4/15/13: My thoughts are with all Boston runners, spectators and families. Greg finished before the explosions, and he is o.k. I will leave my original blog post for marathon Monday below, in hopes that all of us keep on running.
It's Boston Marathon Day! Greg's running this year and I'm excited, nervous, excited, nervous, excited! There's a lot of work that leads up into one incredible run, and I want the experience to be worth the preparation for him. He's a great runner, the weather is promising, and all I hope is that he has a great time and is happy with his time at the end of this crazy, epic race.
The boys and I went with him to pick up his race packet in Boston on Saturday, and I have never been so overwhelmed by crazy crowds and the number of intense runners there are out there. When I think about running just over 26 miles, it sounds so ludicrous, so ridiculous, that I can't imagine ANYONE could do that. Or would do that. Let alone 30,000 people, and my husband among them.
Sometimes I feel like there are only two groups of people out there, non-runners who are impressed even by how much I am running, and "real" runners, who are out there running the Boston Marathon today.
Where are all the people like me who are in between?! Sometimes, when I have a few minutes, I like to pop over to coolrunning.com and check out the community message boards where I can remind myself that there ARE a lot of people like me. People who run because they like how it makes them feel, who want to get faster and run longer but who aren't preparing for a marathon... ever. People who enjoy road races even though they're never planning to win one, and they're not going to try.
You marathon runners out there... you are awesome.
I love running. Running is great. And one of the tricks of sticking with running, is being honest with yourself about your own purpose for running. Why do you run? What parts of running make you happiest? How can you get the most satisfaction from running and feel great about your accomplishments? For most of us, that means being inspired by all these amazing marathon runners out there today, rather than demoralized or down upon our own accomplishments. And I don't mean inspired to start training for our own marathon, I mean inspired because these are people who have found something they love so much that they've trained to do it for 26.2 miles.
As a beginning runner who lives with one of these crazy people, I have to remember that his path might be longer than my path, but that doesn't mean I should stick to the couch.
So if you're also standing on the sidelines, thinking to yourself "oh my gosh, I could never do that", here's what I'd say:
If you think you could never do that because you never WANT to run 3-5 hours without stopping, then I think you are a very rational person and you can come hang out next to me and cheer. We can secretly laugh about how insane these people are and make fun of how they look in their compression socks.
If you think you could never do that because you just don't think you could even though you secretly really want to... well, I think you should look at some of the runners who are doing it against some pretty impressive odds and consider being inspired. Because there will be people over the age of 70 finishing, and people who weigh over 200 pounds finishing, and even some people with no legs finishing. So if you want it, and you're willing to work for it and be patient enough to train for the months and maybe years that it takes, you probably can do it.
But I recommend you grab yourself a cup of coffee, clap like crazy while people run by, and stick to the shorter races with me.
And in that light, I would like to present my Ode to the 5k, in the form of t-shirt slogans.
3.1 - Long Enough to Feel Good, Often Enough to Look Good
3.1 - Why Give Up Your Saturday Mornings?
3.1 - I'm Efficient.
3.1 - If It's Not A "Challenge", Run Faster
3.1 - Not Everyone's Crazy
3.1 - Run Fun :)
3.1 - You Could Be Doing This Eight Weeks From Now