Please come to Boston for the Springtime

Springtime!? We are supposed to have 5-8″ of snow tomorrow. Has anyone told Mother Nature it is supposed to be spring? Is this the punishment for the 70 degree days at Christmas time? I’m picturing some sort of agreement here between Heat Miser and Cold Miser. Personally, I don’t like it. April_Snow

miserbrotherschristmas-01

Regardless of the weather, we are a little over one week from the famous Boston Marathon. The Holy Grail for marathoners. Even those that know nothing about running know about Boston. “You run marathons? Have you run Boston”? Until now my answer has always been “No. I’m not that fast”. But assuming the race doesn’t get cancelled on account of perpetual winter, April 18th will be my first and hopefully not last Boston Marathon.

The next question usually asked is “Are you ready”? Am I ready? Hmmmm. The race is a bit over a week away. Does it matter if I’m ready? I hope I am. I wish I were in a bit better shape. I wish work was less stressful and my belly less swollen from the constant barrage of sugar and junk food I throw at it at the height of each late afternoon COTD (crises of the day). I wish I didn’t pick up the office cold so considerately shared by all those trying to avoid losing their skimpy amounts of available PTO. While the cold itself didn’t last long, as I get older the resultant asthma flare ups take longer and longer to get under control. But there is a lot of air in Boston. I ought to be able to suck in enough of it. So sure . . I’m ready.

I was going to spend several paragraphs lamenting my poor diet and lack of will power. I was going to complain how asthma symptoms from the on-going cold weather and post-cold coughing have made workouts this week difficult at best. I could complain more about the late nights provided by work problems that I really can’t do anything about. I could carry on about all those things. But . . .

Over lunch I read the blog of a running acquaintance whose child has been diagnosed with a most terrible sounding form of childhood cancer.  Her life and her son’s life revolves around the hospital, general anesthesia, a multitude of horrible sounding tests and procedures that no child or any person should have to go through. A”good day” was when the first radiation treatment could be done with her son’s input on the treatment. I read on, and then read a couple of older posts. While I don’t have kids of my own, I can’t imagine having to watch your young boy deal with the sorts of things she writes about all the while putting on her own brave face.

Did I mention she still fits in a run now and then? Sometimes it is at 4:00 in the morning. Other times 7:00 (or later) at night. She is part of a group of local runners that regularly meet informally to share our passion for exercise and to enjoy each other’s company. Typically the call goes out for a 5:00am start with many respondents. If our friend can make it, it has to be early because they need to be at the hospital early in the day so she asks if anyone is interested in running at 4:00. That’s 4:00am to start running. Not get out of bed, or have breakfast but shoes on and ready to roll. Our meeting point is a long way from home, so I usually pass on the 4:00am start. But when I see her day and realize that the only solace she gets from an otherwise rotten day (in the best scenario), is a few miles on the Chester Valley Trail, I may change my mind and do my best to keep her company now and then and find inspiration in her upbeat spirit.

After reading my friend’s stories about her boy’s diagnosis and treatment,  whining about a bit of extra weight or some breathing issues seemed really trivial. While I still have goals for Boston, they are certainly back in perspective. The fact is I will get to run the most storied marathon in running: Boston. No matter what happens, I will remember it forever. I will certainly finish. No matter what, I will kiss the girls at Wellesley. I will look forward to seeing the Citgo sign and the crowd on Boyleston Street. I will count my blessings of good health and ability and hope for the same for my friends and their family.  Finish-Line-cropped

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