Monday, April 7, 2014

Two Weeks From Today

The daffodils I bought at Trader Joe's on Saturday have opened in the glorious warm sunshine through our kitchen window

and one of my plants is sprouting flowers:

The Red Sox had their Opening Day on Friday

okay maybe not the best start to the season but a definite sign that Spring has arrived in Boston.

Yesterday I ran the Marathon Sports Cambridge 5 Miler/3 Mile City Walk, my first race since the Feaster Five. Here we are with a pre race selfie of Team McManus:

and a pre race portrait taken by my life and running partner Tom:

Before the race, I saw Colin Peddie, owner of Marathon Sports. We go way back to when I ran the 2009 Boston Marathon and became a part of the Marathon Sports family. I was overcome with emotion and was wiping away tears. I wasn't sure if I should go up to him. We waved at each other and then he motioned for me to come over. We exchanged a hug. I said, "It's good to see you." He looked at me with my bib and said, "It's good to see YOU." We didn't need to say anything else. As I walked away I cried tears of gratitude that we are here now and tears of sadness for last year's Boston Marathon bombings. The first bomb exploded at the Marathon Sports store on Boylston Street where I waited in 2011 for my husband to cross the finish line when he ran for Childrens Hospital.

We saw a runner wearing a Boston Strong shirt with survivor written across it.

With the sound of the air horn we were off. I ran hard but acknowledged my edge. A friend of ours posted on facebook that she was running the race and would see me there. Right, I thought among hundreds of runners. Just like when I ran the 2009 Boston Marathon and friends found me in the crowd, she found me. And then as the 5 mile runners caught up with the 3 miler race walkers, she came by us again. Our daughter Ruth Anne who ran the 5 miler shouted to us from behind and high five'd us as she passed us and finished her race.

I felt wonderful in my body and enjoyed seeing the sun sparkling on Fresh Pond. I sprinted to the finish line feeling strong and balanced and whole in my body. While it wasn't reflected on the clock, today's race was definitely a PR for me.

There was a sense of winter's chill yielding to Spring paralleling the year of healing we have all experienced since the tragic events of last year's Boston Marathon bombing. After the race, the runner sporting the Survivor shirt just happened to be walking by our car. We gingerly approached him asking if he wanted to talk about where he was and how he was doing. He told us he was four feet from the first blast. He was injured but his girlfriend had a huge chunk of her leg blown off. He carried her to his car behind his restaurant on Newbury Street and took her to the emergency room. They were able to save her leg but she can't run yet. He is running this year's marathon along with a group of survivors. He is the operations manager at Stephanie's on Newbury Street which lost over $200,000 in revenue in the aftermath of the explosions. We told him we were at the Mandarin and would be out on the corner of Dean Road and Beacon Street this year cheering on the runners. He said he would look for us.

We will be going to Stephanies this week for dinner.

And two weeks from today Boston runs again. It's funny how everyone in our neighborhood and surrounding areas did lawn clean up this weekend. There are no signs of the dead leaves of Fall or remnants from the brutal New England Winter we have survived. There are physical and emotional wounds that continue to heal but there are signs of renewal all around.

And two weeks from today runners toe the line for the 118th Boston Marathon. Boston begins again! Let us feel the change from Winter to Spring and allow the healing and excitement to build!

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