Thoughts on the Boston Marathon

Thoughts on the Boston Marathon |

In 5 days, the Boston Marathon will commence.

A race that every runner knows about. A race that even the non-runner knows about.

I’ve been thinking of Boston a lot lately.

Maybe it’s because it seems like everyone is asking me if I’m running this year.

“Everyone” meaning all of my patients who remembered me running two years ago or people who I just meet and find out I’m a runner. When you live an hour away from Boston, everyone and their brother knows about Marathon Monday.

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked in the past month, I would be a freakin’ millionaire.

Of course, the majority of the people asking me are not runners and have no idea that you need to qualify, run with a charity or a get a bib from a marathon sponsor (like I did from Stonyfield).

There’s also the question – “Have you ever run Boston?”

Simple question with a very complicated answer. Usually I answer with “yes but no” and then rehash all the ugly details.

A friend told me I should just say yes because I did train for it and I did cross the starting line.  I even have a finisher’s medal. Read THIS story if you are wondering how that happened.

But, to me, I did not run Boston.

Boston Marathon Finish LIne |

Maybe I’m thinking so much of Boston because my Sugarloaf Marathon training was cut short last month. My whole goal for training for Sugarloaf this year was to BQ so I could run in 2018. Training was going really, really well and I was allowing myself to think that I might have a viable shot at a BQ.

Well, Sugarloaf is not happening this year. In fact, I’ve been doing some soul searching trying to determine if I even want to try to run a marathon again.

It’s ironic that I am now contemplating if I have another marathon in me. Last year at this time, I was in the same place although I was not injured at the time.  While I have forgiven myself for what happened, I still have these thoughts on Boston.

It’s definitely a love/hate relationship between the marathon and I. The only reason that I would even think of doing a marathon again would be to make it to Boston.

I love the vibe of Boston. After experiencing it all two years ago, I want it again. If you have ever been, you know the whole weekend leading up to the race is electric. The expo. The history. The symbolism.

Thoughts on the boston marthon |

When you get to the Athlete’s Village, the electricity continues. And all along the course, it’s nothing but one big party.

But I don’t really love the marathon distance.  I love the training but not the actual race.  In fact, I haven’t had a really good experience with the race part.

As for my body, can it handle the distance and or the speed? Obviously I don’t have a great track record with marathon training.

Last year when my social feeds started filling up with non-stop pictures and updates from the marathon weekend, I had to take a break from it all.  I was happy for all of my friends who were there but it all just made me very sad.  I was extremely jealous and angry.  I wanted to be there again so badly.

Thoughts on the boston Marathon |

This year, I’m not jealous.  Ok, I am jealous.  But definitely NOT angry.  This wasn’t my year. I’ll be truly happy tracking all of my friends running and glued to the TV watching while I’m at work…or at least trying to work.

As for next year, I can’t say it will be my year either. My window of qualifying for 2018 is short.  There’s not that many races around here before September. And there’s also the status of my pre-stress fracture injury.  I’m not sure when I’ll be back to running yet.  Maybe it’ll be in 2 weeks.  Maybe it’ll be in 2 months.

My heart was broken at Boston but it had nothing to do with Heartbreak Hill. I still feel like I need to go back to have closure. To make it right. To finish what I started.

I’m not giving up on my BQ dream just yet.

Linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday, Coaches’ Corner, and Thinking Out Loud.

Have you run Boston?

Do you think I’m nuts for still wanting to go back?





  1. Oh I do not think you are crazy for wanting to go back to get closure. I’m the exact same way. When something feels unfinished I need to complete it no matter what ends up happening.
    ( now, the fact you love the training more than the race?? That’s a little bit crazy to me 🙂 (

  2. I do want to run Boston someday. I think when I get back to running marathons I’ll be in the 35-39 age group so my qualifying time will be a little easier than before, and in 2015 I ran a 3:41. However, right now that seems so far off when I am barely running and have lost all my speed and endurance. I enjoy marathons, but I would rather be able to run injury-free, which Im sure is the same for you. But who knows, maybe we will both be there in 2019!
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  3. Ugh. Just ugh. Every time I think of Boston, I think of you. Honestly. That was the worst ever and I remember so clearly stalking your feed wondering what happened and being a little scared because there was nothing for a while. I’m just so angry FOR you because no runner should ever have to go through that.
    That said – I have to say that I ran Boston once and I’m so done with it. I know I can say that because I already ran it (and the weather was horrendous and my time was one of my slowest) but I’m just done with huge races in general…except where triathlon is concerned – LOL!! Anyway, I’m trying to say that no matter what, you are an amazing runner and, more importantly, an amazing person – with or without Boston. xoxoxo I will raise you up on Marathon Monday!!!!
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    • You would think after such a shit show of a day, I’d want nothing to do with that race. I mean, the stuff I went through that day besides the injury was enough for me to never want to do it again. But I need closure. I need to get across that damn finish line!

