Here we are two weeks post marathon Monday. When I think about what I had wanted this message to say and what I will actually type I am still baffled. I had expected to be typing this the night of the marathon, full of exhaustion and excitement and a photo of me with my second Boston Marathon medal, as well as my finishing time. Needless to say, that didn’t work out. So here I am two weeks later and feeling like I am of sound mind to express my gratitude and tell my story. Here it goes:
I was running with my “sole”sister Melissa. I met Melissa at our first Tedy’s Team training run in November of 2011, since that first run we have run a ridiculous number of miles side by side. Running a marathon is hard work, mentally and physically. There are some things that make it a bit easier, like the crowds screaming your name and telling you look strong. There are people that are kind enough to handout, what I call, little pieces of heaven (wrapped twizzlers and jolly ranchers). Some people make witty signs that I couldn’t help but giggle at. Those are a couple of examples from strangers along the course. We know once we get to mile 20 our coach John will be waiting for us with words of encouragement and anything else we need. If you know the course, mile 20 is Heartbreak Hill, a welcome moment on the course to see someone I know and knows exactly what I’m going through. Seeing John gave me the push I needed to get to 21, where I knew I would see David, my parents, my cousin and Melissa’s family. Seeing them was a great moment, lots of hugs, lots of smiles, lots of support. I needed it. My quads were shot, my hamstrings weren’t far behind and we only had 5.2 miles to go. We looked at each other and said let’s get this done. Off we went.
Around mile 23 there was a woman standing in the middle of the road speaking to a marathon volunteer ( this is an assumption, he was in a yellow marathon jacket) she was saying something about the finish line and to stop runners. Melissa and I were both trying to figure out what she was talking about but quickly let it go. We had business to take care of. Then we saw someone running with a friend of his, the friend was in fatigues but no pack. We heard him say something about the finish line and explosion but they were running faster than us so we didn’t get the whole story. Again, we had business to take care of, we kept running. Next we saw a teammate of ours and she told us to stop running because the course was closed. We still didn’t understand what was happening so we kept running. This was the Boston Marathon, we could not just “stop running.” Well apparently we could, and we did. The next few bits are a bit foggy and I will probably tell them out of order but I know you will understand.
We were stopped dead in our tracks. There were runners all around us not really knowing what to do, including ourselves. Within a few minutes we had seen a former teammate of ours and some current members. Because of that we had a good idea where people were. I have known no worse feeling than not knowing if my husband, parents and cousin (whom I’ve been trying to get to visit me for 10 plus years) were harmed. I was able to get in touch with David via text so he knew I was ok and I knew he and my family were safe. Thankfully, I run with my phone on airplane mode so I had a decent amount of battery left. I got one phonecall off to my dearest Heather before they jammed the signals. Then communication was solely via text. Melissa’s boyfriend James and his family are members of the Harvard Club. As the universe would have it, we were stopped about five doors from there. We let our teammates know that’s where we were headed and to meet there, if needed. After a failed first attempt to enter Melissa, Liza and I walked right in without issue. They had sheets on the front counter which helped to regulate our body temperatures slightly. Someone there for a meeting or something told us there was food on the next floor and to help ourselves. A family visiting from out of town, kindly went to their car and got us food and something to drink, as well. Angels. Our teammate, Renee’s husband Jeremiah had met up with her on the course and were with us in the Harvard Club, another angel. Without him I’m not sure what we would have done. He had his wits about him and was as cool as a cucumber in another wise chaotic situation. He got in touch with James and coordinated our pick up on Storrow Drive. We retrieved my car fron Newton and Jeremiah drove us home. Simultaneously, David’s coworker had picked him and my family up in the South End and drove them back to the South Shore. Someone asked me this morning how long it took to get home. I had not thought about it. I have know idea. All I know is when I had my son in my arms, crying into his hair it was still light out. Seeing David, LAL, my mom and dad, CC, Randi, and Adele was such a beautiful sight.
I still don’t understand why anyone would want to turn such a wonderful day of triumph and accomplishment into such tragedy. I’m sure I never will.
I am thankful to everyone that has supported me in taking on this challenge. But there are a few people I have to send a special thank you to. My dearest Heather and dearest Randi, there aren’t enough words out there for you two, I love you! My “sole” sister Melissa, who knew getting lost would lost on a run would turn into such a beautiful friendship. My sweet Toni, I am eternally grateful, thank you for expecting me and dancing me back into the light. And the love of my life, David, you deal with an awful lot during training season, I am blessed to have you, thank you for being my rock! XOXO