Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Boston 2013

Marathon Monday started out beautifully. The weather was perfect - 40s in the morning warming to low-to-mis-50s during the day. There was hardly a breeze, a few clouds in the sky; truly perfect marathoning weather. Of course, I thought, the weather is perfect because I'm not racing this year.

Scott had to work all day but I had the day off from Miss J, so the kids and I headed to Mile 19 in Newton. It's out in the 'burbs with grass and trees lining the course, so there's room to spread out on the curb and let the kids play on the grass. Bruce and Phoebe snacked, watched DVDs, played with other kids, and petted lots of dogs while I watched the elite women, then elite men, then waves and waves of runners pass.

Honestly, I felt a little sulky. I was already a little jealous of the nice weather, then to watch something so inspiring while sitting in a lawn chair 28 pounds heavier than a year ago - it just felt weird. I wanted to be running down that yellow line in the middle of the road, not sitting at the sideline. Don't get me wrong: I wasn't feeling regret, just longing. Hopefully the longing that will get me back into shape someday soon.

I had lots of people to cheer for - Anna Novick (my long-time running partner who still puts up with my slow pregnant 5-mile runs every morning!), Emili Lawson Smith (former BYU XC teammate and next-door locker neighbor while a Cougar), Carolyn Quebe Williams (also a former BYU teammate who now lives in Boston), Darcee Burnett (former member of the church congregation we went to while we lived in Arlington and super-inspiring person), and the dozen or so runners wearing Greater Boston Track Club singlets.

I positioned myself beyond the 30K (18.6 miles) timing mats but before the 19-mile marker and kept checking my phone for text message alerts of my runners. Emili was the first to go by - according to my text anyway. Unfortunately I never saw her; huge crowds were streaming by and it occurred to me that I should have asked her what she was going to wear. Oops. Anna came by next, but I missed her too; I think I might have been changing Phoebe's DVD or something at that point. I was bummed about that because I had a bunch of signs made up and a waterbottle to hand to her. I did see Carolyn and Darcee, but I'm not sure they heard me in the sea of spectators.

I sat and sulked a little longer, watching runners and clutching my phone waiting for text updates. Anna went on to run a near-perfectly paced race in a PR of 2:56. Victory! Emili came in at 3:06, Carolyn at 3:24, and Darcee at 3:27. Once everyone crossed the line, I packed up the kids and headed home. When I walked in the door, I got a phone call.

"Emily, are you okay?" My sister-in-law called. I thought she was just being nice and understanding of my sulky pregnant-runner status, so I started whining about my sulky sidelined morning. She gave me the news and my phone started buzzing with texts and incoming calls.

I reassured everyone that I hadn't gone to the finish line this year (I have in the past, and was toying with the idea of meeting up downtown with runners afterward, but decided against it being pregnant/lazy and not wanting to chase two kids around crowds of people), then started making texts and calls of my own. All of my GBTC teammates, their families, and my friends that I tracked were all out of the finish area when the bombs went off. I confirmed that everyone was okay, then followed the news for the rest of the day trying to make sense of it all. I still can't make sense of it.

If anything, this event has only stoked my desire to race the marathon even more. I've been thinking of a Boston Marathon return in 2015 because it will give me ample time to build up mileage and get fast post-baby, but now I'm eager to be part of the marathon in 2014 even if I am not in top shape. I'm not sure it's realistic; I have to re-qualify (my 2012 time will be considered too old for the 2014 registration requirement) and registration is in September (a month after having a baby?!), but there are back door methods of getting in (charity, waivers, etc.) so there's still a chance.

I would just love to run down Boylston Street as my own personal flip-of-the-bird to terrorism. You can't run me out of Boston! I will run you out.

In 2014 if I can.

In 2015 for sure.

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Blogger ellen said...

Great post.

12:15 AM  
Blogger lgandrews said...

If I don't run next year, I will hold your baby! And remember, I stepped up first!! OK? BTW, it will take a miracle for me to run the marathon next year!! Maybe in 2015, I might be "able" to give it a try, if I start training ~ like the couch to 5k this week.

2:53 AM  
Blogger mithu said...

LOVE IT!!! You will be back! I will be back (after this ankle heals)! ALL us runners will show that we can't be run out of ANY city. We're's in our nature.

6:32 AM  
Blogger mithu said...

LOVE IT!!! You will be back! I will be back (after this ankle heals)! ALL us runners will show that we can't be run out of ANY city. We're's in our nature.

6:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will join you for 2015 FOR SURE. You are such a rock star.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Darcee said...

If you run in 2014 you'd actually be running more at my pace! I would have been sulky on the sidelines too. You'll be back into it in no time. So glad to know you were there at mile 19 and that you stayed safe.

1:56 AM  

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