It’s April 1, 2021. If life had gone to plan, I would’ve qualified for Boston 2021 and be 18 days out from crossing an item off my bucket list.
We all know how that went.
The marathons I was going to run in 2020 were all canceled one by one. First Vancouver, which filled me with a sense of relief and disappointment. I’d burned out after my experience in Sacramento, where by sheer force of will – and absolutely no memory – I crossed the finish line before waking up in the medical tent. I thought I would just train the experience away; I exhausted myself instead. Vancouver being canceled forced me to rest, to fall in love with running again, and just be OK with being OK.
Then Edmonton was canceled in August. I took that as another blessing – I’d switched my Vancouver Marathon to a half, and ran it on a hot and humid July morning. The way my spring shook down (dropping a bird bath on my foot, for example), I wouldn’t have been in any shape to run a marathon in August. The cancellation was not entirely unexpected, but I still took some hope from the fact that I could possibly exorcise my demons in Sacramento in December.
I was sitting on a bus in late September when I got the email the CIM in Sacramento was canceled. That one hit hard. I still don’t know why. Maybe it was the last little bit of hope to run Boston slipping away. Maybe it was just one more trip I couldn’t take or thing I couldn’t have. I am able to defer my registration for one of the next three CIMS, so it’s not like I’ll never go back to Sacramento, but still… Boston 2021 was really and truly gone.
Until Ed, my guide runner and friend, sent me a message on Facebook in March. “hey, you should do this!” he said (my paraphrase, badly), linking me to a post from the Boston Athletic Association. As in 2020, they are doing a virtual Boston marathon. Unlike in 2020, if you could be one of the first 70,000 registrants, no matter your pace, you could sign up for Boston in 2021… and run it in your own backyard! You’d even get a different medal from those who ran the “real” (physical, on location) Boston in October. After a bunch of frustrating Server Unavailable messages, I paid my fees and I GOT IN! This girl gets to run Boston, 2021! Maybe not exactly as planned, but… BOSTON!
I’m out of shape. This winter kicked my butt. I’m in no position to run a marathon YET. But I will be. I’m going to make this Boston thing the best I can. Until I can once again travel and race and run IN Boston. Because make no mistake, I will get there. Maybe not in 2021, but I’ll get close enough. Come join me as I whip my body and mind back into shape. Because heaven knows, I’m not there yet! I’ve got a million reasons to train hard this spring, not the least of which that running isn’t canceled, even if I canceled it for a while.