Now that a few weeks have passed since Boston, it’s become time to finish what I started.
I’ve let my body recover from running 20 miles and made a decision not to run another marathon in the near future. That is mostly because I forgot how much of a toll training takes on your body. The thought of doing a 10, 13, or 15 mile long run right now…I’m all set with that
Lately I’ve been running just for the joy of it. Feeling the sun beat on my arms as my feet pound the pavement…lost in my own world. Thinking through the issues that plague my life, or imagining I’m running from them, or just clearing my mind and thinking about nothing at all. There is no better feeling.
Sometimes I feel like I’m running to honor April 15, 2013, but mostly I feel like I’m running to move on from it. When tragic things happen in life, you have to let them become a part of who you are. Honor them, respect your feelings about them, and move forward in life with its memory in your heart. I am excited to do this but I feel like I have unfinished business – 6.2 miles of it, to be exact.
This is my “finisher medal” from the Boston Marathon. I picked it up (along with my gear bag) the Thursday after the race in Boston. I knew it was going to be emotional because I didn’t finish. I didn’t feel I deserved it. I walked over the threshold of the conference room filled with medals and gear bags and just burst into tears. This wasn’t how it was supposed to end for me.
One volunteer hugged me for what seemed like an eternity while another scoured the room for my bag. When we finally let go, one of the volunteers had a medal in her hands. “Are you ready?” she asked. I nodded and cried again. “I didn’t finish,” I managed to squeak out through my tears as she put the medal around my neck. “But you did, you did. You just did,” she told me. And we hugged and cried. I will never forget that moment.
On May 11 I am going to finish my run. I’m going to start at Heartbreak Hill Running Company in Newton at 11 a.m. and run to the finish line. You can run with me, bike with me, skateboard with me, I don’t care. I like company. If 6.2 miles seems like a lot, you can meet me on the corner of Hereford Street and Comm Avenue and help me finish the last half mile or so. Or you can cheer for me at the finish line – the most important job of all! Even if my cheering section is just my mom, that’s cool with me. I don’t need much more than that. It won’t be the same euphoria that I would have gotten from running the 26.2 on April 15 before crossing the finish line. But it will be a symbol of finishing and moving forward. And I’m ready for that.
And then we’re going to check out the memorial, because I haven’t seen it yet. And we’re going to eat a delicious lunch at Pizzeria Uno’s on Boylston Street.
See you there.