Bostong Strong. Running again.
This year will be my third year running the Boston Marathon. I first qualified in 2012 at the Around the Lake Marathon after a lot of hard work and determination. 2013 would be my first Boston Marathon and it was a perfect day to run, bluebird skies and perfect weather. I ran my heart out and took the race in. It was the dream race that every runner hopes for. I almost matched my P.R. that day, only missing by a minute but with a time of 3:34 my time was good enough to re-qualify me for the following year. I experienced about ten minutes of elation after crossing the finish line and then . . . time stopped.
I ran again in 2014 because I had the opportunity to go back and I needed to do it. I needed to run again to face my raw emotions. It was a part of my emotional healing and therapy. I ran with my emotions wide open and let the feelings rush over me. Tears flowing at points during the race as I ran past members of TEAM MR8 who were running for Martin Richard. I felt fear with the uncertainty of knowing who might be standing or moving through the crowds cheering on the sidelines. I ran too fast in the first half of the race as my adrenaline was out of control, my mind racing and my heart feeling like it might burst from my chest. I knew that reaching for a new qualifying time would not happen as my legs screamed from running faster than I should. I knew that I wasn’t alone in these feelings. There was a whole city and group of runners running on the edge of fear and the hope to find some sort of peace with the Boston Marathon 2013. I crossed the finish line in 3:45 to0 slow to re-qualify but I had finished. After I crossed, a moment of silence taken for the events that had transpired during the previous year’s race stopped me in my tracks and I collapsed into a volunteers arms in sheer physical and emotional exhaustion. In the med tent I received rehydration support but also emotional support from a counselor. I was so thankful that she was on hand. The faces around me supported me and allowed me to cry and let go.
This year I will be back. A lucky opportunity given to me by Stonyfield Organic to run again. I feel lucky for the opportunity to be with #TeamStonyfield. I am currently going after my training with a vengeance. I am ready to overcome the fear that I felt in 2014. I am stronger now both physically and emotionally then I was in 2014. I want to bring my strength to Boston. I know there will still be moments now when I may cry during the race but I want to do this again. I am ready to run my heart out. I will leave it all on the course.
There are still many days that I still think about 2013. I am moved by the positive stories of the survivors who have moved forward with strength and determination and a will power that is stronger than we can even imagine. In life there should be no giving up, no quitting. Every day is as important as the next and we must live each day with fire and passion and seek to fulfill our goals and dreams. I still feel unease in large crowds at times and I still have vivid memories of the terrible sounds that day. I startle easily and am forever checking to make sure that the ones that I hold dear are safe. These feelings will probably never leave me but have forever changed me as a person. Although I bear no visual scars, the emotional scars of that day have shaped me and given me a new sense of purpose.
I am ready for Boston 2016. I will be running and hope that you will be with me that day.
In the words of Martin Richard, “No more hurting people. Peace.”