Sweet Anticipation!

Posted: April 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

In previous years I would obtain my Boston number and spend less than 30 minutes in the Expo.  This year was certainly different.  Although I won’t be running on Monday, I did get my number and t-shirt.  I plan to pin my number in front of my treadmill as motivation and a reminder of my goal for 2012.

I arrived at the Hynes Auditorium just before 2:00 p.m. and didn’t leave until after 7:00 p.m.  I didn’t expect to stay that long but I kept meeting current and past runners from my 15 years of coaching.  Although I feel like I’m 18, seeing my coaching history unfold before my eyes with such a span of runners certainly made me realize I’m heading into the twilight of my running and coaching career.

My running legacy won’t be defined by the times that I’ve run as much as the people I’ve coached.  The best part of the afternoon was observing the excitement of the Marathon Coalition runners…their enthusiasm is infectious!  I was full of pride being with them away from our training location and the environment I’m most comfortable in and knowing they are ready for the challenge of completing the Boston Marathon.

I met Michael Bonadio Sr. and Jr. there as well.  When I first started coaching Team In Training in 1997, Michael Sr. was running in honor of his then 4-year-old son who had survived leukemia twice!  On Monday they will be running the Boston Marathon together!  I called in a favor and was able to get 4 VIP Seating passes for their family at the finish line.  That’s a moment that will be captured in time, etched in the hearts of so many and is the ultimate testament to a parent’s commitment to their child. 

I spoke with a wonderful husband and wife from Utah that are running Boston for the first time…having qualified in marathons in Utah.  They were so curious about how to run the marathon and had a 1,000 questions.  I told two of my previous runners that accompanied me (I trained them for 13 Boston Marathons each) that I was going to set up a booth at next year’s expo as the Palm Reading Coach and put everyone’s mind at ease:-)

I met a young Marine from Camp Pendleton at Nike Town who will also be running his first Boston and explained the best way to run Boston.  That moment brought me back to 1979 when I came to Boston as a 20-year-old to run my first Boston.  I showed him the depiction of the Boston course on the wall and explained the best strategy for covering the distance.  I look forward to seeing him on the course Monday.

I also look forward to spending the day at Mile 15 on Monday and having my entire family with me.  I’ve spent nearly 15 years in that spot offering encouragement to countless runners.  Just as in life, I’ve gotten so much more out of those years than I’ve given.  Each year I continue to be inspired by the effort that I witness from the runners I’m blessed to coach.  I get to see them completely out of their comfort zone…I get to see the raw emotion of the struggle…I get to see the anticipation of achievement…I get to see life reduced to its absolute best and most inspiring.

Monday promises to be another one of the greatest days of my life..I love being a coach!

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