On Monday, I was already thinking about Patriots’ Day in Boston, and following the marathon via live feeds/commentary, and of course Twitter. I saw the elite men’s race from my desk at work, and reminisced about the time I witnessed it first hand 3 years ago.
Three years ago, Ian and I ran the BAA 5k the day before the marathon on these same streets. I don’t remember my time, but I remember it was fun, if painful at the end. I couldn’t quite hang on at the end, I don’t think. But we stopped at a Starbucks on the way home after the race to warm up from the cold spring day, and everything was better.
The next day, we watched the marathon from Boylston St, over a span of exactly the two blocks where bombs were detonated on Monday. We drank sangria on a patio before the first racers showed up. We stood in the brisk air and tried to stay warm by shaking our cowbells for hours. We waited and waited for the one person we knew to reach the finish line, all the time confined to a couple blocks on the north side of the street.
I went for a run yesterday, because I needed to, and all I thought about were the 4 marathons I’ve ran. And the couple that I’ve spectated. There was the Grand Rapids marathon, where I ran without training, because I wanted to see how far I could go. There was Chicago in 2011 when I wanted to prove that I could do it, despite having chemotherapy 3 weeks prior. And the Marine Corp Marathon, 3 weeks after that, to run with family, and, I don’t know, brag a little? Two marathons in a month, after cancer treatments? How hard is a marathon, really? And Chicago again last October, where I for once actually properly trained for it and ran faster than I thought I possibly could, side by side with Ian, and just about everything went according to plan. And I was still 15 minutes too slow to qualify for Boston.
Boston is still The One, and all I can think of was, I was right there, exactly 3 years ago, and maybe that could’ve been me too, next to a bomb on a public street. And I don’t know how to process it. So I’ll go for another run. Maybe I’ll figure it out there.