One month till Boston

Sorry I haven’t written in a while. My fingers have been lazy. Not so my legs.

I’ve been training hard and smart for the Boston Marathon, which steps off a month from today. (Wish it was tomorrow!)

This will be Boston No. 5 for me – if I can stay healthy. Just getting to April 21 cannot be taken for granted. There’s no guarantee that I’ll get to the starting line. Just like there’s no guarantee I’ll finish. But so far, everything is pointing to an unforgettable, spine-tingling experience.

Hard to believe that most of the training is over (which leaves more time for blogging). For specific runs, all I have left are a hill workout (a tough one at that) and a three-hour run along the famed course (Rtes. 135, 16 and 30). I also have a race planned on April 5 in Upton, a 15K. Racing has been kept to a minimum since last year’s Boston due to a lack of desire, though I did run a half-marathon last Sunday in Ashland.

After what happened last April 15, it’s clear that this year’s marathon will be like no other. The field size has grown, of course, but the tone of the emails that have appeared in the inbox is an indication that this race has changed forever.

Instead of simple messages of address checks and when training clinics will happen, this winter has brought warnings of what not to bring and wear. The list of “Nos” is quite long. The biggest inconvenience is the BAA’s decision not to let runners bring bags to Hopkinton in order to have them shuttled to Boston.

It’s as if runners are being punished – for no reason. I don’t mind the “no costume” rule (guess there won’t be a bumble bee running/buzzing next to me this year), but the one part of the race that I will miss involves the men and women decked out in fatigues who walk briskly along the side of the road.

Last year, I encountered several marching military members along the course. It was a thrill to run by and slap them on the back. It was comforting to have them there; talk about having a sense of security. The “military ruck” is being lumped in with “bandits” and thus is not allowed in the race this year. That’s a shame. These men and women aren’t simply jumping onto the course, just for the thrill of it. They’re out there to march for a fallen/injured soldier.

Too bad they are being sent to the sidelines. Maybe next year.

Maybe by then, this race will go back to “normal,” and the rucks will allowed back in. Doubtful, since this race seems to have changed forever.


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