The mental game, most days this is the most challenging part of running for me. It’s crazy how much of an impact the thoughts in my head have on how well my run goes. Three weeks ago I ran from the starting line in Hopkinton to Boston College, 21 miles, as a part of charity Saturday. It was one of my best runs throughout my training this past year. I felt strong, confident, happy, accomplished and more that capable of running another 5 miles. It was at that moment, that I knew that I was stronger than ever and that I would finish the Boston Marathon on April 21, 2014 and this is where the mental game comes in. The past two saturdays have been my worst runs. How do you go from knowing that all your hard work and training paid off to not being able to complete runs half the distance…that’s what we call the mental game. I think it was after running on the course and seeing the thousands of runners who all stories like mine, the emotional impact of the whole situation hit me. How do I over come this mental block, hopefully by talking about my journey and what it has meant to me to be apart of this day in history. Hopefully I can use all this as motivation on race day and run even stronger!
Yes I can say that I stated training for this race over a year ago. As you know I ran the Boston Marathon in 2012 and did not have my best day. I was lucky enough to find the strength to make it to the finish and yes it almost took me all day. It was on that day I knew I was capable of anything I put my mind to. Boston 2012 is my only marathon to date and I was so inexperienced as a runner that I still can not believe that I completed it. During my winter training, I had several friends that helped me get through the long runs and even some days the shorter runs when my body was exhausted. One of those friends was my co-worker Lori Miranda. Lori and several others made it to mile 25 on marathon monday and literally waited hours for me to finally get there. Lori and Liz walked the last mile with me and then pushed me to runt he length of Bolyston Street and finish strong regardless of the clock said. Lori was so inspired by all the runners and it was her first time watching and being a part of the Boston Marathon. She was so inspired that she said actually said she wanted to run it. It was at that moment, as broken as I was, I knew she and I would some day run Boston together.
In June of 2012 I tore my MCL playing ice hockey and had a longer recovery than expected. I applied to Dana Farber to run Boston as part of the 2013 marathon team and was selected. My knee was not a 100% and I had to make a tough decision to not take the number. This was a lot harder than it sounds because I needed a do over, redemption. I really struggled with my time and experience from the 2012 marathon. When I turned the number down for 2013, Lori and I decided that 2014 was going to be our year. It was at that point that we started running together more and working to get our pace in sync. We started this journey, together, months before the bombs went off.
On April 15, 2013 I was at the Boston Marathon. I was at mile 25 volunteering for Dana Farber with my dear friend Amanda Claire when the bombs went off. We had no idea at the time what was going on but it did not take to long to realize how serious the situation was. We were lucky to get out the city and back to the Cape safe and sound. When we left Boston that Monday late afternoon, we and no idea how lucky and fortunate we were. The next day Lori and I had coffee and were even more determined to get an official number for the Boston 2014. Seeing as though we both work in law enforcement it became a priority and very personal. We both needed to do for some of the same reasons but for many different reasons.
I applied to Dana Farber the first day the application came out and was quickly accepted to the team. I was beyond excited. Lori’s grandmother had passed away from cancer and encouraged her to apply to Dana Farber. I told her the experience of the team alone would change her life. Lori was very worried about the fundraising aspect but I promised her that we would be fine. Lori applied and found out in December that she did not make the team. We kept running and training as if we both had numbers. Someone upstairs for looking out for us, I believe with all my heart that it was Turlough, because in January of 2014 Lori was selected by our running club to get a waiver number for Boston. We finally knew that we would run Boston together. Our day is here one week from today and I can not wait to see how this journey ends for us!
Here is one of my favorite photos from Boston 2012. It’s from the expo three days prior to the marathon and I had no idea how challenging it would be to make it to the finish line that day. I actually said at the finish that I would never run again! I love the saying “You’re unstoppable.” I will be unstoppable once again on April 21, 2014! We are Boston Strong!!!!