Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Last Boston Marathon Entry for a While

On the day of the Boston Marathon this year, I just ran 6 general maintenance miles.  Nice and easy.  Just above an 8:30 pace on average.  Puts me at 641.4 miles total.  Leaves me in Bloomfield, IN, on County Road 400 N on my virtual pilgrimage.

Then, I followed 13 runners.  When I wrote on Saturday, I had only realized I knew 10. In the end, I actually new at least 16.  In any case, I followed 13.  All 13 finished.  All 13 were safe.

Yesterday, it was great to see an American win one of the great American races.  I rarely get so "Go America" but this was a great day for running in the US.  It was an even more exciting day for older runners in the US as the winner, Meb, is 38.  I was 40 when I ran my first.  Just amazing to see what a 38 year old can still do.  The last time an American won--when I was 13.  

Two 13's.  Where does that leave my pondering.  Back at the start of my finding meaning in numbers in running.  My first marathon when I was runner number 1313.  When a cousin encouraged me to think of a Bible verse, and I came up with 1 Cor 13:13:

So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Yesterday was a day for runners in general to show their brotherly love for each other.  Yesterday was a day for non-runners to show runners their love and compassion as so many dealt with memories and emotions from last year.  Yesterday was a day for runners to show their love of facing a challenge and having a winning human spirit. 

Of the runners I followed, I know at least one was very happy with his race.  Others had very splits that simply reflected either the warm weather or how challenging the second half of the race is.  The runner among the 13 I followed with whom I have done the most miles had the worst time.  (I hope that the miles we have run together was not a jinx.)  The app I had gave me updates on everyone's times passing every 5K and the half marathon mark.  Early in the race, the runner I eventually had to wonder about was running side by side with another teammate from Back on My Feet.  Their times suggested that they were strong.  Then, the one I was following most closely began to fall back and ended finishing in over four hours, complaining of serious cramping around the hamstrings.  That would not be good.  

I thought out how I would have reacted if my finishing pace was not just 56 seconds too slow to requalify and about 6 minutes over what I was shooting for, but at a pace 2 minutes per mile above what I was hoping for.  The answer?  I honestly have no way of knowing.  The answer I would like to think I would have?  "At least I finished.  And now I know how long it takes to get from Hopkinton to Boylston Street.  I worked to qualify to prove I could do it.  I did it.  And if I ever return, I'll have something to compare with.  But I proved to myself and I proved to the world, that I can do this.  And that is all that matters."

Maybe easier to say when I was only about 10 seconds per mile slower than planned last year.  But life is full of lessons.  And I'm sure this is one of them for my friend who called me mentor.  I'll eventually ask the other runner what the lesson was.  I just know that this runner should be proud regardless.  Job well done.  Mission accomplished.  Sure the outcome can be refined and impoved. But the mission was accomplished.     

No comments:

Post a Comment