Running · Sports · Travel

Countdown To Beantown

I just remembered…

I’m running the Boston Marathon!

It’s easy, during training, to get distracted by the process. We pick a race, we register, and we get down to business. We choose a training plan. We keep track of our workouts and mileage with…I admit…sometimes freakish attention to detail. We studiously consume produce of varying colors, use foam rollers and massage sticks, and are probably more aware of bedtime than the parents of a toddler. Ok, almost, for that last one [I know many parents of toddlers. God bless them.].

I’ve been doing each of these. Scarily, I could probably find the tart cherry juice and spinach at my grocery store blindfolded. So those moments when I remember the point to all this, which have grown more frequent as April 15 draws nearer, seem positively magical.


The race has so much history and so many stories, someone could teach a college course about it, if they don’t already.

In the last few weeks, several people have asked me if I’m excited. I’ve smiled and gamely said “Yeah!” but with lots of other things vying for my brain’s attention: stuff at work, stuff at home, not to mention plenty more training miles to run. No sense tempting fate by getting too excited too early, right?

But now? Forget tempting fate. I’m excited.

This will be my third time running Boston, but that doesn’t make it any less of an event. It just means I know some really, really great things to look forward to. Things like my family’s tradition of eating at the Union Oyster House on Saturday night (don’t worry, I abstain from the shellfish), and at one of Boston’s 87,000 [rough estimate] scrumptious Italian restaurants on Sunday night. Things like the marathoners’ Mass on Sunday, where the priest says a blessing over all the runners present, and where the organist has been known to play the Chariots of Fire theme. Things like the bus ride to Hopkinton.

Oh my Lord, the bus ride! The last time I rode that bus, the majority of the passengers were women. We had a great time with plenty of chatter and laughter, and then…well, let’s just say the bus ride got a little long, and those buses don’t come equipped with toilets. There was nearly a mutiny. Luckily, we arrived in Hopkinton, with its beautiful Porta-Potties, just in time – warm-up sprints are good before a marathon, right?

I’m even looking forward to the race course. I’m looking forward to testing my mental strength and tapping into the restraint required to not go crazy in the first 12 miles. I’m looking forward to running past the ladies of Wellesley, whose vocal chords could make everyone from Mike Ditka to Bob Knight tremble. I’m looking forward to the Newton hills, to beer-fueled frat boys hollering “support” from rooftops, and to turning one of the finest corners in all of runningdom: from Hereford onto Boylston. Here, if nothing else, 117 years of running, give or take thousands of New Englanders, will carry all of us marathoners across the finish line.

Am I excited? Yup.

Let’s do this thing.



22 thoughts on “Countdown To Beantown

  1. Wow, I’m jealous! I am in the last stages of training for a 10K, which can qualify me for entry in the Houston Marathon; which is a qualifier itself, for Boston…dare I dream?

  2. OMG, It sounds soooo exciting! I’ll be cheering for you from Buffalo! You’ll just have to listen hard! Good Luck!

  3. I’m totally excited for you also! I’ve done it 5 times but not this year. I’m taking a long lunch and going to the Expo today w/ my buddy who is running. He had a flame out during last year’s race and has a score to settle.
    It is always exciting. I bet Johnny Kelley was excited when he ran it for the last time.
    Where is this church? I’m not a big church goer but it sounds like a great experience.
    Have fun. I am jelous!

    1. Truth be told, I don’t know where the church is…I’m never the one driving so I just kinda go where I’m taken, haha! Hopefully we (my folks & I) will be able to find it again this year. It really is cool.

  4. Good luck, looking forward to your race report hopefully I can enjoy it before I head to London marathon the following Sunday – gulp my 3rd marathon. Totally can relate to your post & excitement / nerves.
    Enjoy the weekend & atmosphere as much as you can.

  5. I put my Sherlock Holmes hat on, found you on twitter then found your name,which told me you were fine, then I put your name in to the Boston marathon site and now know you finished the race, am pleased on both counts. My thoughts go to all the runners I can only
    begin to imagine how you all must be feeling. Safe journey home. X

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