The Boston Marathon is a special kind of special.
I understand it is obnoxiously-Bostonian to describe the race like no other marathon in the world. But yesterday was pure insanity. I’ve never been in so much pain ever. I’ve never loved or embraced that same pain with more vigor. My heart is completely filled while my legs are empty and withered. My whole being needs yesterday again.
For the last 11 miles I danced ever so delicately with the two most extreme feelings of my imagination:
The feeling that nothing on earth could stop me.
And the feeling that nothing on earth could force my legs to move faster.
My legs were were smashed into a million pieces despite the day being perfect. I lined up at the starting line feeling as fit and light as I’ve ever felt. I didn’t have any lingering negativity and I was ready as ever. My legs felt so powerful. I even held a more controlled pace for the treacherous first six miles. Yet, by Mile 15 I’ve never wanted to give up on anything more. My body screamed in pure agony. Somehow my heart kept smiling with a gleam of strength.
I don’t quite know yet why I couldn’t hold the pace I was aiming for. But I also don’t care. The Boston Marathon forces you to show up. And I’ve never been more pleased or proud of myself for showing up like I did yesterday. I can’t believe how much pain I was in and I have no idea what kept the smile on my face despite it all.
A runner came up next to me and we ran the last mile in a painful and silently acknowledged misery stride for stride, each with an invisible lasso of pure will and encouragement around the other. My vision went blurry the moment I crossed the finish line and I ended up in the medical tent borderline hypothermic.
We line things up as perfectly as we can. We strive for excellence and execute the plan to the tiniest detail, but when race Monday arrives you have to assume that this course and this city will test your spirit in ways that you could never dream of. The Boston Marathon has an unsuspecting and inexplicable element of mystery that leaves you absolutely wrecked. But begging for more. I wouldn’t change a thing about yesterday even for a better finish time.