The 122nd Boston Marathon is today. True to form for Spring marathons the weather is unpredictable. Today Boston’s weather is full of heavy rain and extreme wind.
Boston is the oldest marathon. As a runner, you are transported by bus to Hopkinton and run the 26.2 mile route to the Boylston Street finish line.
I will watch it online this year. I will not be there.
A yellow banner hangs in my sitting room in my house 965 miles away from the city. My 2012 medal hangs on the same nail. I looked at it this morning as I left for work.
This song reminds me of the race. I have made it my ringtone more times than I can remember. I will listen to it several times today.
In 2012 while on the bus, I was trying to make conversation to calm my own nerves. My year it was unseasonably hot.
During the race, I heard: “Did you run St Charles marathon?” This question was posed right before Heartbreak Hill. Another runner recognized my tattooed wings.
My thoughts throughout the marathon centered around how this could be the last marathon I ever ran and how I ok with that.
Boston was the best and worst race of my life.
My memories are bittersweet.
Sweet: It was an accomplishment to qualify repeatedly. I know many runners who never get close.
Bitter: Part of my support was standing at the mailbox that blew up the year after.
Bitter: After the finish, the chute seemed a mile long. My thoughts were, “Just give me my medal.” The water was not cold and I needed it to be cold.
Sweet: I proudly ran up Heartbreak Hill and enjoyed it!
Bitter: It felt so hot. I had come from 30-degree temps in Indiana. I had not adjusted for the change in temp when it came to moisturizer and the sweat made it run into my eyes and burned.
Sweet: I still have the shoes I ran the race in Brooks
Bitter: There was too much wait time before the race.
Sweet: I ate at the Whiskey Priest pub on the water that Sunday.
Sweet!: I enjoyed Sam Adams brew when I was there.
Sweet: Wicked is a word you hear often!
Sweet: Wellesley College screamers! You could hear them at least 1/2 mile away. Funny signage too!
Bitter: Reprimanded for being in Boston during a bereavement leave when my Opa [German grandfather] died.
Bitter: Watching a friend collapse
Sweet and Bitter: Dinner with my team and runner friends and still felt wrong and like I didn’t belong at Maggianos there with them.
Bitter: Driving to Boston and unable to avoid the Ohio Turnpike!
Sweet: Walking at the expo where everything was orange – the perfect year for me to be there – the jacket I love to wear!
Bitter: I ruined my official blue race shirt with white paint.
I continue to run but with different goals now. I may race again but only when I am ready. I have always run for me, and me alone even though many eyes watch!
I will watch today with my heart full of memories and remember why I love to run. Will you watch?