“It’s through storytelling that I motivate myself. I try to come up with a story that will motivate me to get out there and attempt a goal" - Joan Benoit Samuelson
"So many moments make up a marathon. All uniquely personal, but when looked at together they truly embody what it means to #BeBoston." - John Hancock Extra Mile
“You're alive in the moment, and the moment is truly all anyone has.” - Greg Dulli
I've started writing this post dozens of times...
Tears come to my eyes whenever I think of all the people who helped me on my long road to Boston.
The moments that made up my marathon story were so meaningful to me that it's been difficult for me to put the experience into words.
As I begin to write my story, I want to express my deepest gratitude for all the support I received before, during and after my 1st Boston Marathon.
I will continue to add to this post as I gather my thoughts. I hope that my story will inspire others in the way that so many stories have inspired me.
In the meantime, my 4 sources for memorable moments on Marathon Monday:
1) Running with Dana-Farber
I was so grateful for the opportunity to be a charity runner.
Running for a reason greater than myself made my experience much more meaningful.
Since 2012, Leah and I have been running with Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer in memory of Leah's brother-in-law, Michael and our grandmother, Aileen, known affectionately as "GG" by my daughter.
Since so many of our family and friends have been and continue to be affected by cancer, joining the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge was the perfect choice for me.
It was inspiring to see so many #RunDFMC charity runners and spectators along the course.
I'm so very grateful for the 45 friends and followers who generously donated to Dana-Farber. I matched all the donations that I received to double the impact of your generosity.
Together we we went the distance to conquer cancer. We raised $5,050 and 100% of every $1 donated will support cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
2) Music & Musicians
Music by Plastic Ants, The Afghan Whigs & Greg Dulli kept me moving during my marathon training - especially during my long treadmill runs.
While I often listen to music while running, I chose to run without music for most of the marathon so I could fully appreciate the sounds and sights along the road from Hopkinton to Boston.
"Tough Girls (Got To Tough It Out)" was my #Train2BQ (x 12) theme song. This was also one of the songs that motivated Leah during her painful run and kept us running together to the finish line.
I've been running to music by The Afghan Whigs and Greg Dulli for over 23 years. Receiving these messages of support from The Afghan Whigs & Greg Dulli meant so much to me.
3) Spectator Support
The spectator support from Hopkinton to Boston is awesome.
Thanks to Wellesley's Munger Hall for our Scream Tunnel signs.
I made certain to show my support to all spectators cheering along the road to Boston.
I shouted "THANK YOU!" until I was hoarse and high-fived as many spectators as physically possible.
Tears welled up in my eyes many times as I remembered the spectators killed and injured on April 15, 2013. I continue to think of everyone whose lives were forever changed on that tragic day.
I've tried many times to express my thoughts about my experience in Boston on April 15 but I still can't find the words.
Thanks again to Mark Remy for writing "Standing Ovation" - I've read this dozens of times over the years and it still brings tears to my eyes.
4) Family, Friends & Followers
Many thanks to our family who helped us reach this milestone.
Many thanks to my twin, Leah, for running together with me.
Many thanks to our friends who supported us on our journeys.
Many thanks to my friend Anne for her continuous support and inspiration. Anne ran her 1st Boston last year and wrote an emotional post about her experience that motivated me to keep trying to BQ.
Many thanks to our running friends from Charlottesville for making us laugh at the post-marathon dinner hosted by Heidi.
Many thanks to Mark Remy (Dumb Runner) for The World's Dumbest Coverage of the World's Best Marathon® and for writing about his experience as a blind guide.
Many thanks to our followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for your virtual support.