I am preparing for my second Boston Marathon.
During my first Boston Marathon. I found strength training for it. I was hungry to qualify. It took two tries (this go around) and endless hours and miles of hills and snowy runs, running in the rain, running with friends and many solo miles trying to overcome the fear of the pain that can come along with pushing yourself to your limit.
On race day it is you and the pavement. You need to leave it all on the road.
I tried once at the Vermont City Marathon and let my inner voice get the best of me. I missed qualifying by 5 minutes. 5 minutes seemed so close. I wanted my qualifier!
I tried again at the Marathon Around the Lake, at night, and alone. I went to the race by myself. I had business to take care of and the only opponent was me. I decided the qualifier would be mine. I made my race plan. I stuck to it. My mantra, “I am strong, I can do anything.”
I found my pace and just ran, and I ran hard. It hurt but I reached for every ounce of strength.
I pushed myself to a PR (3:33) and a dream. I was STRONG and I was FEARLESS.
Fast forward to The Boston Marathon 2013. I was ready and I was excited. When the race began the adrenaline kicked in and I just ran. I ran hard. I ran proud and I was invincible. The crowds lifted me with there cheering.
I ran down Boylston Street towards the finish line.
Exhaustion. Elation. Endorphins. Adrenaline. Tears. High fives. Amazing. 3:34. Finisher.
About 10 minutes later everything would change.
Fear. Loneliness. Confusion. Deep Sadness. Hopelessness. I crumbled.
We each had an individual experience that day. I will never forget seeing the smoke. Seeing the fear in all of the people. Wondering where to go. Would we be safe. Grief. The pain of sadness for others. Why was there so much hurt?
I have been rebuilding myself since then. I am working hard to remember my strong. Every day.
I am finding it again. You will find it too. Together we will be strength.
Be strong and experience your emotions and let them guide you.
You are stronger than you think you are.
Thank you for joining me on this journey.