"Watching the world's best compete fires you up to achieve your own feats of greatness. When it comes to running, participation and spectating go hand in hand." - Kara Goucher18 Days to go
I've always believed that the running community is a pretty supportive bunch, but as I approach Boston, I find even more evidence to support this hunch.
Through the ups and downs of training, and I've had a lot, people I don't even know have encouraged and cheered me on. My "friends" on dailymile and facebook, people I don't even "know", have kept my spirits up, have shared their stories with me, some sending me long messages imparting words of wisdom that come from having 'been there'. Some will follow my progress from Hopkinton to Boylston St. and as I run I will hold on to the thought that they are with me. Others have offered to be there for me if I need them - This from people I've never even met!
My friends (you know, the kind of friends you actually know and spend your time with), who are not runners, don't really 'get' why Boston is so important. There are certain things runners believe everyone knows - I for instance believe everyone knows who Joan Benoit Samuelson is. They don't! I believe that everyone knows that Boston is the only marathon (other than the Olympics/trials) that you must qualify for (I'm not going to get into the charity thing here). They don't! When I say I'm running Boston, they "Oooo" and "Aaaaa" because I'm running a marathon. And while running a marathon itself certainly merits the "Oooo"s and "Aaaaa"s they don't get that Boston is not just 'a' marathon. Runners 'get it', and that has helped me immensely. I have others who I can talk and relate to without having to explain why it's so important to me.
I remember after I qualified for Boston I wasn't entirely sure I wanted to run it. I knew I wanted to qualify, but that's about as far as my plans/goals went. For me, it just meant something to qualify. I remember a friend, who ran it in 2011, said "You have to run it once. It's just such an amazing experience. Just being in Boston - everyone asks you if you're running. It's a big deal for the whole city". So I thought, okay, once. I'll run it once. I have to run it once.
Lots of fellow runners have asked me: Are you excited? Are you nervous? Well, quite honestly, I don't know. I think I am, but in a sense it's sort of hard to take it all in. In a way the excitement others have expressed for me has fueled my own excitement.
And then I think back, and I remember watching last year's Boston Marathon and the excitement I felt for all those running - All the facebook updates from all those traveling to Boston and preparing for the race. I think about that now, and there are moments that I feel the excitement literally trying to jump out of my skin.
So am I excited? Yes, and getting more so with each passing day. All the encouragement I've received from runners all over the world have made me all the more excited. And I'm glad I made that decision to run because I've learned something about the running community. So, thank you. Thank you so very much.
You all inspire me!
And - I'm still looking for donations - ANY amount for - Girls Education International
Every dollar counts! Please help if you can.