Boston. It’s a runner’s dream race, and I was lucky enough to experience the course in 2015. I first attempted to qualify for the race in November 2012, qualified for the race in June of 2013, despite qualification missed out on a spot by 10 seconds, requalified in March 2014, and was finally able to secure a spot in September 2014 for the 2015 race. I worried I’d built up the race too much. Runners described it as “The Oscars of Running.” All I cared about was getting to Boston healthy. I trained hard, but was super careful. The last thing I wanted was to get hurt. Despite some injury scares I made it to Boston with an awful cough and sore throat, but it didn’t matter. I was running the ultimate race. This was what I had worked so hard for. I ran on adrenaline.There are a few moments in my life where I vividly remember feeling pure happiness. I’ll never forget the feeling of dancing on the balcony at my wedding reception, meeting my Godson Colby minutes after he was born and seeing my Mama sob when she saw him, and the first day of school this year when I opened our school entrance and saw our beautiful students lined up ready to start Kindergarten with their parents nervous and teary waving them goodbye. Several moments from Boston remain engrained in my mind. Ill never forget high-fiving Welsley girls who braved the rain to cheer on the marathoners. Joy, a word I hate because it’s so darn cheesy, is seeing your adorable nephew, older sisters and parents at the top of heartbreak hill and knowing you have energy to rock the final six miles. Pride is seeing your best and most loyal friend and husband screaming at the top of their lungs at mile 24. They were there when I failed and crumbled at mile 16 at Santa Clarita, so it felt amazing to be strong at 24 hearing my husband scream “I love you so much.” And that right on Hereford and left on Boylston was surreal. I didn’t want it to end.I feel so lucky that my hobby allows me to do exactly what the elites of my hobby are doing. Bikers can’t just do the Tour de France, basketball players can’t just decide they want to play with the pros, but I get to run the same race in the same conditions as Desi Linden, Shalane Flanagan, and Meb. It’s just so cool. In September I wondered if going back for 2016 would be me trying to relive something that already happened, that was already so perfect, and that I needed to leave it at that. Brent made the decision easy by booking first class tickets to Boston, and I’m so glad he did.
This holiday season has made me appreciate my health more than ever. On Christmas Day, Cary’s daughter Christy had the energy to come and celebrate with us. She has been suffering with cancer for four years, and has been through plenty of ups and downs. I was amazed at her positivity. She had just recently been released from the hospital. On Saturday we drove to Tulsa to see Brent’s aunt who is also battling cancer. She was so weak, but so glad to spend time with us. Brent’s Grandma has little mobility but was determined to celebrate Christmas at Uncle Tom’s house this afternoon. It took a lot out of her, but she looked so happy. I feel so lucky to be healthy and physically capable of running a marathon because you never know what the future holds.