Friday, March 28, 2014

If it were easy...

Will someone please tell my IT band that this is my World Series. My Olympics. The biggest athletic stage I'll ever compete on. 

Unless it isn't. 

I'm never going to outrun it and I do use the word "compete" a little loosely. I'm no Big Papi, no Mikaela Shiffrin. I'm not going to win. 

The best I hope for is that finisher's medal and Mylar jacket in Copley Square later the same day I start in Hopkinton. If I accomplish that, and if I can find some extra encouragement for my fellow Samaritans team members and anyone else I come across along the course, then I will have gotten it done. 

After last year's finish, and this winter's teeth, getting to the start is the victory. The rest is a celebratory lap. A long one, sure. 

36,000 people are running this race. My # is 32,763. That's even more people than took the bar exam my year. 

It is important to me run this thing right 
to honor Shaira and her community 
to honor those who have donated to Samaritans on the strength of my recommendation and commitment
to pay my respects to the running world and those lost and traumatized last year

But I am not important to this race. There are 32,672 people starting ahead of me and 3,237 people after me. The marathon will go quite oblivious to my presence. 

One more long run this weekend; from here 24 days until the Marathon. My response to IT pain this year differs strikingly from last year. I've already gone 19-20-21 milers, so I've done a lot more long running than I did last year. I know what I'm capable of doing on race day with only one of the long runs in me, so I do not need to worry about getting on the bus and back to Boston on foot. 

Yeah, it's going to hurt. Something is going to hurt. It's a marathon. I'm not young. If it were easy, there'd be a million people running and only thirty six thousand cheering. Enough to fill the Wellesley scream tunnel. 

Oh, and IT band? Meet lacrosse ball. Ice pack. Naproxen sodium. And, to quote a beloved Snoopy bathrobe of my youth, "Raw Strength and Courage." You might be thick, tough, chronically inflamed and tearing my knee apart, but you will not stop my marathon!

One more thing: I'm totally psyched for this: thanks to the encouragement of some of my biggest fans! It's not too late to send a scarf! The black-looking color is really blue. Not my best work but it'll be at Old South Church in plenty of time!

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