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Lessons Learned One Year After Running the Boston Marathon

April 16, 2018

Inspiration and Monday Motivation

One year ago at this moment I was waiting for the Boston Marathon to begin in the quiet town of Hopkinton, MA with 100 other women (and a few men) and Kathrine Switzer. I was there to run my first ever marathon in the most historic road race in our country alongside an American running icon. This morning as I think about our new 261 Fearless sisters running it today, I couldn’t help but think about the top five lessons the race has given me the past year and why you might consider challenging yourself to run the Boston Marathon one day.

* The most asked question has been, “How did you really do it?” I understand that inquiry because I used to ask marathoners that too. 26.2 miles seem incomprehensible for one human to run and yet it really isn’t. The only answer I’ve given is…I trained for it. I believed I could do it. I focused. These are attributes people should use in everyday life, work and goals.

* “What do you remember most?” many people ask me. I tell them I honestly only remember the 1, 3, 10, 13, 20, 23rd mile markers and then the finish line. The rest of the road race was a blank in terms of mile markers. But the best part of the Boston Marathon for me was my run up “Heart Break Hill” near my beloved Boston College (my son’s alma mater) when I was lightly jogging up the hill and witnessed a blind woman on my left and a man with steel blades to my right running with their coaches alongside me. Their sheer willpower to run that race inspired me to finish my race strong. If they could do it, I could do it…not only in the race but in life!

* I witnessed thousands of faces along the race route since the Boston Marathon is the epitome of Boston culture and people. Little girls handed me oranges, boys handed me ice chunks, some teenagers offered hugs, my friend Jill Bates surprised me with some love and everyone yelled my number #261 which was on my shirt. If you want to feel love, real love, you run in the Boston Marathon because that city loves this race and the people that run in it. I fell in love with Boston even more than I did the four years my son went to school there.

* My body, mind and spirit held up throughout the full 26.2 miles and got stronger as I ran. You might think I’d be more tired running, more defeated, exhausted at what was still ahead of me but it was the opposite. Every mile I conquered made me stronger – stronger than I had ever been before. When you do something only 1% of the world population has done, you are proud and that pride enlarges your perspective of yourself and your life to come.

* There was not a direct beam of sunlight on the finish line but there sure could have been because it was a glorious sight to see and run over. I think I was running slightly slanted by the 26.1 mile mark of the 26.2 miles and all I kept doing was praying to God to get me over the finish line in 6 hours to be an official finisher and get my medal. I crossed that sucker in 5 hours, 56 minutes and 58 seconds! BINGO! I knew then I could do anything, and I mean anything in life with the belief in myself, my faith and the support of family and friends.

Life is good not only on the streets of Boston today but every day. Look for it and sign up to experience it! You’ll be grateful you did. I promise!!

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