Thursday, April 16, 2009

My Motivation: What Running Boston Means To Me

As a runner, by default, I’m a creature of habit. Before every marathon I’ve run so far, I often like to make a list of 26 names for whom I’m running. I do this so that for every single mile, I have someone to imagine a conversation with in case I get bored and need motivation to get through the rough patches. Some people use mantras, others hum songs, but this is what I do to inspire myself as I’m running the course. This time however, as I sat down to construct the list of names to be used on race day, my mind drew a complete blank, which was somewhat shocking. So I asked myself a simple question. For whom are you running the Boston Marathon? What does running Boston mean to you? I waited patiently for my mind to settle on an answer and this is what it’s telling me…

Boston is not just another marathon. The course, the crowd, the history, the tradition, and the athletes, combine in a powerful and magnificent way to create a magical experience that is unlike any other. No matter how many previous other marathons you’ve run before or how many others you will run, this marathon is and always will be a special race. It is your First Boston. You’ll be honored and cheered, celebrated and congratulated more than ever before as you run the course, for the simple act of receiving the privilege to toe the line in Hopkinton is already an accomplishment all onto itself.
So even though you’ve run other marathons in dedication to family and friends, both virtual and real, this one for all intents and purposes, is strictly on you. For the first time in a long time, they’ll be very few friends on the sidelines looking for you. There won’t be the usual personal cheering zones at assigned street corners scattered along the course as you’ve come to be used to. There won’t even be Flyers station handing out PowerGels at Mile 19. This is Boston, Lam, not New York, but you’ll be fine. You’ll be more than fine. You’ll run a spectacular race in a historic marathon and will love every second of it.
But if you should have trouble and feel out of sorts on the course, remember the long months of waiting and tedious hours of training it took to get to where you are today. Remember how you ran a 3:11:33 in 2006 and missed out on the BQ by 33 seconds. Remember how you finally qualified a year later in 2007 NYC and still couldn’t run the race the following year because you broke a collarbone and couldn’t run for months. Most of all, remember how hard you’ve trained this winter, out in the snow, out in the cold, when it’s dark and gloomy and slippery and wet, and all that pushed you out the door each day was the passion to run and the resolve to prove to everyone else around and most of all to you, that you are a decent marathoner and deserve to run Boston. Yeah, remember that, because this has been a long journey, and you’ve come so far in preparing your body to run with the very best out there that day. Laminator, you have a date with destiny. Seize the race, run your heart out, take no prisoners, and enjoy the ride!

This is what my mind is telling me as I’m packing my bags with race day now just four days away…

24 comments:

TokyoRacer said...

Sounds like your mind has the right attitude. And that's half the battle won already.
Keep your body relaxed and your mind focused!

joyRuN said...

It's been a long time coming, Lam.

Good luck!

D10 said...

I can't wait to read your race report. Have a blast Lam!!!

aron said...

ok i just love this post. since i wasnt a reader back in 2006/2007 i had NO idea about the 33 seconds and the collar bone, wow lam. this marathon really is something special. soak up every second of it and run your heart out!!! you will have an amazing race and have trained so hard... it will all pay off in a few days! good luck and can't wait for the report!

oh and i am hoping you are going to post your bib number pretty please :) all of us sitting at work on monday need something to do!

The Happy Runner said...

I love this post. I'm so happy and excited for you! You're going to have a super race on Monday. I hope you follow your own advice: "Seize the race, run your heart out, take no prisoners, and enjoy the ride!"

Running and living said...

I had no idea about the collar bone and the 33 BQ miss! Wow, you worked so hard for Boston and now here you are so close to race time. You are a winner even before the race starts! This post is so inspirational. Good luck on Monday, and enjoy Boston - it's a fun town! Ana-Maria

X-Country2 said...

You've earned it!

Ms. V. said...

I'm a new reader, but I am so cheering you on.

Kick ass.

Jamie said...

you may have taken the long way to Boston but you made it. you are going to do great! you've so earned this.

Susan said...

I've fairly new, so I missed the story behind the story of the 33 seconds and the collarbone! Boston doesn't know what's coming!

Do we get the privilege of tracking you on Monday? Gotta cheer you on from across the country!

Anne said...

You go, Lam! You're awesome. Kick some ass.

Irish Cream said...

I agree that this has been a long time coming. I am SO excited for you that race day will finally be here on Monday! You are one of (if not THE) most inspirational people I know, Lam. We all want to be just like you ;) Now get out there and rock Boston like we know you will! Have fun and good luck :)

CH said...

That's good. You need to run one for yourself every once in a while.

Michelle said...

Oh yeah! I want to wish you all the luck in the world running Boston! I am really in awe and so excited for you!!!

Your awesome!!!

carpeviam said...

A marathon in the making, for you. You deserve for it to about you. Enjoy every moment!

Run For Life said...

Wooohoooo!

Spike said...

Have an amazing race and kick some butt, you have worked so hard for this, I hope you crush 3:00:00.

J said...

You are going to run awesome! Like super great! I cant even explain how exciting this is that the race is finally here and you get to run Boston, so enjoy every minute and then report back cause I want to hear all about it!

Nitmos said...

Good luck, Lam! Enjoy the race!

Vava said...

Sounds like you've got some wise grey matter in there, Lam! Can't wait to find out how you do in Boston, and then to read what will likely be a fantastic race report. Good luck with the last three days of prep.

lindsay said...

i love this :) i hope it pumped you up as much as it pumped me up! safe travels and kick some boston booty.

and ditto to aron - post your bib # so i have something to do here at work on monday. ;)

runningcommentaries said...

You are going to do so well! Soak it up and enjoy every second!

sRod said...

Wonderful...absolutely wonderful.

Best of luck!

Andrew is getting fit said...

I can't wait for the race report! Enjoy the 10 mile run! ;)

 
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