Saturday, April 23, 2011

“When My Mom Ran the Boston Marathon…”

It’s tough to hang out with a marathoner before and during race day.

As runners we drag our kids, spouses, mistresses, and life partners through  the tangled and crowded messes called “expos.” If you are a Siamese twin whose better half wants to run a marathon, you are screwed.

siamese

Damn, that’s weird

We then ask these “support staff” to drive around strange cities, or better yet, decipher confusing public transportation just to watch us run by for 30 seconds. They must do this several times over the course of one to five hours.

When I spectated my first marathon last October, I could not BELIEVE how exhausting, draining  and exhilarating it was to be a spectator. I’ll never take this for granted.

Ken, the kids, my aunt/uncle and my cousin, her husband and their son went to ridiculous lengths to find me during the Boston Marathon at 7 miles, 13.2 miles, 20 miles and the finish. They pushed their way through crowds, got into traffic jams, struggled to find parking spots and waited patiently until I arrived. They met me with smiles, encouragement and love. They never once complained. They accepted my sweaty and grotesque hugs and didn’t mention that maybe I needed to change my underwear.

thehug

goodbye

The night we got home from Boston, Emma, age 10, wrote a memoir as a school assignment. It is a daughter’s perspective on the day. It steals my heart:

002

My favorite part is “I felt like the coolest kid in the world, for having a runner mom.” Priceless.

A week from tomorrow I get my turn to watch it all go down. Ken is running his first marathon. One of my clients, Deb, who is 50, is running her first marathon. My dear friend Joie will complete her second marathon. I’m all choked up just thinking about finding them along the way and watching them finish. Thank God they’re all doing the same one.

You can say, “It’s just running, it’s just a race.” But those of us who run know that completing the race represents so much more.

It is the final expression of miles upon miles run in the cold, wet, heat. Of solo training runs that sometimes tax you to your core and sometimes build your confidence to the sky. Of self doubt and self pride. It symbolizes doing what we said we were going to do. Of finding our inner strength and challenging it beyond measure. It simply makes us better. To share that with those who mean the most to you is the ultimate gift.

Damn. Way too early on a Saturday to cry at my own post.

Off to watch the snow fall,

SUAR

PS: Don’t forget my Sporty Girl Jewelry Giveaway!

73 comments:

  1. good grief! there you go again making me CRY!! as a mom, your daughter's writing just about turned me to mush. how incredible to have that to cherish. enjoy your Saturday! SNOW?!?!

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  2. Another post that made me cry! I'm currently training for my first marathon (Grandma's) and am looking forward to completing it. LOVE Emma's perspective on The Boston. What a sweet girl!!

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  3. aweee, that is so sweet. What a cool daughter.

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  4. I love that part, too! (Where she said she felt like the coolest kid in the world.) How awesome. I got teary and it's way too early for me, too.

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  5. Love it. My race is next weekend. About to run my last long run! So proud of you for battling through this year and seeing Boston through.

    It makes me want to sing, "You are the sunshine of my life...that's why I'll always read your blog post. You are the apple of my eye..." Or something like that.

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  6. Wow. Amazing. I see the apple doesn't fall far from the tree :) Your family has a gift for inspiration!

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  7. omg i don't know what's wrong with me as i damn near cried at this (i'm usually unmoved by such things). that's my favorite line too. i actually had to shut the computer screen for a moment to compose myself. no joke.

    i'm spectating my first marathon in a few weeks and i know i'll feel like the coolest kid having a runner friend. but won't be as cute when i say it. damn.

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  8. That is so incredibly sweet of your daughter. She must be SO proud of you! And that's a pretty impressive writing from a 10 year old!!

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  9. Awwwwwww.... Emma is awesome. <3

    And her mom is okay too I guess.

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  10. Okay, crying again. Cut it out!

    You rock, SUAR!

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  11. What an awesome essay written by your daughter! You are such an amazing mom and role model for her!!!!

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  12. What a sweet thing for your daughter to write!

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  13. Your post made me cry! I have marathon parents too and always thought when I was much younger (and still do), that they were the coolest. I always wanted to follow in their footsteps and now I am! You're an amazing role model for your kids and and other parents out there. Congrats on Boston!!

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  14. I cried : ( I hope my son feels the same way.

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  15. Kleenex alert please! What a beautiful essay from your daughter!

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  16. How very sweet. This is something you can think about during those tough times during training/racing.

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  17. Once again, you have me teary eyed! That memoir from Emma is just awesome...just awesome! That would have totally made me cry!!

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  18. Screw the time I've invested in reading Runner's World. Your daughter's essay was the most succinct, the most perceptive, and the coolest thing I've ever read about running. Good luck, Ken!!!

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  19. Wow, that is the sweetest thing I have ever read!

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  20. I am so glad I slept in this morning because now it's NOT too early for me to be crying…which I am. The sweetest essay about a parent I have ever read, and as Karen pointed out, so succinctly sums up running and marathoning. I would love to watch someone I know run in a marathon…after getting all worked up and emotional watching the Paris one 2 weeks ago and not even knowing any of the competitors, I imagine it would be quite an amazing experience!

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  21. Awww... your daughter's memoir almost made me cry. You've got awesome kids, Beth!

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  22. That's so sweet! Good luck to your husband!

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  23. That's the sweetest thing, is it lame of me for actually shedding a tear. What a sweetie! I'm going to link it to my post today. My blog's brand new so don't get TOO excited, I doubt you'll get much traffic from it. :) Come on over and check it out. I'm so excited to stalk you...I can use all the motivation I can get. :)

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  24. A+ Emma, quite an inspirational and moving essay. Hope to meet you next weekend! Seems like the experience has not been lost on the whole family! Congrats to that!

