Monday, April 21, 2014

What Meb And I Have In Common

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.

0477_39678

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.

coloradomarathon

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.

sanfran2 San Francisco – Summer 2013

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.

P1090631

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.

SUAR

80 comments:

  1. Why run? To feel alive.
    Boston - only in my wildest dreams. And a girl's gotta hav'em. Right?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Why: Because I can

    Never have run Boston, probably never will. Only doing my second on Saturday...start to finish feeling like I worked harder than last time is my goal this weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Why run? Makes me happy.

    And I definitely plan to run Boston one of these days, just have to work work work and get faster!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great post Beth. So true. Boston just this year has become a goal for me. I don't think qualifying should ever define our success as runners alone, but I'd like to at least run it once. I imagine today was extremely special for everyone who was there. For me, I run because it make me my best self :) xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  5. My running mantra is also "Because I can."

    I haven't run Boston yet, but I'd like to qualify some day. If I keep taking a few minutes off my marathon time, and the qualifying standards keep going up for age, I might qualify by the time I'm 60 or so. =)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Why I run: "For good health" (mental as much as physical!) I desperately wanted to play hooky from volunteering at school today to watch the marathon instead but I didn't. :) One of my goals is to qualify for Boston -- "just" another 7:42 to shave off. I will run the Santa Rosa Marathon in August but I like my chances better for the Surf City Marathon next February (flatter course, better weather, more training!)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I just LOVE YOU!!!!!!! I love every single word of this.... watching Meb cross that finish line made my heart happy in a way that no words could describe! And that is something that only another runner could ever understand. Someday I will run Boston. I'm pretty sure I won't actually run a qualifying time until I'm in my 80's though! :) Meanwhile, I'm just gonna keep moving forward!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I run because it grounds me and lifts me up at the same time.

    No Boston yet, but I will be there.

    *Also, he's the first American man to win since 1983 - I believe an American woman won in 1985. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Pushes my limits

    I watched the epic win on tv today! I was on the edge of my seat

    ReplyDelete
  10. I watched him win- amazing! I love this post and it's just what I needed today. I have been wanting to run Boston for 9 years!! My first marathon was a 5:11 and now my best is a 3:48. I am getting there- 8 more minutes. :-) This is the inspiration I needed! You are inspiring!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! YOU are an inspiration! That's a big improvement!

      Delete
  11. No Boston for me yet but I will get there! I am determined.

    I was there this year watching my husband and it motivated me even more. Was so proud to see Meb win it!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Why do I run? For bragging rights!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I watched Meb win today and loved that feeling of joy I had for him and all American runners. I now have a new desire but I am not sure I will ever be able to meet the qualifying time. Guess I better get started. Why do I run "for my sanity"

    ReplyDelete
  14. Why do I run? Honestly I have no idea and have been thinking about this a lot especially with my tri training. I do enjoy it most of the time and it does makes me feel strong.
    I have no intention of running Boston or any marathon for that matter.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Why do I run in 3 words or less? Cheaper than therapy!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Why I run? Explore my soul.

    There is no better time to think deeply and reflect on things going on in my life than an hour, or more, with nature and the world as my backdrop.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Why run? Helps with stress!

    Never qualified for Boston.......I'd like to but am really focused on tri right now. I want to do a full IM in 2015 - just completed a 70.3. I get less bored when I vary my sports!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Makes me happy!
    I ran Boston in 2011, too! Too bad I wasn't reading your blog back then, maybe I would have seen you and recognized you!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I started to run (and swim) at age 45 because I refuse to age "gracefully." I want to go out kicking and screaming and setting PRs and having the time of my life! I just did my first Ragnar and my first half (at age 47) and will do my first full in November (at age 48) and I am definitely planning on getting my BQ! WOOHOO!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Less than two week till the marathon that I hope will earn me a place in Boston - I'll be re-watching this and re-reading this repeatedly over the next 12 days!

    ReplyDelete
  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  22. As adults, there aren't enough 'check that box', clear-cut "I did it!" moments. Running gives me this! Running also keeps me sharp and mentally happy. Lovely!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I watched Meb win and it was so amazing...I loved how your post put into words what so many of us felt as we watched him win, and what so many runners feel as they cross a finish line. Why do I run? Happiness, confidence, health.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Why run? I thought it said RUM!!! haha But really, why run? To Stay Fit!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I was jumping up and down with tears in my eyes watching Meb finish! Just amazing!
    Why do I run? To be stronger (mentally & physically)

    ReplyDelete
  26. I run for: Strength. Health. Freedom.
    My goal is to run Boston in 2016.

    ReplyDelete
  27. To feel good.

