Next week marks the anniversary of two important days in my life. On Monday, I plan on reflecting on these important days over the course of 26.2 very memorable miles
First, as I have mentioned many times, April 16th is my 5 year running anniversary! As I cross the finish line in Boston, I will remember the hard work I have put into my running. I will also remind myself of how much running has changed my life for the better. 5 years ago, I was a couch potato who hadn't run in almost 10 years.
I wanted to change my life so that my girls could look up to me. Now my babies will get to watch me run with 25,000 other amazing runners. I am so thankful that I get to celebrate this anniversary running the marathon that motivated me to get me started. I could say I would be complete after crossing that finish line, but I know I have so much more in me. I plan on running the rest of my life and this will be the first of many Boston Marathons.
My brother knew how much running Boston meant to me. He died two days after the Boston Marathon. I will never forget the phone call I received to tell me that he was gone. I literally had just talked to him the night before and now he was gone.
Chris w/ Gabbie at her baptism
We don't know exactly how Chris died. It could be blood clots, or it could be a complication of alcoholism. My brother suffered from alcoholism and my heart hurts whenever I think about it. I was never mad at him for being an alcoholic. He was trapped and I was mad at myself that I could never help him. I still don't understand addiction and haven't convinced myself to go to an Alanon meeting yet. I have used running as a way of dealing with his death.
I spent the first few days after my brother's death just outside of Washington, DC, where my parents live. Luckily, for me they have an awesome trail there that goes straight into the city. I spent those days on that trail running. I had no purpose and felt I had no control. All I knew was, I needed to run. For the 2nd time in my life, running saved me and it has continued to save me this past year.
Dealing with my brother's death was hard mentally, but running has been my therapy. The first 6 months after his death, I ran to sort out feelings. Every race I entered, ended in disaster as I was not in a good place mentally. Slowly, I have healed and I am thankful my running has been part of my healing. Now, more so than ever, I am thankful to have found a hobby that I am able to love and that takes care of me. My body and mind are better because of running.
And now, on Monday, I will reflect on all that running has done for me in the past 5 years. Yes, I do have time goals, but I am OK with not hitting them. I am OK because running has made me a better person and I know I will have my brother rooting me along every step of the way.
I dedicate my race to you Chris!