Growing up as a runner just outside of Boston the magnitude of the Boston Marathon holds weight for me that is heavier than the Olympics. To me it just feels personal when I watch so many runners leave their hearts on the streets that I consider to be mine. What makes them mine? Simply that I grew up here. Just like the fact that I run makes me a runner.
I suppose I began running by chance, but I happened to be pretty good so it turned into my sport. I ran competetively from junior high through my junior year in college. As you can imagine, that totals quite a number of races. Amazingly, I am pretty sure I could count on my fingers the number of races that I ran without my fan club; my mom, dad and my grams (later to be joined by my step dad and step mom). They were always so supportive, so proud. My mom with her cowbell, my dad with his camera and my grams more often than not, in her yellow fleece. This is the kind of support you take for granted when you are young. You don't think about the time that is sacrificed to drive all over New England every Saturday for ten years. You don't think about these things when they are just always there. I know now how lucky I was, just to have that support, to be celebrated in victory and comforted in defeat. I can hear myself like it was yesterday telling my fan club that I would run the Boston Marathon one day. I probably said it a million times. I especially remember one Patriot's Day in particular when my Grams took my sister and I to the 99 for lunch. As we ate our Gold Fever Wings and watched the Elite runners cross the finish line I proclaimed that one day they would be watching me cross that finish line. There was nothing really glorious or surprising about the moment...but perhaps it stands out as such a strong memory because they both believed me. With my Grams passing in 2012 my desire to follow through on my intention to run the marathon became extremely strong. I am not sure why. Perhaps because the sport was a connection for us, perhaps because the loss of a loved one makes time on earth seem too short, or perhaps because I know that she will be there when I cross the finish line, I know there is nowhere else her spirit would rather be that day.
I was lucky to be accepted to run for team Mass Eye and Ear this year. The team is in its ninth year of partnership with John Hancock Financial Services, the lead sponsor of the Boston Marathon, Team Eye and Ear has raised over $2.1 million to benefit patient care and research at Mass. Eye and Ear. This year, the 100 members of Team Eye and Ear aim to raise more than $750,000. I am proud to run for this organization and play a small part in helping patients get the care and treatment that they need.
Another thing I learned I took for granted as "a runner" is the time and miles that get put in BEFORE the 26.2! I am so happy to have my awesome friend Heather as my training partner. We began our official training together on Thanksgiving and we have pushed and motivated eachother through so many chilly miles. I have definitely learned that marathon training is not for the weak, but with the best fan club, an amazing organization and the best running partner I know I will proudly cross that finish line!
When the going gets tough on these long chilly runs it is comforting to think of the people who believe in me, and always have and it is empowering to think of the lives my efforts will impact. Please help me reach my personal goal of raising $7,500 in support of Mass Eye and Ear. Just a small donation can go so far...Thanks for believing in me!
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