    I've never run Boston, I'm nowhere near being able to BQ right now.. maybe one day though :) Watching Meb win today.. and watching Shalane gave it all she had.. that was definitely motivating.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I feel powerful!!
    I hope to qualify this year...ran a 3:57:58 marathon in February with no speed work in training (fracture fears). After just 6 weeks, I have gotten my 10k under 7:40 pace and 5k pace of 7:07 this weekend. I WILL run Boston! I can feel it!
    And watching Meb this morning was so emotional! My husband said I might be the only person that cried! I told him no way!! Lots of runners celebrated with happy tears today! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I cried watching Meb. My friend who trained me for my first marathon (and who has run two Boston Marathons herself) called while I was crying and couldn't understand why I was???

      Delete
  29. It's so true...no matter how "small" the race, crossing the finish line always reminds me that I AM capable. Thanks for sharing that footage of Meb. I couldn't watch at work. It moved me to tears!

    ReplyDelete
  30. To feel strong.
    Also to be strong, but the feeling is stronger than the actual being. Surprisingly (or not) I can do more with feeling strong than with actually being strong. What, just 3 words, really?
    I hope I can run Boston one day, but that's a long way ahead. The logistics of qualifying, applying, being accepted, and traveling half the world to run it are a bit difficult for me to figure out right now.

    ReplyDelete
  31. To feel alive!

    I ran Boston in 2011 as well … quite an emotional race for me as I tried 3x before qualifying, developed a stress fracture right after qualifying and ended up having to defer for a year. It was the last full marathon I ran--it's been difficult to get back into the longer distances without injury (had a second stress fracture, same spot). But I loved it so much I would try again--running my first half marathon since 2011 in June.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Because I can.

    I have not run Boston and since I have zero desire to run a full I probably never will. I'll stick to the Half. I have found though that no matter the distance there are struggles, triumphs, hard work, emotion, and joy at crossing the finish line.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Keeps Me Sane.
    Goal is to qualify in 2016, run in 2017. Have to get to the next age group :)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Improved my life.

    I ran Boston in 1982, the year Alberto Salazar set a course record in 2:08:52, just 15 seconds slower than Meb's winning time today. American Greg Meyer ran 2:09:00 the following year, that last time an American won the race until today.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Why do I run: Keeps me sane...
    ...+ the dog makes me! :)

    Never done Boston. Never done any marathon. I just run to run. But I am still inspired by all of you who dig down and do these things!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Why do I run: Health is everything. (It's so hard to pick just one reason!). When I was in my 20s, I lived in Boston and would watch the marathoners on Patriot's Day and think I could do that too, one day. I didn't realize that you had to qualify, and I simply don't run fast enough to qualify.

    NOw I want to know: What marathons are on your bucket list???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good question!! It's more like, what's not on my BL!! I'll have to do a whole post on that one. A real dream is GREECE. Great Wall of China. Big Sur. Rome. The list goes on and on...

      Delete
  37. CUZ IMA BADASS! Hahaha great post my friend!

    Mark aka @marathoner
    http://twitter.com/marathoner

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lmao. Technically, I think IMA and BADASS are each two words. But I'll give you a pass this time.

      Delete
  38. Why do I run? Destroy my limitations

    I ran Boston in 2012....the "hot" one (temps in the high 80's).....I'll probably never qualify on time, but as a charity runner, I raised over $5K to fight melanoma. While it wasn't a PR, making that left turn onto Boylston Street was a feeling that can still bring tears to my eyes. After volunteering yesterday, my spirit is renewed and I hope to be able to toe the line in Hopkinton next Patriot's Day.

    ReplyDelete
  39. WHy do I run? Because... Today I Can.

    half marathon is my limit so far. not sure i can run farther.

    If I ran a half and the top ten women from boston yesterday ran a full I'd still come in 11th!
    ReneeW

    ReplyDelete
  40. I run because I am blessed to be able to!

    I ran Boston last year and was lucky enough to finish 5 minutes before the bombs went off. I was a block away just getting my medal handed to me. I never thought I'd run it again, but now feel compelled to do it again. My husband is hoping to qualify this year so we can run it together in 2016!

    ReplyDelete
  41. "Clears my head." I was so excited to see Meb win yesterday. Boston will always be on my wish list of things to strive for. Had to bag running since about month three of this pregnancy for medical reasons.. and as you know, you never want to run more than when you are sidelined. Can't wait to get back out there and feel human again.

    ReplyDelete
  42. To Test Myself

    I would think there are not many runners who become complacent and just "go for a run" without having a goal in mind. Especially those that race on a regular basis. You might not SAY you are trying to beat your time....but who are you kidding? you totally are!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Why run? Because I can. Lots of people out there would give anything to run and can't.

    Boston - yes, I'd love to one day, they just keep making it harder and harder to qualify, seems like. First I need to do a marathon, period...

