After the BAA Half Marathon in October, my first words were: “I don’t think I want to run anymore.” Then I promptly sat on the ground. Then I took my shoes off and walked around barefoot. After I had some time to let it all sink in and I looked at my four glorious metals accumulated from the completion of the Distance Medley, I went right ahead and signed up for another half marathon, less than 4 weeks later. I ran that half marathon (Colt State Park Half) 8 minutes faster than the BAA Half. When I finished, missing my goal by only 9 seconds, my husband ran up and hugged me so hard he lifted me off the ground, I yelled at him because I thought I may just throw up all over his face. But then I had some lunch, went home and signed up for the Individual Marathon in St. Pete (4 races to equal 26.2 miles over a two day period). I mean, why the fuck not? I have never run a marathon, never thought I could, there is a part of me that still has this enormous sense of doubt. However, there is an allure to the Boston Marathon than can’t be explained, even more so after the tragic events of 2013. Something inside pulled me towards this race. So, when Maine Track Club announced they had two lottery spots to give away and all I had to do was write an essay, I thought: I can do this. The Maine Track Club didn’t ask the same question as the BAA; who invited runners most profoundly affected by the 2013 incidents to write an essay based on their experiences for also, an invitational spot. It was a simple, open ended request as to why one would want to run the Boston Marathon or rather, why one should be selected to represent the club. I don’t have this huge, impactful story, all I have is the past year of my life, which is different and only for one reason: Maine Track Club & the Roasters. I wrote about my love for these people and how I truly believe they have saved my life. I wrote about the moments on the road which make me stronger, stand taller, feel better. I wrote about meeting friends that make me feel, finally, like Maine is where I belong. I wrote that this would be such an honor and I would hold it close to my heart, pay it forward, make them proud, train hard, do work, never stop. I wrote that I have lost 30 pounds this year and that I can go to sleep now, every night, without worrying about not waking up in the morning. Whatever else I wrote, must have had an impact because I was selected for one of the two invitational spots they had to give away. When the women on the phone called me to tell me I couldn’t volunteer at the Boston Marathon this year (which I also applied for), I thought, well geez, my luck really sucks recently, until she added: because your going to be running it. And after screaming in her ear, sitting down on the coach and asking the very stupid question: “Why me?” I let the euphoria wash over me, hugged my husband, screamed with my children and then made phone calls. Here’s how that went:
1. Katie (best friend of over a decade, she has a wee one so no answer) (insert frown face here)
2. Mom (declared how proud she was of me, I think this makes her feel like I’m using some of my potential here in Maine)
3. Allison (best friend & #1 training buddy, didn’t pick up her phone either) (insert super duper frown face)
4. Alan (fellow Roaster, friend, amazing runner & inspiration, didn’t pick up either) (insert what the heck here!)
5. Kristen & Kate (wanted to call these fellow Roasters but didn’t have their phone numbers) (this made me very mad)
Then I gave up because I determined that everyone else was in bed and I was too busy chatting it up on Facebook.
I have my 18 week training program selected, which will build on the one I am using for the races in January. I have my mind, almost wrapped around this concept. I have all the support a girl could EVER ask for. A dozen fellow Roasters have already volunteered to train with me and run the miles alongside me, even though they have no other reason to run them. Allison, even threw out there that she would go for the twenty with me. WHAT!?! And those who can’t run with me, have already wrapped themselves around me with kind words, support and sheer happiness that I was selected. In my mind, I am dreaming of that moment when I cross that blue and yellow finish line. I know that it will be emotional. Heck, I started to cry coming to the finish line of my last half. Something just came over me, I couldn’t control it, I just felt so happy that I was in that moment, so close to my goal. In my mind, it will be beautiful and thought provoking and amazing. Just to know that someday, my daughter and son will be able to tell their friends, future children, whoever, that their Mom ran the Boston Marathon, blows me away.
The training journey will be long but you all get to come for the ride. I intend to detail the days and weeks until it’s over.
To everyone at the Maine Track Club & the Roasters, even though I have thanked you a million zillion times: THANK YOU! a million more times.