If you live in Boston every April this happens to you. You probably already know what I’m talking about. That quirky little holiday called Patriots Day rolls around and with it comes the Boston Marathon. You gather along the race route at friend’s, friend’s of friends, work friend’s, vague acquaintance’s apartments and celebrate having the day off by drinking a bit early on in the day. Invariably there is someone with a shirt or a sign that says “You run, we drink”, which I’m sure is a great motivator for all those beleaguered runners staring down the final grueling miles into the City of Boston. As you watch from the sidewalk as thousands of people( who are undoubtedly in worse shape than you) plod down the road knowing that the finish is practically within reach a little notion grows: I could do this! The more people filter passed, the more this knowledge is strengthened. Not only could you do it, you will do it! And for a few days, maybe even lasting to the following weekend, you are dedicated. You go to the gym and do a few miles on the treadmill. Or you head out into the still crisp spring air and bang out a few kilometers or so. But then, like all other highs, you come down and the dedication and motivation wanes until it’s only a tiny blip when you think about going to the gym or watch people run after work. That is until the next April when you think: I could do this!
I will be the first to raise my hand and say I’ve been a member of the post-marathon society that filters out on The Esplanade and around reservoirs in those weeks following. My first introduction to the Boston Marathon came in 2009, the same year I decided to relocate to Boston. Each Marathon Monday my sister, who lives off Beacon Street, throws a brunch gathering called “Mimosa Madness Marathon Monday”. This is in reverence to a proud tradition dating back to her undergrad days when on the last day of classes at her school the seniors would have Mimosa Madness and heckle and cheer the underclassmen as they traipsed to class. Importing the cheering spirit, after frittata and many a mimosa has gotten us in the proper frame of mind, the brunch crowd wanders to Beacon Street to cheer on the runners as they filter passed on those last few miles through Brookline towards the finish line. That year we picked out the names of people and cheered them frantically! Anyone sporting a flag from another country, we wildly cheered for them ,too! We started slow claps! We high fived! We gave encouraging words and pats on the back! And I went to back to New Jersey and promptly started running. But, that fizzled. That year I moved to Boston, and in 2010 also took part in MMMM. And again, the next day I went out to the Chestnut Hill Reservoir and ran 4.5 miles, which at the time was the furthest I had ever run. It was cold and windy, the last of the snow had just receded and my feet were in pins and needles after I finished. But, I felt accomplished. I can’t remember trying to run distance again after that, though I’m sure I did at least once more. Again, I quit before I had even gotten started. This year I was unable to participate in MMMM nor watch the marathon at all as I was at work. But, 2012 is different. I could run the marathon! I can run the marathon! In fact, I am running the marathon!
For all of you reading this right now, promise me this: On April 16, 2012 you better be cheering for me wildly, slow clapping, and giving me high fives as I run passed you on my way to the finish! I know this is not going to be easy. But, I know I can do it. Starting today with this blog I will track my experiences in preparing for the 2012 Boston Marathon. I will tell you about the charity I will be running for, how my fundraising is progressing, workouts, runs, my triumphs, my mental and physical state as my training continues from the fall, into the brutal Boston winter, and leading up until race day. I promise you that you will see me out on the course that Monday morning. The only thing I ask of you is your support. I know you can do that.
I thank all of you in advance – my family, friends, coworkers, and anyone else who is reading about and enjoying the sharing of my experience. I look forward to keeping you all up to date as we get started and I transform myself from being a member of the post-marathon masses to a genuine marathoner!