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Erin Murphy

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Nick SAYS:
Some of my random thoughts a…
Some of my random thoughts about the 2016 Boston Marathon - I started the race with a few other team members and wanted to keep pace with one whose sub 4 hour goal matched mine. I kept up with him for a few miles but lost him – the first 5-6 miles of the course was crowded due to the volume of runners and the narrow race course and ran slower than i planned but by the half way point, the crowds broke, I made up time and was positioned to run a 'negative split' and finish under 4:00. Then the course revealed itself a much more worthy adversary. One hill after another visited a punishing, repetitious trajectory; the recovery I planned for on flatter terrain between hills provided no respite. My physical and mental states disintegrated in concert with each other and when I reached the base of Heartbreak Hill, I was a mess. The miles of cheering spectators calling my name provided little encouragement. The entire world was lifting me up and my legs could barely carry me. How the hell was I going to finish? As I passed the Team Hoyt water stop at the top of Heartbreak Hill (Mile 22), I felt like I was embarrassing myself and the team by struggling; unable to execute what I planned for. I was beat, overhydrated yet thirsty and my face was caked with salt from sweat long since evaporated. I tried to recall my bucolic training runs but I could only focus on taking one more step; and another for however many steps it would take to make it 4 more miles to the finish. And then it happened; I saw my team mate in front of me! He should have been drinking a beer at the finish by now. He had a similar issue - an ironman in training had been betrayed by his well laid plans. I told him that my personal goal was shot and that we should help each other to the finish line. If he needed to walk, I’d walk and when he wanted to run, I would do the same in what felt like the longest 4 miles ever run. Turning onto Boylston Street – among the screams of thousands of participants I was able to hear Jim shout my name, and with a smile on my face and tears in my eyes I saw the finish line. After crossing, I had time to myself to catch my breath and reflect. For all the upfront planning, it was the unplanned (good, bad and ugly) that truly resonated with me. My victory that day manifest itself in spite of my failure to achieve the goal I set. It's what I learned about myself and others along the way that truly defined success and your support has made all the difference. Thank you
2 years ago
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Erin Murphy
Canton, MA United States
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