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  25. Loved the blog. Your daughter is so proud of you. My daughter followed me around Disneyworld for one of my marathons. It is so nice to see a friendly and familiar face along the way.

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  26. no no I am not crying...I just have something in my eyes that is why I need a kleenex..wait a minute..see all better...my nose is red? no not crying...it is allergies! come on!

    love this post. my husband and 2 sons have been to all my races, mine are shorter but still they get up early and we drive to my races and the boys are just 5 and 6 so they don't always have the perfect behavior, you know what I mean but they still come and I appreciate this sooooo much! Emma: A++++

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  27. I would like to blame the fact that I've been pretty emotional this week, but I don't think that's it...I've got tears....what a great letter..your daughter is so sweet. Sometimes I miss having younger kids that look up to you instead of teenagers that think your weird.

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  28. Amazing :) You have done a great job with that girl and by example which is the most powerful!
    Love this post!

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  29. I knew that was you!!!!! I was going to say hello during the race, but some guy was telling me a long story about all of his Boston Marathons, this was his final one. My second marathon. SO MUCH FUN!! I eased back on pace and decided to high 5 everyone and just soak it in. The most fun I have ever had running.

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  30. That brought tears to my eyes. You must be so proud to know that you are very loved, and your daughter appreciates and is so proud of you! Just started following your blog this week, and you've been inspiring - from one runner to another.

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  31. That was awesome. My sis in law is running half next weekend (I didn't sign up in time) on my daughters bday and we can't wait to make some awesome posters to cheer her on with.

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  32. a cool mom of a cool kid! what a great letter...you done gone in raising such great kids, SUAR...you done good.

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  33. Oh wow. Makes it all worthwhile especially when you see yourself reflected doing something you can be proud of. Awesome!

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  34. I hope you framed that! What a sweet memior!

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  35. That is so awesome! There are so many times in parenthood when you're proud of your kids, and those few times when you realize they are really proud of *you* is kinda humbling.

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  36. Love Emma's note...such a great thing to know you are imparting such strong work ethic in her by example. A good support crew is priceless!

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  37. That's the kind of school assignment that you keep for a very, very long time, ideally framed on the wall. Awesome.

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  38. I was in tears reading what Emma wrote. What a kid. She's just as proud of you as you are of her.
    Go Ken! I bet you're more excited about watching and cheering Ken on that you were about doing Boston. Good luck to Ken and your other friends.

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  39. God, Beth - you're killing me. I cry every time I read your posts these days!!! What a lovely thing your daughter wrote. How beautiful!!!

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  40. That letter gave me the biggest goosebumps. She was probably so so proud of you the whole time!!! Thanks for sharing this with us!

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  41. Definitely a cool thing for her to witness and such thoughtful words from her.

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  42. that letter was the sweetest thing ever. Thanks so much for sharing :)

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  43. It is so nice when you know they are just as proud of us as we are of them. Super sweet note.

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  44. Your favorite part of your daughter's essay was my favorite part too. Good luck to your husband and all your friends next week and I hope you have tons of fun watching!

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  45. My favorite part was her last paragraph:
    "I'm so proud of her for doing it. Good job Mom. I love you."

    Precious & priceless! She (and you) are a treasure!

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  46. I'm bawling. So sweet.

    Thanks for this post - I needed this today!

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  47. what an awesome daughter, what an awesome mom...thanks so much for posting this :D

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  48. that is so awesome! def made me tear up a little!

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  49. Gorgeous letter. That's one to keep in a special place forever.

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  50. oh my gosh, so amazing. I hope you frame that letter! I agree, it's so much more than running...it's honestly life changing!!!

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  51. aw man that just melts my heart!! She's so proud of her mama!! That's priceless.

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  52. awwww your daughter's memoir is soooo cute! i actually made me tear up a bit (im such a softy!)

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  53. You totally made me tear up too!! So precious and I agree - that line MAKES the entire memoir.

    And she is ONE SERIOUSLY COOL KID to have a runner mom. :)

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  54. LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. I actually starred it in Google Reader so I can find it later. I hope my son (who is almost 3) feels that way about me someday.

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  55. I just finished my first marathon today and this hit the nail on the head!!

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  56. That note is awesome! You truly inspire me to stick with my running, to really enjoy it and to some day rock life as a runner mom!

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  57. She IS the coolest kid in the world!!! ::sniff::

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  58. Such a nice letter and a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing.

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  59. such a sweet letter!

    my husband ran a half at the end of march. his goal to break 2 hours. he had ran one in 2:02 in the fall. I waited for him at the finish line. As the time kept creeping towards that 2 hour mark i couldnt help but get choked up, then we finally saw him he had one minute or so left. I cried I was so happy to see him and watch him make his goal! It is very inspiring and emotional when you watch your loved ones accomplish something they have worked so hard for!

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  60. Brilliant. Terrific. Wonderful. Awesome. Tears.

    If you substitute the word 'mom' with 'my friend' you would be reading my writing.

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  61. That is SO adorable!!! I hope when I have kids someday they write something as sweet as that!

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  62. Love that - too sweet ... (the note, not the siamese twin pic in case you were confused) ;)

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  63. Having a daughter who is 2 1/2, I can only hope that she feels the same way about me when she gets older. This made me cry. :)

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  64. I just linked to this from your post today, and it literally brought tears to my eyes. I'm only 29 and don't have any of my own children yet, but that letter your daughter wrote is absolutely priceless :)

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  65. I linked through this post today and am so glad I read it! Normally I read SUAR because it cracks me up... but today it reminded me why I'm training for this craziness called MY FIRST MARATHON!

    I'm 4 weeks out and to that point of thinking, "Was I crazy to sign up for this?!" Now I can't wait to cross that finish line.

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