I’ve had a hard time trying to put words together about the big day. I think it’s because I was disappointed at first. I felt that my time was not good enough and the run wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked. It took about 40 minutes longer than I was hoping for. As I have had some time to recover, process the whole experience, and talk with many friends who also ran, I was able to see that it was one of the greatest days. So, I don’t even know where to begin with my experience this year with at the Boston Marathon. April 21, 2014 will definitely be a day that I never forgot for so many reasons. I did not have my best run but I did have the best day.
The bottom line is that I needed to remember that I ran and completed a marathon and not just any old marathon but the Boston Marathon. I needed to remember that I was running for so many people, 128 names who I wore on my back. I needed to remember that I was running to take back our city and marathon Monday. I needed to remember that it was about the 7 million dollars that the Dana Farber Team raised so far this year. I needed to remember that it was about all my family, friends, co workers, and complete strangers who supported and encouraged me for the past six months. I had to remember that it was not about me but the much bigger picture of all that was accomplished by so many on one of the greatest days in Boston’s history and I was lucky enough to be a part of it.
I don’t think I’ll ever be a part of something that big again. The day began by getting dropped off in Hopkinton and waiting hours to head to the start. I had some great running buddies from Cape Cod to hang with and we were all anxiously awaiting our 11:25 pm start time.
As the waiting went it on, it started to get warmer and warmer. Thank goodness I went with the shorts at last-minute. It’s a probably not the best sign when you are sweating just waiting in your corral. The first thing I noticed was the security. I knew it was going to be tight considering last years events but there was something about seeing the FBI on every corner and SWAT vehicles along the starting corals. Considering that I am a police officer, I felt comfort in seeing all the law enforcement. Had I not worked in the field, I’m pretty sure I would have been intimidated and nervous. Our corals started and I remember thinking, “you got this, you did all the hard work, enjoy the day.” Next thing I knew the first mile was done and I could not even begin to process the crowd.
The crowd was unreal and like nothing I have ever seen. When I ran Boston in 2012 the cheering crowds were the largest I had experienced during any race that I have run to that point. Boston 2014 put 2012 to shame. The excitement and what it meant to so many people was felt by everyone who was there. I saw so many friends, family and familiar faces along the way. I was fortunate to run into someone every couple miles along the route and it definitely helped keep me going. The first 10 miles I felt pretty good and then I had a rough couple miles of running and walking. The heat was starting to take a little tole on me but I kept telling myself you have to finish, you have to finish. After some water, Gatorade, a snack and some words of encouragement from my favorite people, I was ready to make it to Boylston Street. Once I made it through the Newton Hills, I knew I had it. 5 miles, I could run 5 miles in my sleep.
It’s funny what your mind can do when tested. I remember thinking 4 miles until I got to the Dana Farber cheering section at mile 25. Then I saw the Citgo sign and it was less than a 5K to my family How many 5Ks have I ran? Then it was a mile and then I was there! My brother captured this picture and it’s probably one of my favorites from the day. I’m just approaching mile 25 and my support crew. If you knew me, you would know that it is totally me, absolute joy and excitement that I was finally there.
I think April 21, 2014 has officially made the list on the best days of my life, for so many reasons. I can’t say thank you enough to my friends, family, co workers, acquaintances, and complete strangers for their love, support, encouragement, and donations. And I can not forgot my saturday morning running group, everyone who took time out of their busy lives to keep me company on my runs, and the best training partner you could ask for Lori! THANK YOU!