Please tell me you watched Meb win the Boston Marathon today.
He is the first American male to win Boston since 1983 (a US female, Lisa Larsen Weidenbach, won in 1985) . This year, especially, the win is poignant. I had chills throughout my body as I watched him cross the finish line, only about 8 seconds in front of the second place finisher from Kenya. I watched him dig deep for miles and miles and then give a final kick at the end.
Seeing Meb made me know that I always have more to give. That it is a choice whether to embrace the pain and find inspiration from deep down and to keep going, or to give into the pain and suffering and to slow down or even stop. What choice will you make?
When I saw Meb sobbing after finishing (about 1:53 in the video), I remembered why we do these damn races. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, as satisfying and rewarding and fulfilling as giving every last ounce of what you have and seeing it come to fruition (childbirth anyone?). I know that this is why I race.
So many things in my life are not quantifiable – when you are a parent it is hard to know exactly the moment when/if you have been successful. As a social worker, I am constantly trying to advocate for children, but there is not a defined minute when I know I’ve done it right. In my marriage, I do my best to think of my spouse's happiness before mine (very tough to do), but I never truly know if I am doing it “right.” Same with my friendships.
But, running a marathon or finishing an Ironman? Now that I can measure in hours, minutes and seconds.
IM Florida November 2013
That moment allows me to know exactly when I was successful and accomplished my goal. That success is only mine and no one else’s. It’s a feeling of triumph I carry inside all the time, my little secret (unless you read this blog or are my friend or family member because then I might tell you too much). Only I can know when I race if I have left it all out there, and it is only in knowing that that I have no regrets.
Colorado Marathon 2010 – Got my BQ!
No, my running does not define me, but it has become a very important part of who I am. I know for a fact it has made me a better person, because I simply like myself more when I run. This isn’t because I am burning a certain umber of calories or wearing a certain outfit or achieving a certain time at the finish. It is because running makes me feel strong and capable and this translates to all areas of my life.
Running is the great equalizer. I could never in my wildest dreams be the runner that Meb is. But, I have run the course that Meb ran on today. I did push myself on the hills he pushed himself on today. I dug deep like he did and I embraced the crowd like he did.
I used the same porta potty he did. I cried at the finish just like he did. When I saw him grimace while he ran, I could almost feel how he felt during that last mile of a marathon because I, too, am a runner.
Boston Marathon Finish - 2011
Go Meb. Go all of us!
In three works or less, why do you run? Makes me better.
Have you ever run Boston? If not, is it one of your goals? I ran it in 2011. To be honest, I am not sure I will go back if I ever qualify again. I just have too many bucket list marathons to do the same one twice.