I Ran For Life

I run for hope
I run to feel
I run for the truth
for all that is real
I run for your mother, your sister, your wife
I run for you and me my friend
I run for life
– Melissa Etheridge, I Run For Life

You’ve all been very patient, waiting with bated breath (I’m sure) for my Boston recap.  There’s lots to tell, and more than just the race, but I’ll focus on that for today and tell you the rest another time.  It was all it was cracked up to be, that’s for sure.

Here I am, at the crack of dawn on Sunday morning (ok, it’s probably 7:20 in this picture, but I got up at 6:30), outside the hotel ready to walk to the UMass campus with the rest of the team:

The only name I wore was my mom’s; special thanks to Cheesie for making the iron-on piece for me:

This is my timing chip.  Since I signed up as a runner, I got to be officially timed (more on that later).

This was the starting line, back at the marker for 10-minute-plus mile runners, just before 9 o’clock Sunday morning:

The energy was palpable, and everyone was in a great mood.  Saturday had been rainy and so windy, and Sunday was predicted to be the same, but except for 10 minutes just before the start, it was sunny and breezy and beautiful; what luck!

This little guy was running with his dad, who was walking behind him.  We were in mile 2 and the people coming towards us were in mile 1, and they were all clapping and cheering for him, and he had the biggest smile on his face.

At one point during the first mile, I was running, surrounded by all of these people who were all working toward the same goal, both that day – to finish the race – and longer term – to find a cure for breast cancer – among survivors in their pink t-shirts, and kids with notes on their backs saying they were running for their moms, and husbands running for their wives, and friends running in support or in memory of friends, and I got choked up and teary.  I think we get so caught up in our lives that we sometimes forget that we really are in this – life – together.

I haven’t looked at the official results, but I can tell you that I ran the race- all of it, without stopping or walking – in exactly the amount of time I expected to, which was slower than my treadmill training pace, but still good since I hadn’t run at all in the 5 weeks leading up to the race.  I hate running, you guys, which is why I stopped doing it, but that day, after the first 10 minutes, I knew I could do the whole thing, however long it took me.  I don’t know if it was the race atmosphere, or knowing that I’d have to come back and tell people how I did, or what, but I hardly checked my watch at all to see how long I’d been running, and let me tell you, I checked my watch a million times during training, that’s how much I hated it.  So I feel like that in itself is an accomplishment.

This is me, shortly after crossing the finish line.

(Edited to add:  Thanks, Julie!)  I could not believe I did it, that I really ran the whole thing, but I did!  The whole time I kept saying, “Just don’t quit.  You can do it, just keep moving.”  The time was not important to me, I just wanted to run the whole thing.  And I did.

I want to thank all of you for your encouragement since March when I first joined Team GDT.  It’s been great sharing the training journey with you, and I appreciate both the monetary and emotional support I’ve received more than I can say.  Let’s do it again next year.

P.S. (One of the girls on the team says she has a picture of me near the finish line and she’s going to email it to me.  Once she does, I’ll post it here.)

5 thoughts on “I Ran For Life

  1. I took that picture! :) You did great Mel. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone so happy to finish their first race — it was great!

  2. There will never be another “first race” and I’m so glad you enjoyed yours! I had to wipe the tears out of my eyes just to read your post! You are awesome! I’m very happy for you!

  3. You are just the cutest thing ever. Great post.

    That kid explains the 2-year old I saw in the official results. Thanks for clearing up that mystery, and he’s a cutie!

  4. Right in, Mel! Very cool. Got me a bit teary while reading.
    Congratulations, sweetie!!

    P.S.
    you look so tiny in the first picture before the race.

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