It’s here we go again for another marathon and this time it’s a (THE?) big one. It feels different though in quite a few ways. I’ve written a lot about this journey. I’ve been on it more or less for two years now; deciding to try for it, getting injured, going again, getting the BQ, realising that might not be enough to discovering it was enough – by 37 important seconds. (Oh, the things I could’ve spent 37 seconds doing that would have crushed this dream!).
I didn’t think I cared much about running this race. Certainly, if I hadn’t come to live in America, it never would’ve been something I pursued. But, oh my gosh, now I’m in it I simply cannot tell you how big an honour it feels. From the moment I knew I was in I’ve felt different. That day, getting that acceptance, was like a door opened to another world. Metaphorically and literally, you enter a land of unicorns and rainbows and you find that you are looking at everything through blue and yellow tinted spectacles.
I had been in a Facebook group called Boston Squeakers since I qualified. This is basically a lovely group of runners whose fates, up until early September are unknown (these are people with a cushion of less than 5 minutes under their BQ time, over 5 and you’re pretty much gravy). This group is/was utterly hilarious. Everyday there would be 1000+ word essays with deep analysis on what the cut off time would be, people had made video montages singing about it – one was called ‘Let us in” to the tune of ‘Let it go’. Even that, this desperate group of wannabes, was a sense of camaraderie that felt so nice. On the day though, you either squeaked in or squeaked out, it got painful to watch on the day of reckoning; bitter sweet.
On squeaking in, I got added to the Boston Buddies Training Group. That was where the unicorns and rainbows properly kicked in. I was on a thread where the actual Kathryn Switzer welcomed us. There is a guy calling himself Superman who posts daily poetry and motivational speeches. OK, this group’s members are for the most part, significantly better runners than me. Most are far from squeaky with soft, fluffy, ultra-comfy qualifying cushions of 30+ minutes.
But hey, do you remember that scene in Pretty Woman where Richard Gere delivers the terms and conditions of Julia Robert’s employment as his escort for the week? He leaves, she walks back into the penthouse and says to herself:
‘But I’m here now.’
*She’s actually saying something like ‘you’ve gotta love Prince’ in that picture, but that doesn’t work as well with my story.
And so, week 1 of training is complete. Who knows what the next 18 weeks might bring? I’m starting this training 2 weeks after my slim, fit, non-smoking, rationally eating husband almost died from a heart attack with no prior symptoms, I’m taking nothing for granted here. Anything can happen in life; anything can happen in running and definitely anything can happen when it comes to marathons. But hey, I’m mindful. I’m living in the moment and wearing my party knickers (well, appropriate running clothes obvs).
Bring it (Bost) on. (Cheap pun sorry.)