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Tag: boston strong

My Beantown Recap

“Wow! Look at those runners! How are they so fast? Those crowds are unbelievable. That finish line… I want to be there one day.” Those are just some of the things that have flooded my mind since I began watching the marathon, long before I even started racing.

I feel like the word ‘epic’ is overused, so I don’t use it. To my surprise, ‘epic’ is the word I keep turning to when I think about my experience in the Boston Marathon. I’ve been a part of small races and huge races and everything in between, but I can’t compare my Boston experience to any of those. Maybe if I’d been to a World Series where the Red Sox won, I could possibly compare the excitement surrounding that event to this day, but I’ve never been.

Boston is strong. Boston came out strong. You expect wild cheers for the elites, but the runners running 7+ min pace? No way. Well, they were there and they were wild for us too. People big and small, happy and loud cheering for every runner, every step of the way from Hopkinton to Boylston St.

The need to participate in the spirit of Boston Strong was too overwhelming. I couldn’t ignore the fever that was emanating from the crowd. I tried hard to focus on my splits, but I couldn’t keep myself from cheering along the way, giving every little kid I saw a high-five, and thanking the hydration volunteers as I cautiously grabbed and sipped from cups that were way too full of gatorade and water.

The entire race was filled with beauty beyond my wildest visions. A small part of me wanted my legs to take me to the finish line fast and strong, but the majority of me seemed to, unmindful of me, take a step back. It was as if I was watching a play. It was messy, yet perfectly fine. It was chaos, yet organized. I was performing, yet it felt like I was in the audience.

I watched the minutes on my watch tick by. There were just three miles left in the race when I high-fived my family, but I didn’t feel any sense of urgency to push my strides. With a half mile to go I saw a young woman getting helped by fellow runners. I wanted to help her. The thought of her being so close and not finishing bothered me. I checked in with my legs and thought that if I stopped, I may not start back up. I thought about the runners who got stopped last year, and what an awful shock that must have been. When I rounded Boylston St., I hoped it was safe for me to run down and so I repeated the words “Fearless” & “Be Strong” in my mind as I ran straight down the middle of the road as my husband suggested I do… just in case. Boylston is a long stretch. You can see that finish line, but it is far. When your legs have all but given out, you struggle to keep yourself upright and moving forward. Thoughts of last year crept in, but the crowds lifted me and carried me across the line. I was safe. I finished. The sun was shining. The crowds were cheering.

Upon finishing, I wanted to soak in all the feeling and emotions encompassing the day. However, the loud speaker instructed us to keep moving forward and head towards the gear check area. After about thirty minutes of walking, I finally reached a spot where I could reflect and rest. I saw my watch, I wasn’t thrilled with what it read, but oddly enough I was happy and feeling a good kind of sore nonetheless.

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Thank you to all of my friends and family for getting me to the finish line!

I love you all!

Special Thanks: Joe, Ben & Miles, Carly, Mom & Dad, Myra & Dick, Sissy (Julia), Tarrah, Megan, Uncle Monkey (Jordan), Jen, Anna, Emma, Eliza, Jake, Sam, Patti, Deb, Sean & Jess, Danny, Addie & Whisker, AND all of the spectators on Marathon Monday!!!

Yay to Meb for winning!!!! Such an inspiring day!

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My Boston Dream

I have always enjoyed watching the Boston Marathon from my living room in little Rhode Island, to my grad school stoop in Beantown and to my various living quarters in CA. My husband and I both hold the marathon close to our hearts, as many Bostonians and runners do. However, I was pretty much born a sprinter/middle-distance girl and I never really pictured myself running a marathon, let alone the Boston Marathon. As I got older, married and had kids, it did twinkle into a thought though. Then came last spring. Like most of the running world, including Boston, I was torn inside-out when the bombings hit with a shock and blow to our minds and hearts. The manhunt that followed made me fear for every one of my family members and friends back home. The capture came with a sigh of relief and that awful taste of anger. How could someone want to destroy something so beautiful and innocent?

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Soon, runs for Boston popped up everywhere and many of us all over the country ran together for Boston. http://www.blurb.com/b/4284201-run-for-boston-4-17-13 It was touching because it brought so many of us together. For me, it was a similar feeling as I had when a bunch of us lit candles, had a moment of silence and “walked for Newtown” just a few months prior.

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These unthinkable things were actually happening. I wanted to do something, but thought as just one person there isn’t much I can do. Then, I found this T-shirt “Runners for Boston”. I decided that I would Run for Boston – train and try to qualify and support my fellow runners, New Englanders and be Boston Strong. It became my Boston Dream.

I tried to wear my Boston Strong and Runners for Boston t-shirts whenever they were clean. I always got a nod, a thank you or a smile during those training runs. It felt good to run for a purpose and to spread a message. Never before had I cared so much about what my t-shirt said and why I was running.

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The night before my marathon I got out a plain white tank top and a red fabric pen. With my husband’s idea, I went Bill Rogers-style and wrote “Boston Strong” across my race tank, in big red letters. Luckily, my friend Carly was there to assist in and prevent a penmanship fail!

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The race was fun and full of spirit. Running for Boston never left my mind. Ventura High School’s cross country team and their coach were the pacers for the 3:15 marathon I wanted to run. Unfortunately, at mile 18 I started to feel cold, hot and achy, and so, I slowly fell behind my group. I kept pushing and thinking about how I needed to do it though. Through some delirium and calf cramps I crossed the line in 3:23 – a time good enough to qualify in my age group.

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Now I bring you to the present time. I’m a little over a week into my Boston Marathon training. I did it. I get to show my support for Boston in the race that started it all for me as a marathoner. My love for running (if you can believe it) has multiplied through this training, and my desire to cast my support has ignited again as well.

So, what do I do now? The t-shirt message just isn’t enough for me. I need to do more. So, I’ve decided to post something every day, till marathon day. My posts will either be a story, link, article, call to action, etc… for OneFund, Newtown, mental illness… something along those lines. If you, my readers, can just comment and share with your people the message to be a good person, do good things and to recognize and seek help for those who seem worrisome, then I will feel like I’ve done something to cancel out the terrible parts of 2013 and that I’ve helped the survivors of last year’s tragic events. My new Boston Dream – Spread Goodness & Support in 2014! #WeRunTogether

Here’s to goodness in 2014!

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