This morning the Boston Marathon opened registration for runners who have met the qualifying standard by 20 minutes or more. I am extremely tempted to go on and click “register” but I’m not.
In the past I have made the comment (many times) that as long as I qualified for Boston I planned on running in it. Why wouldn’t I? In my opinion Boston is the marathon of all marathons. The journey to run this one race took many years and a lot of hard work and planning. I couldn’t understand why anyone who had qualified wouldn’t run it.
I had an idea of what this race would be like but nothing could have prepared me for how unique it really is. We all know the horror of what happened once the first bomb detonated Monday afternoon but let me say that my entire Boston experience before that moment was absolutely perfect.
|On plane the flight to Boston holding the book- 26 Miles to Boston|
|We met Meb Keflezighi (U.S. Olympic medalist) at the airport|
That weekend we wore our Boston jackets with pride and everywhere we went people knew we were there for a reason. When we saw other runners in their jackets we just smiled and knew we had something in common. Random Bostonians on the streets would ask us where we were from and if we were running (duh, we’re wearing the jacket!) and we even had some people as if they could take a picture with us since we were running in the marathon.
The Boston Marathon Expo itself was so much fun. By far the best race expo I’ve ever been to and we spent a lot of time there. There was just so much to see and do there. Truly every runners dream expo!
|We met Boston Marathon Race Director Dave McGillivray at the expo|
I was so excited to run this race. The bus ride to Hopkinton and hanging out in Athlete’s Village was its own little pre-race adventure.
Then it was time to line up and I found myself surrounded by thousands of other eager and excited runners just like me. The first few miles went by so fast. I just couldn’t believe I was actually running in the Boston Marathon. There was so much to see along the way- everything I had read about in 26 Miles to Boston. There were so many thousands of people cheering. I felt confident and strong. I knew I was going to make my goal time and I was loving every moment of the journey.
Of course, we all know what soon followed and how quickly everything changed. During the panic and chaos of trying to get to safety I couldn’t even think about running Boston again. I couldn’t imagine it being safe. At the time there was so much confusion and uncertainty about how and why everything had happened.
Once I returned home I had many different emotions to deal with from the trip. Any time you train for a big race- particularly a marathon you bring home emotional baggage but this time I had much more to process in my mind. There really wasn’t any race closure (if that makes sense) because we left in total panic mode. A few days after I was home I read a friends blog post about this. Carissa seemed to be experiencing many of my feelings. I decided that running Boston again in 2014 would be good for me. It would give me the closure I needed from 2013 as well as a new experience that would end the way a marathon should end.
The only problem was the date. The Boston Marathon is always the third Monday in April. This year that date was April 15th. In 2014 that date is April 21st. And April 21st just happens to be my youngest daughters birthday.
Obviously I’m not missing half of my children’s birthdays to run a race by myself and flying the entire family to Boston is not very economical. I thought about all of us driving to Boston but 26 hours in the car (with 4 kids in tow) before and after a marathon did not sound like a great plan either. I should mention that my very understanding husband left the final decision to me. He was willing to do the driving but I know that the entire trip would be hard on him. Keeping up with four kids while I’m off running is not an easy job but the long drive itself would be the hardest part.
So I am forced to make to the only mature and rational decision I can which is not to run Boston in 2014. I know I will be back to Boston someday and I know 2014 will be a very special year for this marathon. I wish I could be there but there are some things more important than a race.