Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Boston 2014: Am I Ready?

One year ago today, the unthinkable happened.  Bombs went off at the finish line of one of the most hallowed races in running, killing 3 and injuring 264 others.  The shock, disbelief and outrage that followed was magnified a thousand fold by runners around the world.  In the days that followed, runners united all over the world to run for Boston.

In 6 days I will be back at the start line in Hopkinton.  I've trained through a very tough winter and I pushed myself hard this year.  I feel like I'm physically ready.  I might not be at 100% (damn knees) but I'm close.  Mentally I know what I'm in for so I think I'm ready for that too.  The bigger question  is, will I be emotionally ready?

Over the last few weeks there have been several features and interviews with some of last years victims.  There is an entire spread in Runners World.  I excitedly sat down to read month's issue and was surprised to find that I couldn't get through the stories without crying.  Anytime I read anything online about the race, I find myself tearing up.  Watching last years news coverage this morning brought a new flood of tears.  I was shocked and very upset last year when all of this happened but over the months that followed, it became a distant memory.  They say time is a great healer.  Now all of those emotions are coming back.  I am thankful that we didn't actually experience or see any of it but we saw the aftermath and that was enough.  I had a hard time watching the news coverage in the days following.  I had originally told G before the race that even if I re-qualified, I wasn't going to go back.  That changed the minute those bombs went off.

Running a marathon is an emotional experience at the best of times.  Last year I smiled from start to finish and was practically laughing out loud when I got to the finish line I was so happy.  I want this year to be the same and I will do my best to make it so but I also think I need to be prepared for the inevitable flood of emotions that will come.  I suspect that there will be tears shed at the start and as I make that turn on Boylston.  When they come, I'm going to let them flow. 

Yes, I have a lofty time goal for this race but when it comes right down to it, the day is not about a finishing time.  It's a celebration.  It's a day to pay tribute to the victims and to celebrate the unity and strength of the running community and the amazing city of Boston.  And for many of us, a day that will hopefully bring some closure.

The tears will come but I will be ready. 


Unknown said...

Good luck next week. I'll be thinking of you and cheering from afar.

Anonymous said...

Good luck, you are ready and are going to do GREAT!!

Danielle @ Work It. Wear It. Eat It. said...

P, you are the freaking best.

I'll be cheering you on! xo

Abby said...

Cannot wait to cheer you on.
Is there a way to track you?
I'd love to follow along with your progress.

Unknown said...

Love this.

Robin said...

Great post and all the best in Boston. It's going to be an emotional day I'm sure and hopefully lots of happy tears.

Paul Mora said...

Have a great race! I'll be thinking of you and everyone else I know that's running.

Alison @ racingtales said...

You're so right about all the emotions coming back. When I decided not to run Boston 2014 (after initially saying I would in the immediate aftermath of the bombing) I was at ease with that decision. The last two weeks have been hard, with all the chatter about the race and the memories of last year. I wish I were going back, just to be there, but you bet I will be watching and my heart will be there. Have an amazing race.