Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Seeing things differently
Saturday morning I got up and got dressed and watched the news. The forecast was perfect for running and for a parade. No one cared about our silly run though. It was Duck boat parade day in Boston. The reporters in Copley Square were already surrounded by Red Sox fans at 5am! They showed the commuter trains packed full and I started to wonder how crazy the crowds would be. I got an email and then a text from Denise. We were both feeling really anxious about attempting to fight the crowds to do a run that we could do any other weekend. Was it really worth it? Plus, the thought did cross both of our minds, when they predicted millions of people flooding the streets of the city and special significance and respect to be paid at the finish line of the marathon - that's a lot of people and another potential target for an attack. While it is an incredible thing and the energy and emotion of the entire city coming together to celebrate is awesome, it is also anxiety inducing and even a little unsettling to think about approaching that street in a large crowd.
I know we will both need to do it in April 2014, but we were not ready yet and decided to save the run for another day. I did my shorter long training run (8 miles) for the weekend and finished before the parade even left Fenway. I watched some of the coverage on TV as I ate breakfast and got dressed. It was a great day for Boston. The interviews and the boats stopping on Boylston to pay tribute to the victims of the bombings and then the crowd spontaneously singing "God Bless America" together was overwhelming to see on TV I can only imagine how it must have been in person. Just seeing the images of the Marathon Sports staff getting choked up as the players put the trophy and a special '617 BOSTON STRONG' jersey on the finish line gave me chills.
Anyway, I finished out the weekend of training with a 14 mile run on Sunday. The weather was not nearly as nice as Saturday. It was sort of snow/sleeting for most of the run. Now quite cold enough for the white fluffy stuff, but not quite warm enough for rain. Just right to be annoying and uncomfortable. I ran a really solid and consistant pace for the whole run. I even negative split it. Which is pretty impressive considering the second half of the run is mostly uphill. Here's the elevation profile:
So, that's one aspect of my training. Another part that I think will become increasingly important with THIS race in particular and this year more than ever is the mental training. I usually practice visualizing the course and especially a strong finish and the feeling of glory as I make those last two turns onto Hereford and then Boylston. The crowds and the other runners fade away and it's just me and the finish line and the amazing high that comes with crossing the most prestigious finish line in the World. That vision has changed forever now and it is blurred by horror and unknown and smoke and fear. I wasn't there, but I heard it and I saw the look on people's faces as they came from there. I know next year it will be the safest street in the entire world, but I still struggle to see myself running down it.
Today upon a bus I saw a lovely maiden with golden hair;
I envied her, she seemed so happy and , Oh, I wished I was so fair
When, suddenly, she rose to leave, I saw her hobble down the aisle;
She had one foot and wore a crutch, but as she passed a smile.
Oh, Go forgive me when I whine;
I have two feet, the world is mine...
With feet to take me where I'd go,
With eyes to see the sunset's glow,
With ears to hear what I should know,
I'm blessed indeed, the world is mine
Oh, God forgive me when I whine!
The next few months will be challenging. Training for the marathon through the harsh New England winter, fundraising during a really tough economy in a newish job for a smaller company that does not have a matching gift program, and mentally preparing to run across the finish line a year after bombs exploded and stopped time in the city of Boston. I accept the challenge and look forward to conquering it, but it will be tough. Tonight is my first DFMC team meeting. I can't wait to meet some of the other team members and reconnect with former teammates. My fundraising is off to a great start - $1625 only about two weeks into it. Help me keep going and visit my personal fundraising page to make a donation: www.rundfmc.org/2014/alicial