Sixteen years ago I ran my first marathon, the inaugural Flying Pig in Cincinnati. Slowly.
I was afraid of everything.
My body the course the distance my projected time finishing not finishing the weather the sports drinks the water stops the porta-potties the other runners the spectators the lack of spectators my sneakers, timing chip, socks, shorts, bra, shirt, hat, fanny pack (which I was right about and wound up handing to a little kid halfway through).
Sixteen years later, I fear melanoma. Asbestos exposure. The college application process.
I pathologically fear throwing up. Not sure how to desensitize myself from that one...
This year, I have not obsessed over every twinge or cramp, and there are twinges and cramps. I don't know whether it's age or experience that has taken my anxiety offline. Perhaps the catastrophic events of last year have put everything in perspective.
I respect the course, the distance, the weather, my gear and food/drink. I also trust my legs, my heart, my brain, my gear...the security policies in place this year, the general love Boston has for this event.
In two years, with your support, I have raised nearly $12,000 for Samaritans suicide prevention and grief support services, with five more weeks to go this year. Like Arlo said in the live recording of "Alice's Restaurant,"
"If you want to end war and stuff you got to sing loud.I've been singing this song now for twenty five minutes. I could sing itFor another twenty five minutes. I'm not proud... or tired."
I'm not scared, or tired. I'm revved. I could run 52 miles...I have two more twenty-milers planned (the first this weekend, the second on the course in a few weeks!) and I am so inspired by the support you all have shown Samaritans!