Boston Fever

It has finally hit me. The dreaded Boston fever. It happens to members of the running community around this time every year. We all suddenly become focused on the Boston Marathon. Those of us (like myself) who will probably never qualify, and those who are preparing for it, come together with a fixation that is almost nauseating to those who know us. Who’s going, Who’s the favorites, and the new qualifying standards all become regular topics of conversations on long runs and at a social runner’s gatherings. You count down the days and read everything you can about the contenders. For example, when this came across my news feed today, my heart started to race all over again. Boston is almost here:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=283080&id=9815486986

Then I saw this tweet and could definitely relate:

You know you’re a runner when someone mentions NY or Boston, and you assume they’re referring to the marathons there. @SavannahRunning

That tweet really hit home. I mentioned that I thought I had Boston fever and my friend said I should be a Yankee’s fan instead. He thought I was talking about baseball (which I don’t even care about). Another friend and I were talking about really cool birthday things and I mentioned that my sister’s birthday falls on the most awesome day this year. November 6th of course being the NYC marathon. I approached her with the plan of running it together and she decided I was insane. She said there are better things to do on your birthday than running a marathon. I spent some time thinking about it and couldn’t think of anything better than running the NYC marathon on my birthday. I guess you can call me crazy.

Boston may not be a goal for me, but it is still an important race. My American running role model, Kara Goucher, is running the race with the hopes of beating her 3rd place finish in 2009. And did I mention she just had a baby less than a year ago? She says she won’t give up until she gets 1st place there. That is what I admire and hope to model myself after in my training. We all have good and bad days, but as long as you keep coming back and trying you prove that you are unbeatable. No one can get you if you don’t give up. As part of my fan worship I am willing to admit that I have pictures of her hanging in the most active rooms of my house. She is there on the bathroom mirror, next to my computer in my office, next to the door in my bedroom, and on the closet in the hallway. No, I don’t spend hours staring at her, I’m not that much of a weirdo. But every time I think of giving up, or I don’t want to get out of bed when my alarm goes off for my run, I just have to look to my door and there she is. I tell myself “that is what you can accomplish if you don’t give up”. She never let injury, doubts, or even a kid keep her from her goals. Now granted, I may never race Boston, but I can still meet my goals if I attack life with the same fire that Kara does. That is why she is my inspiration and why I am so excited for her return to Boston. She is an inspiration to every person who wants to meet their goals. A true demonstration in not giving up no matter what.

Another reason that Boston is important for me this year, is that I actually know people racing it. No, they are not in the elite field, but they still qualified to run one of the most prestigious races out there. They are three members of my marathon training group at Fleet Feet. They have been running with me and (mostly!) passing me for 15 weeks now. I know their faces and what gear they run in. I know how hard it is for them to get new shoes. And I know how much they love running. The one guy, Sal, began competitive racing when he was 62 and has run Boston 9 times! Laina and her ponytail generally run past me at least 3 times per long run. She ran her qualifying time at the Toronto marathon 2010, which was her first marathon ever, even though she has been running for 15 years. My hopes are that she can hold off on her speed until the end. She is one of those who goes out too fast and regrets it later. But I know she can do it! There is also Joan, whom I haven’t spent much time with, but know is really excited for Boston too. I wish the three of them luck and can’t wait to hear their stories when they get back. It’s amazing the people you meet because of running.

So that is my bit about Boston. I have to work on Monday but will be following along with the live coverage on: universalsports.com I just hope I don’t get busted too bad for watching it so avidly during work.

My final thought of the day is: Marathoning is just another form of insanity. ~ John J. Kelly, winner of the 1952 Boston Marathon

Happy trails and good luck to all the Boston Marathon racers!

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