whack. I left for the race wearing multiple layers, a hooded poncho, and plastic bags secured with rubber bands around my sneakers. “It looks like you’re heading off to a day at a chemical plant,” my friend Laura joked as I geared up to face the elements. When I got there, the Athlete’s Village (where runners congregate before entering their starting corals) was worse than anyone anticipated: mud everywhere, puddles 10 Porta Potties wide, runners in rain getups even more ridiculous than mine. We laughed at the absurdity of it all — what else could we do?
Nevertheless, I had trained hard for this race and was determined not to let bad weather stop me from reaching my race goal — a marathon PR, or a personal record. But even the most elite runners had eschewed their runderwear for full rain jackets, which is pretty much unheard of in the professional running world. Despite the universal setback, there was only one real solution: continue to move forward, towards Boston.
I’d love to tell you that despite the conditions, I crushed the race. That I didn’t let it phase me. That, gosh, I thrived in the harsh conditions, just like the men’s winner, “citizen runner” Yuki Kawauchi, who blew everyone away by besting the pros to become the first Japanese man to win the Boston Marathon since 1987. But alas, I did not (thrive, that is). I kept up with my goal pace until about mile 13, when I started feeling an extra tightness in my quads, and, was I just imagining it, or was the headwind more powerful now?
I had trained hard for this race and was determined not to let bad weather stop me from reaching my race goal
Read the full story on Bustle.