The theme in Boston this year was RUN BOLD. I thought about the meaning of "bold" many times. When hubby and I served in Sydney Australia, we taught our missionaires (what we've learned) to be "bold and loving" in their teaching and proselyting, to not be timid nor apologetic, but bear your message or testimony with your heart in a bold and loving way. Do it like you mean it. So I searched my heart: what is it that I want to "stand for "with this Boston run, what is the purpose of my 7th Boston Marathon? About a month ago, I got an email from a friend, Lark, to me and Marcie. He indicated that he has developed a bit of swelling and pain in his knee. He went to see his ortho-doc who is a triathlete and talked him into postponing the MRI until after Boston and got a cortisone shot. He said that he had worked too hard for this BQ and would crawl if needed to finish his 9th Boston. He jokingly said he would hire me as his nurse. I eagerly accepted the invitation to meet at the start and will run/jog/walk/crawl with him from Hopkinton to Boston. The last time I saw him was at mile 19 of St. George 2014. He was running with a lean to his left where he had had hip surgery from a bike accident previous year. We ran together with a goal to BQ as we both have the same BQ time. I actually had BQ'd at TOU a month earlier. Anyhow so I was there to witness his "hard work".
Woke up bright and early with plenty of time to get dressed and eat and meet Marcie at 8am at the Prudential T station. We got off at Park St. and walked 100 yards to the bus loading. This was the most lesisurely time I've ever had at Boston to get to the start. I texted Lark to let him know we're waiting at the Welcome sign by an ambulance. He had riden an early bus with his son who's starting in the early wave. So here we are three friends of 10 years meeting up with 90 min to chat and get caught up on our happenings of the last three years. Lark 71, me 60 and Marcie 50 all starting in the same wave. This was the most orderly and timely start ever.
Lark warned me that he would be taking lots of walk breaks and I assured him that walk breaks are good for me. By mile 1, we have lost Marcie in the sea of runners. By 5K, the walk breaks became more frequent and Lark urged me to leave him. I had heaps of stories to tell him. I would ask him questions and when he was slow in answering, I knew he was hurting. I'd tell him all kinds of motivational quotes and pointed out all the beautiful things that I hadn't noticed before. He'd say: "You are too happy. You are having too much fun." He insisted that I leave him and go run my race. I said: "Why would I want to run with all these strangers when I can run with you, my dear friend." He'd say: "They're not strangers to you. I see you talk to all of them, you even know their names." Haha! He's like my other dear friend, Lowell, argumentive! I love these "sibling type arguments". He had no idea I can be very stubborn.
I high-fived bazillion people, even the ones whose hands are not opened, including the cops and security personnel. Took so many pictures that the battery on my phone died. At Natick there were a zone of 20+ missionaires that I high-fived each and made them sing Called to Serve with me and then ran back to grab a hug and selfie with the two sister missionaries. Kissed a Wellseley girl whose sign said: "NEVER BEEN KISSED". Took picture with a bacon and a banana, but missed Santa who was mobbed by some crazies. Texted Lowell around mile 14 the picture of the bacon and a sign that reads: "when your legs don't work anymore, run with your hearts". Yep, today I was running (err jogging) with my heart which was filled with joy and gratitude, with thoughts of my hubby, Lowell and Sister Levine who for various reasons cannot run. I ran/jogged/walked with a huge smile on my face. I had this silly grin on my face the entire time even after I finished when walking back to the hotel. My PF was killing and my 2nd toe was beaten numb), I was freezing cold, but it didn't show on my face...I was SO SO SO VERY HAPPY!
Anyway, back to the race, I don't know what possessed me, when we got to the last of the Newton's Hills, the infamous Heartbreak, I had a surge of adrenalin. I decided to run up that. I thought to myself, I got to "do it like I mean it". I passed all these walkers and encouraged them to power up with me. When I got to the top, I ran back down to get Lark. He would not run no matter what I said. Then I saw this guy with an artificial limb (blade) walking up, I decided to jog up with him. When I got to the top, I turned back and said, hey, you almost beat me. He then dropped on all four and did 10 push-ups and said "let me see you do that!" Ha! The crowd went wild!
There were lots of red rose buds on the road along the stretch by the cemetery. I picked up two handfuls. When we got to Kenmore Square where we ran on some railroad tracks, I pulled apart the rose petals for Lark to walk on! I hope he was not annoyed too much by my silliness. He probably was and by now in too much pain to yell at me. :)
Lowell had texted me that he would meet me with a mile to go and since he had cut out the timing chip from his bib, he would run with me the last mile. I looked and looked after the Citgo sign and could not find him. At the northwest corner of Hereford I spotted Susie and Kelsey, I ran up to them, hugged and kissed them and asked where's Lowell. Apparently we both missed each other. Then I ran back to Lark and tell him that I will go over to the southeast corner of Hereford and look for my hubby. Admidst the loud cheers I heard my name and waved over that direction. There were so many security personnel that it was hard to get passed them. So I ran with arms raised and basking in this glorious stretch of Boylston. I ran back to Lark and ask if he would run this last 0.2 with me. At this point my watch was sending out a low battery signal. He said: "Nope, I can't run." I said: "Come on, you can do it." He said, "What does it matter? Whether I run or walk, we're finishing!" Yes, it does! You're a Boston runner! Let's show it boldly. You're the boss, tell me when you're ready to run. "Ok, at the first cross walk." So we ran from there, crossing the finish with a sub-6. So very very proud of Lark with his courage and tenacity! Yep, a well earned medal which by the way is different from years past that the unicorn is a cut-out!
After a quick shower, hubby and I met Lowell and his family, Marcie and his son, Gary and Lily at Jacob Wirth for dinner. That restaurant is the oldest German restaurant in America. I had my first German food, snitzel and German burger! Yum!
A shout out to my AWESOME brother-in-law Gary!!! He ran a 3:08 just 3.5 months after donating one of his kidneys to my hubby!!! He is my hero! We are forever grateful for his selfless gift of life! :) Am so so so very grateful that Larry was able to make this trip! This is one Boston that I will treasure forever and ever! :)