I don’t even know where to begin with this recap. The whole weekend went by amazingly fast, yet so many things happened.
The first official Team In Training event was the Inspiration Dinner, but our seating was at noon, so Inspiration luncheon? I actually really enjoyed the time for the seating. We were welcomed into the hall by many of the mentors, coaches and staff cheering for all of us; we could hear them a block away.
The luncheon was a great spread of pasta, salad, veggies, bread and of course some bananas for us to take for the next morning. The Massachusetts chapter had two tables and we had cards waiting for us. Mine was from the North Shore team’s honored hero. It was really sweet and definitely unexpected. As we were finishing eating the speakers began. First was, I believe, the president from Team In Training Canada, who introduced the master of ceremonies, John Bingham. He was amazing. He has a great “back of the pack” attitude and had a way of putting every one at east the day before the big race. Lastly was Anna Lynne, a survivor, who on her 4th year of being cancer free was running her first marathon. Her story was so touching; I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house.
After the lunch we had a mini-team meeting and were given strict orders to not spend the whole day on our feet. Well, I sort of listened, we went to Ghirardelli square and people watched for a bit, made our way to a blogger dinner, then headed home to get plenty of rest.
I tossed and turned all night, continuously worried I was going to sleep through my alarm or forget something important, you’d think having one of these already under my belt would make me less nervous, wrong. Eventually it was time to head out the door. The team met in the hotel lobby and then we went to the starting corral based on our pace time. I headed to the 12:00+ pace area with Sally, Corinne, Dave and Christine. It was insane how many people were there. It took us 27 minutes to get to the start mat once the race started, yeah, that many people.
I won’t go into the mile-by-mile details (you can find that on my personal blog) but for the first 4ish miles I stayed a bit behind Sally, Dave and Corinne. I was trying to conserve my energy for the hills I knew were coming. At one point I lost all three of them and then realized Sally and Dave were in front of me and Corinne was behind me. Corinne and I ran in silence, side-by-side for quite some time. The course, in my opinion, was grueling and it was nice to have someone to share it with, even in our silence. Corinne needed a bathroom stop but I was going much slower than I anticipated so I kept moving. I ended up in a bad place; I had not prepared enough fuel for the intense workout and wait prior to the race and missed the aid stop with shot blocks. Luckily a stranger took pity on me and handed me one of her many packs of sport beans. While it gave me my energy, I just couldn’t get back into my groove. Corinne caught back up with me and chatted with me for a bit, but on an insane downhill she took off and rocked the rest of her race. I definitely wished my coach had been there to run alongside me, and some coaches saw the desperation in my eyes and walked/ran with me for a few minutes, it helped a bit, I just wish I could tell them how I really felt.
I finished almost a full hour after I anticipated, but my sister was waiting at the finish, and while I was holding back tears she was there to give me a hug, and force me to take a picture with my sign that she made!
After I crossed the finish line and got that coveted Tiffany’s necklace and finishers T, I found food, then Sally, Dave and Corinne. It was so wonderful having the support of people I had just met; we all accomplished something great together. My sister and I quickly made our way to the bus to get back to the hotel. We roamed around the city for a bit and eventually made it to the Victory Celebration. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see too many people so we ended up grabbing some food and heading back to the hotel to pack.
It was a wonderful weekend and an even better experience. While I wish my race had gone better than it did, there is always redemption and I am looking at next race already. Team In Training, without getting cheesy, was one of the best things I have ever done for myself.