  4. I have such a similar (though of course very different) story to yours–the heartbreak not from Heartbreak Hill.
    I have qualified for Boston twice. I have “earned” my spot. I thought I was going. I had the elation, the build up… and then I stupidly didn’t run the race I trained for, injured myself, and kissed my dream goodbye. Watching that year SUCKED (I wrote a post about it). Now, I am at peace with it.
    If I want to run Boston, I will run Boston. I don’t know if I will ever be fast enough again. But I will find a way in, likely earning money for my cause.
    Boston is an incredible gift to the running community. But with great power, comes great responsibility. For the runners, and for the race itself.

    • In a way, it pisses me off that one race can bring so much heartbreak to runners. Whether it’s by missing the qualifying time, not making the cut off or injuries. But that’s what also draws us to it. You’ll get to Boston. And so will I. xoxo

  5. Oh, Angela, I feel you so much right now. I am sitting on the cusp of pulling out of my June marathon and my heart just breaks every time I think about it. I had hoped to BQ, and if I didn’t, this marathon would have been my last. But I wanted it to be on my terms. I would have loved to run Boston.

    The marathon is a beast that no one should take for granted.

    • The marathon is a heartbreaker for sure! I’m so sorry that you are going through this crap. I hear you on wanting it to be on your terms. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if we could put a big ol’ check mark next to that Boston goal?

  6. My heart breaks for you. I can totally understand why you would want to go back and get closure and I believe that WILL happen for you one day. Dont lose faith!

    • We still need to run a WHOLE race together! If things go right, want to pace me in the Erie Marathon??? Just a thought right now…

  7. Gosh I can’t even imagine all the feelings you are having. My neighbor went through something similar when he got injured while running Boston and is struggling with all the emotions right now too.

  8. I can’t imagine the feelings your struggling with. Marathons are tough on their own. Add in all the emotions of Boston and what happened a few years back, and its a whole other ball game. I hope one day you’ll be able to get back and get closure. In the meantime, I hope you just enjoy the magic of running.

  9. I knew about the DNF, but didn’t realize you had the medal. I tell ya, Boston sure has a way of breaking hearts! Qualifying and getting cut was a major slap in the face for me, and at this point I haven’t mustered up the strength to qualify yet again – my body keeps telling me no 🙁 My husband will be running his 7th Boston this year, so it’s a family tradition now and for the people we hang around with, it’s just assumed that they will be qualifying and running every year. It’s hard to measure up to that!
    Sorry you are out of commission right now.
    Lisa @ TechChick Adventures recently posted..Training Tues – 4/11/17 GCM editionMy Profile

    • That lady that pushed the medal on me meant well but that was like driving a knife in my heart. I can’t imagine how much it hurts to not make the cut off. I have a friend who missed it by 19 seconds. 19!!!

  10. I just want to give you a giant hug each time I think of Boston. I love how you haven’t given up on the dream of running Boston – hope is a powerful thing. But with or without Boston, you are an amazing runner – and an amazing person.
    I honestly don’t know if I will run Boston in 2018. I qualified and feel guilty even thinking about not running since I qualified and I do want to run it someday, but right now big city races just sound overwhelming for me. A deep part of me feels like another runner who wants to run it more should get the spot rather than me – especially with the increasing cutoff times each year. It’s weird how one race can tangle with such a wide variety of emotions across different runners.
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    • Thanks Laura! It is strange how this race pulls out so much passion in runners. You still have some time to decide if you want to run in 2018. It’s a magical weekend for sure but it’s also overwhelming with crowds. I think you should at least do it once. Who knows. You might be one of those runners that goes back every single year then!

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  12. Such tough emotions to deal with around that race. I understand your desire to finish what you started, heck I’d want to too but then again, if you don’t love the distance why put yourself through it.

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