I never did tell you how my Boston Marathon went, did I.
My family and friends heard about it (and saw it). My Facebook friends got the details. But I never really put it all together for you, did I?
Boston is an experience. It’s huge. It’s amazing. It’s not a “git ‘er done” marathon, like Baystate (a “marathoner’s marathon,” if you will, like a “poet’s poet” or a “writer’s writer” — no frills, just ‘git ‘er done,’ no spectators or fuss or much at the finish line). The Boston Marathon is the “world’s oldest annual marathon” and attracts half a million spectators (stay tuned for more on those). It’s a point-to-point race (and believe me when I thought to myself, on the B.A.A. shuttle out to the start last April, “Jeez, this is an awfully long drive!”). The race is tough to get into. Though the qualifying times are not as tight as those for the New York Marathon, the ONLY way to get in is to qualify or to be accepted to a charity team…for which you personally have to raise at least $5000, though it might be more, depending on your charity.
So basically it’s a powerhouse race — either you run fast enough to qualify, or you’re tough enough to raise the funds. (My first marathon (Chicago, 2006) was with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and I worked hard to raise the required funds…a mere $1500, if I recall correctly…and I was hitting up businesses and my dad’s accountant and everyone everywhere…I deeply admire the people who can raise $5K or more!!)
I qualified. I’ve qualified twice but got injured the first time (low-drop shoes, long trail run, ignored the pain, torn soleus). This time for qualifying I had the worst training season, what with depression and leg pain (which I — of course! — ignored), and last September ran a point-to-point race in Pennsylvania with a running pal pacing me. It was a tough, lonely run (hey, you know, sometimes spectators ARE welcome) but thanks to Jen pulling me along, I qualified for Boston (barely!).
So Boston. It was a crazy weekend. It was less than two months after I’d started working full time at a very demanding job. My father was in town, with my half-sister from Iceland, and I was also hosting a friend from high school in to run the race, and she’d brought her four-year-old son (I live in a two-bedroom apartment). All my training had taken place in our ridiculous winter, on ice/deep snow in single-digit temps, and I’d bought a small running fanny pack to always, always, always carry my Charlie card (subway/bus pass), Starbucks card (in case I needed to wait somewhere warm for a ride), and cell phone. These items became a joke among my friends.
Even though I did all the training fairly properly, considering I was coming off of five months of not running, I still didn’t trust my leg would hold up for 26.2 miles. So for the Boston Marathon, I wore my fanny pack…with my Charlie Card, Starbucks card, and phone.
You never know.
[Stay tuned for Part II.]