    ReplyDelete
  44. Why I run: To feel powerful!

    Boston is on my big list of marathons to run! I hope I can qualify in the next year! I'm training, I'm working....just gotta keep the injuries at bay!

    ReplyDelete
  45. LOVE Meb & his grace as a runner!
    Why I run: goals, sanity, & joy
    101st Boston in 1997 (I believe that was the # and year, kinda a long time ago). I have many other bucket list races to run so I have never returned even though I loved my experience at Boston!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Why I run-Time with GIRLFRIENDS!!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Why: Makes me strong!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Why? Be my Best.

    I have never run Boston, but I've cheered from the sidelines twice. Would love to try, but I don't know if I'll ever qualify for it, even when I get to my 70s.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Why I run: Strength, health, peace.

    I've never run Boston and I never really had a desire until yesterday watching Rita and Meb finish. I'll never BQ (I'd have to run for a charity), but I think I may need to make that happen.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I feel alive! I qualified for Boston in 2009; ran it in 2010. For everyone who dreams of qualifying and running it, you can!! Believe in yourself, work hard, and you will get there. It took me 6 serious attempts before I finally qualified. It was so worth every mile repeat, every skipped donut, and every sore muscle. I would love to run it again, and plan to qualify sometime in the next few years.
    I heard Meb talk at a race expo in 2005, and he was so inspirational!! He has been my hero ever since then!

    ReplyDelete
  51. I run because it completes me. Ran Boston yesterday and my heart nearly exploded with joy when I came upon the woman holding a "Meb Won!!!" Sign for us to see....the chants of USA and running past team Hoyt were so inspiring. One of the best days of my life....

    ReplyDelete
  52. Why do I run? - The runner's high. Love how I feel after a run (or at least most runs). I ran Boston in 2010 and 2011. Had a great time both years. This year (and last year) I worked handing out heat blankets/capes to the runner's that just finished. The energy of the runners was amazing. I received a LOT of fist bumps and high fives. And more thank you's than I could count. I didn't get to see Meb cross the finish line in person but the video and all the reports after the win were amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Forty-two year habit.

    I work with kids with communication/cognitive delays or on the autism spectrum.
    I have run many marathons, ultras and have completed over 100 triathlons.
    Nothing gives me more satisfaction, chills and a super high than seeing a kid use a word/phrase/sentence to get what he/she wants, needs, or to just greet or comment. Nothing.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Why I run - Makes Me Proud (of myself that is...). I've always been very non-athletic and actually thought I can't run... my 10th half is next week, and my first full is at the end of May. I hope to like the full and get under 4:15. Then I'll have to work to get to 3:40 to get to Boston, which will be a lot of work given my current half PR is only 1:55... But I'm hoping for 2016 :)

    ReplyDelete
  55. To feel invincible.

    (Because if I can run 26.2 miles, certainly I can deal with my cranky boss.)

    You nailed this post, Beth! It's like you live in my brain. Have you seen this brilliant Mizuno campaign? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOCFYBvpJ6s

    MAKES ME CRY! xo

    ReplyDelete
  56. Love and relate to every word of this. Why I run - learn life lessons. Running has helped me identify weaknesses and figure out how to work with them to push past limits. The more mistakes I make running the more I learn about myself and life. It makes me a better person all around. I ran boston this year and the rush of pain, joy and raw emotion was incredible (totally childbirth like!) and was once again reminded what an incredible gift we have to be able to do what we do!

    ReplyDelete
  57. Beth, you got it just right - why we run and why it is so amazingly fulfilling and rewarding. I ran on Monday and it was truly amazing - joyful, celebratory and positive, every step of the (painful) way. I was so honored to be part of it! And by the way, I thought of you during the race when I saw a sign that said, "Fart, it will make you run faster!" You would have cracked up. And we know better - the person who wrote that sign couldn't possibly have been a runner, who would know that a fart can never be trusted, especially during a marathon!

    ReplyDelete
  58. I never really considered Boston one of my goals until this weekend when I traveled to watch my husband run it. It was always something I thought wasn't really for me, just like I wasn't going to get into Harvard or Yale, I wasn't going to get into Boston. After this weekend, I am SO going to BQ someday! Such an inspiring place to be!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even at 46 years old, I think my chances of graduating from Harvard are better than my chances of BQing. Good luck to you, though!

      Delete
  59. I run for: strength, sanity, and fun! I ran Boston in 2009 and I just ran it this year too! It was a BLAST! I will do it again, but every 5 years or so is enough for me. Like you, I have other races I want to do, and also, it is expensive to travel and take time off work for Boston.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Why run? To celebrate life. Just ran my 3rd Boston last week. I will never get tired of that race.

    ReplyDelete