Posts Tagged ‘boston marathon 2012’

4:30AMI imagine that many are already up, awake after a sleepless night.  They are stumbling about their homes or hotel rooms, checking, double checking, triple checking their gear for the day.  I am asleep.

5:30AMSomewhat bleary-eyed, but full of excitement, thousands head for the buses at the Boston Commons.  As sleepy as they may be, their bodies are buzzing.  I am asleep.

6:00AM The buses for the first wave are now leaving, with buses for the second and third wave leaving at 6:30 and 7:00. My alarm finally goes off, only because Jess still has to work today and I need to go down to the kitchen to pack her a breakfast and lunch.

6:00AM –  8:00AM – They will sit on the bus, some sleeping, some chatting a mile a minute, some silently staring off into space, contemplating what lies ahead.  I will make myself a simple breakfast, have some tea and wait for my kids to wake up.  No school for them on Patriot’s Day.

8:00AM – 10:00AM – They wait.  This is one of my favorite parts of the Boston Marathon.  They will nervously wait in the athlete’s village.  If they are running with a charity, they will all sit together, otherwise, they will find friends who they only see once or twice a year – friends who they know through the blogosphere or Facebook or dailymile or Twitter.  It will be comforting because these are people that, despite not knowing each other, they know each other. Some will be relaxed, others will be nervous, most will be a combination of both.  Despite the comfort of the village, all will want to get this race started.  I’ll shower and lay my running gear out…maybe I’ll double check it, maybe I won’t.

10:00AM – The first wave is off.  I say a little prayer for all of the runners as the temperatures look to climb into the high 80’s.  I am not so worried about the elite runners and those that will be near the front of the first wave.  Though they will not necessarily have banner days, they will be finishing just as the temperatures get brutal.  It is the later runners like my charge Lynda, who I will be pacing from mile 16 to the finish line, and my dear friends Mike and Judith and Brian who are experienced marathoners, but starting in the third wave, that I am concerned about.  They are the heroes of Monday who will be subjecting their bodies the tough, hot, extreme elements.  Meanwhile, I will drop one of my kids off for a play date and bring the other with me to run some errands.

10:40AM – The third wave will be under way.  For those all the way in the back (as I was in 2010 – I was literally the last person to start in 2010) it may take as much as 20 minutes to cross the starting line.  Brooke and I will finish up our errands and go home to play a little – maybe a little painting, maybe some reading.

11:30AM – The elites are probably somewhere near Wellesley College at this point – almost half way home.  If they’re smart, they’ll stop for a kiss in the scream tunnel.  Depending on how long it took to get to the start, my friends in wave three are somewhere between 4 and 5 miles in.  Hopefully they are taking their time, soaking in the crowd and not worried about their pace. The babysitter arrives and I begin to check my phone for alerts on my charge Lynda.  She is hoping to run at 11:00 to 12:00 pace.  I check to make sure I have my Charlie Card so I can get back home via the T after I run her to the finish.  I check the interwebs for the T-stop I need to drive to. 

12:15PM – The alerts have been coming in, not just of my friends from wave three, but of my other friends as well.  Maddy, Steve, and many more. At this point, Lynda is anywhere between 5 and 8 mile.  She probably won’t be at mile 16 until 1:40ish, but I don’t want to take any chances. I hop in the car and head to the local T-stop, dressed to run, shuffle, walk – whatever it takes to get Lynda to the finish line. 

1:00PM – Arriving at mile 16, I will make my way through the crowd and cheer on the runners, looking for friends, keeping track of Lynda.

Our 2 roads are about to converge…

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I have a friend.   I have only met him in the real world once.  He was a large part of why I was able to qualify for Boston back in October of last year – we carried each other for 15 miles.  On that day he missed qualifying for Boston by seconds.  As joyful as my day was, it was devastating to see him just miss his goal.

Instead of folding up his tent and going home, my friend doubled-down and trained even harder for his next marathon, which took place in May in Pittsburgh.  His training was epic to say the least.  To put it in perspective, I just passed 1200 running miles for 2011  last night.  As of 9 days ago, my friend had logged nearly 1800 miles.

1800 miles!!!

He was a man possessed, and when he crossed the finish line in May, he WAS a Boston Qualifier.

I know the feeling – the joy, the wave of emotion, the satisfaction…the “what now?”


That’s right.   I recently read in his final post on dailymile that he was “taking a break” from the social network to find his passion for running again.  Boy, do I know that feeling.   I was fortunate enough to have the New York City Marathon line up just 5 weeks after my BQ and then Boston 2011 5 months after that to keep me focused on my training, but after Boston I simply lost “it”.

I was rudderless.  I tried to re-focus my energy by signing up for another marathon, but in the end, I just didn’t have the same drive I had had when I was focused on qualifying for Boston.

Truth be told, I am still wandering, attempting to kick start myself again and again, but I do see signs of my focus coming back.  It’s taken my 4 months, but it’s starting to come together again.

I hope my friend doesn’t stay away too long.

His departure will send ripples throughout the dailymile community and will be felt by all.  He always had an inspirational word for his friends and his workouts were worth emulating.


I hope you find your passion again Brendan.  You are an inspiration to many and proof that hard work pays off.  You motivated people not by your words but by your actions.  Enjoy your break – I hope to see you on the ‘mile in October when we both start training again for Boston 2012.

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Why do you run?

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