I never thought I would run in a race associated with the Boston Marathon and/or BAA. Today I was honored to be running the Boston 5k. It was an experience unlike any other.
“Humbled. Grateful. Excited ! So many words…. I get to play a very small part in a very big thing.” …For many obvious reasons I was excited to run in Boston.
There were also some not so obvious reasons. Prior to the 2013 Boston Marathon, I had marathoner friends and family, I was in awe of them. After the 2013 Boston Marathon everything changed and I had a connection with them. Although I wasn’t there myself, being a runner, running friends and family shared their stories, people I knew a lot shared their stories, people I knew a little shared their stories. I had loved ones in Boston. I had loved ones very close to the finish line.
With every story I was told, images formed in my mind. I watched a lot of the media coverage. I thought of those stories throughout the year, they lived inside me.
The week leading up to the Boston 5k was a crazy roller coaster ride filled with ups and downs. I was prepared to just go into the city ‘alone’ – run it and go home.
I was pleasantly surprised Friday night when I received the text message from my sister telling me she was going to meet me at Park Street!
After finding each other and hugs, she told me about speaking with a runner on the train. They were both in tears after sharing their personal 2013 marathon stories with each other.
We chatted as we were heading to the start line. I got ready, we hugged some more and I lined up with the thousands of runners and (after what felt like an eternity) we were off. I started it slightly faster than the run from the weekend before, but comfortable. I tried to not just look down but to look up and around. This wasn’t Providence or any other city, this was Boston. The number of runners was spectacular. Mile 1. Mile 2. All Good.
I am not what you would call an overly “emotional person” – I try to keep those things inline.
Something happened when I got within sight of the finish line, the bleachers with the blue banners. All the media coverage, all the stories – they all started to play over and over again in my mind. I felt funny and tried to fight it off, I mean, I wasn’t even there last year. What right did I have to get upset? I couldn’t fight it off. I couldn’t stop it.
I ran across the marathon finish line and – tears fell. The deep breaths that followed were none I had ever experienced while running. I wasn’t going to stop. It took a bit but I got my breathing under control. I felt good about my pace and needed to run on.
Holy Sh*t. What was that?! That was pure emotion. That was crazy.
My time at last weekends 5k in East Providence was 37 mins, I was thinking I would finish around 35 mins today… My official chip time was 31:22 ! Not a PR, but pretty darn close and the best 5k I have run in quite some time.
My sister said it best… ” I had such an incredible, inspiring, breath-taking, tear-jerking, fun time with my sister in Boston this morning! ” I am fairly certain I will not ever be a marathoner but I do hope to run in Boston again in the future.
I want to wish the best of luck to all the athletes, friends and family crossing the finish line on Monday – You can do it! I’ll be thinking of you all…. xo