Before getting married and having children, I had a list of things I wanted to do! At the ripe age of 23, I began running marathons. I have completed 9, but will likely never run a full 26.2 again. After running the first Flying Pig Marathon in 1999, I was hooked. I was sore, but couldn't wait to do another. I then did Chicago, a few more Flying Pigs, and Columbus. Before the Columbus Marathon, my two best friends from college who had moved to Chicago told me, "You qualify for Boston and we will meet you there in April!"
|My best friends, Nikki and Julie!|
So I did. In October of 2000, with a qualifying time of 3:39:57, I qualified for Boston. In April of 2001, we met there and enjoyed the most amazing weekend. There were 6 of us, my mom, Gram, sister, Nikki, Julie, and myself all crammed into one hotel room for 4 days. My mom works for Marriott, so we had a room at the Marriott at Copley Square on the 33rd floor.
|My mom and I right at the starting line!|
We spent the weekend having tons of girls time-eating, shopping, touring the city! I remember thinking how I didn't want the weekend to end because everyone had to go back their seperate ways to their seperate cities. But, it was a weekend I will never forget.
I knew I wasn't going to run the race of my life! It is hard to sleep with two BIG snorers! But that wasn't what mattered! I had QUALIFIED to be there and I was going to soak up the time with my friends and family, and the race.
At the Expo, which is where you get your packets, chips, and some goodies from the race, I was listening to as many side conversations as I could. "Don't take anything that is not in an unopened water bottle around Boston College-those kids have been known to put vodka in cups and the runners drink it thinking it is water." "Don't eat any oranges from them either, because those tend to be soaked in alcohol, too."
Good tips-got it! Another bit of advice that I had a hard time following was "Stay to the middle of the road on the course. There are tons of kids and they all want to give you high-fives. It will wear you out." I think I high-fived until my hand was ready to fall off that day! There were tons of kids, tons of screaming spectators, and for 26.2 miles, I wanted to take it all in! So my time was slower, who cared, I was RUNNING BOSTON!
It was not an easy race. Because my qualifying time was one of the last, women my age need a time of 3:40-with 3:39, I just made it, I had to leave very early in the morning to get to the start. They bus the runners to Hopkinton Elementary School, where the runners wait for the noon start time. My bus left at 6:00AM. I sat and froze for over 5 hours at this little school before I had to begin my grueling run. I remember thinking how I wished I were a Kenyan for the day-you see these elite runners get these amazing buses, step off the bus, and begin the race-no freezing cold sitting on cardboard for them.
I ran a slow race-I finished in 4:06. As I heard about the events yesterday, my time was only a few minutes shy of those caught in the blasts. SCARY! Prayers go out to all of those runners and families that were there for the EXACT same reason I was 12 years ago-because they qualified and because their families and friends couldn't wait to see them run! It wasn't supposed to and shouldn't have ended this way!
Labels: Family, Remembering Boston