14
Apr
13

One day to go: feeling ready, grateful

Ahhhhh. One last item checked off the list: a good night’s sleep.

I told my daughter several times yesterday that she wasn’t allowed to come into our bedroom in the morning. She usually comes in to ask, “is it morning?” Then jumps all over the bed.

It’s morning; and I slept great. I fell asleep around midnight and woke up at 6:50 – then slept again until 8:28. At this point, I almost got up to start typing this blog. But I wanted to see if Nina had indeed listened to my warnings. She is, after all 7, and you just never know.

At about 8:40, I heard her feet come down the hall. But she headed for the kitchen instead of our room. (I had poured her a glass of milk last night and pointed it out in the fridge for her, and left a bowl of cereal where she sits at the kitchen table.) Soon she headed downstairs to watch TV. Good girl, Nina!

I didn’t blog yesterday because there was little to write about. Went grocery shopping (picked up some Gatorade and pretzels for post-race) and visited my friend John who is staying nearby after arriving from Montana on Friday.

Now the big day is about 24 hours away. I wish it were today; my body feels great.

Running the Boston Marathon is such a great opportunity to be a part of something special and awe-inspiring. It’s televised worldwide. The last time I ran Boston was in 2006. So much has happened since.

First and foremost, we adopted our wonderful Nina from China in ’07. She was two then, had a huge hole in her mouth (cleft palate) and didn’t speak any English. We lived in Montana at the time, and in the years after we got her, I’d occasionally wear one of my Boston Marathon long sleeve (cotton!) T-shirts, and Nina would always point out the unicorn on it. I called it my unicorn uniform.

I’m glad she can be a part of this event, because there are many others who aren’t around to share it with. My cousin Roger passed away in November of cancer; he was just 47 and the most wonderful father of two daughters. Roger was there in Natick to watch me at one of my previous Bostons, with a young Phoebe on his shoulders and holding a sign that read “Run, Tim, Run.” Phoebe’s now 11 and has a younger sister, Molly, 8.

Miss ya, Rog.

I also lost my father-in-law Wilton two Januarys ago. He never saw me run, but was always supportive when the subject came up. We shared a love for the Red Sox – that was our usual topic of conversation. I can say this without hesitation, Wilt: You’re not missing much these days.

Back in ’06, I spent the night before the marathon at the Natick house of Grace Kinchla, the mother of my best friend, Mark Kinchla. Grace lived there alone and it was a nice, quiet place to sleep (Mark  lived down the street and had a young son at the time.)

On race morning, Grace had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich waiting for me, as I requested. She told me I was crazy for running the race, but did so with a smile. It was a sweet memory.

Grace passed away two months ago, suddenly, after an aneurism.

I’m staying with Mark – Kinch as he’s known – and his family tonight in Natick. I’m glad I can be with them; he has another young son now to go with Joe, who’s now in high school. Yikes.

And now to my mother. She’s still around, but isn’t quite the same as she was seven years ago. Six years ago, a tumor was found in between her brain and skull. She had surgery and went through a long rehab. There was a frustrating setback just before Christmas nearly a year later, but she’s done a remarkable job to nearly make it back to where she was before she started having the seizures that led to the discovery of the tumor.

Everything came back (she can still drive!) except one of her legs, so she walks with a cane now. She’s had such a great attitude through the whole process – she does water aerobics and yoga and lots of writing.

But it’s tough for her to get around in crowds or to board trains, so she won’t be able to come to Boston to greet me at the finish line tomorrow. I’m a little bummed about that. When I ran in ’06, it was great to hug her once I reached the Family Meeting Area after the race.

She’ll be at Mile 23, however. My brother lives in Brookline near the race route, so I’ll be looking for her at Cleveland Circle.

My father, wife and Nina will be meeting me after. Then we’ll convene at my brother’s house.

I’m grateful to have such great family support. Yes, I do all the training and all the miles for something like this. But without the backing of loved ones, race day doesn’t happen. It becomes a team effort.

And I’ve got a great team.

 

 

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2 Responses to “One day to go: feeling ready, grateful”


  1. April 28, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an very long comment but after I
    clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.
    Anyways, just wanted to say wonderful blog!


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