This morning was the 115th running of the Boston Marathon – Happy Patriots’ Day to all my fellow Yankees. I watched the race online, and it was a great event. There were down-to-the-wire sprints for the men’s wheelchair, men’s and women’s races. When the women were racing for the finish, I was actually on my feet cheering Desiree Davilla as she tried to hold on for first.
Some of my non-running friends (and my husband) don’t understand how I can spend almost three hours glued to my laptop watching other people run, but I have always loved watching marathons. Watching the NYC marathon as a child is what spurred me to finally run it myself.
A few weeks ago I posted on Facebook my intention to run the 2012 Austin Marathon, and after watching today’s Boston, I’m ready to declare my goal more publically.
I have really been struggling with running for the past few months. My illness this winter, a month on steroids and ongoing depression have hindered my efforts to get back into running shape. I am at the lowest point I’ve been in years in terms of my love of running. Last week I even considered giving it up all together.
But watching this morning’s race reminded me of why I love running, and why I love marathons (if love is the right word). Seeing the runners lined up the start, smiling in anticipation, gave me goosebumps. Watching them leave everything they had on the course made me think about how finishing a marathon gives me a sense of accomplishment that no other race distance does.
Training for a marathon is a marathon in and of itself, as I rediscovered this past summer. It means long hours on the Trail before dawn. It means exhaustion and time away from my family. But during the months that I was training for New York, I felt stronger physically than I had in months. And the sense of strength lasted for weeks afterwards, not just because I had finished the race, but because I had survived the months and months of training that went into it.
Running is the only thing I do that is purely for me; the time I spend running is often the only time I spend on my own, without kids clinging to me and asking for something. I can forget about the vacuuming and laundry and dishes that need to be done and concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other.
I need to lace up my shoes and get myself back out there. The first few weeks will suck, but the end result is worth it.
Next February, look for me at the start of the Austin Marathon. I’ll be there. You can count on it.