Returning to Boston as a BQ’d runner

In 21 more days (three weeks from today!),  I will be running my 9th Boston Marathon. For most of these years (8), I have run for a charity. This year, although I’m still running for a charity, I’m running also as a qualified runner!
My little buddy Everett & I!

Someone recently wondered snarked if it was “anticlimactic” for me run Boston as a qualified runner…even though I’ve been there 8 times before, surely this one can’t be that special because I’ve been there so many times, right?

The thing about a marathon (or any race, really) is that every one is completely different. There are no two that will be the same for you and each race brings new memories. I like to think of my past Boston’s like this:
2005: the year I drank coffee while waiting for the start and spent half the race in the porta potty. Lucky for me I have the most amazing BFF who waited almost seven hours for me to finish!
2008: the year I actually DROPPED my phone INTO a porta potty at the start of the race. Like right before the start…
2009: the first year my husband was a part of the race and brought me to the starting buses in Boston.
2010: the year that the MOST people went to the race to see me run-like 20 peeps! And the first year my husband came to the finish line!
2011: the year my husband had to work and couldn’t come 😦
2012: the year of the heat…like 80 at the start. It was also the year my friends made a life size cardboard cutout of me and took pics of “me” all around Boston. They also made cutouts of my face on Popsicle sticks and there were “Nicole’s” in all the pictures. Tooooo funny……it was awesome!
Look! It’s Me…and ME!
I’m with the band…

2013: it would’ve been my best Boston time yet. But I never got to finish.
2014: the first year post bomb. A totally different marathon experience…game changer. My friends are strong, and they rallied around me. #blessed

What will 2015 be the year of? It’s already so many things… It’s the first year my SIL has ever done a marathon. The first time we will drive to Hopkington and squeak out our anticipations, fetter out our worries, and soothe one another’s nerves.

And, it’s the first year I’m running as a qualified runner. Returning as a BQ’d entrant isn’t at all anticlimactic. The thing about me is that when something grabs my heart-it never let’s go. Never. And the Boston Marathon grabbed my heart a very long time ago. The fact that I ran so many times as an “unqualified” runner has never once mattered to me. I knew, without a doubt, that I would get to this point. I’ve never felt like I didn’t belong at the starting line because Boston is my race. I want to still be running it when I’m 85. Its always had a piece of my heart, and that piece grew a little bit bigger back in 2013 after the bombings. It got even bigger in 2014 when I saw the strength of my city, my friends, and my family.

I can’t wait to see what this year brings me.

I bleed blue and yellow!💙💛💙💛



32 thoughts on “Returning to Boston as a BQ’d runner

  1. Your confidence is so inspiring! I like that you love this race no matter how you do it and that you want to make it an ongoing tradition. I have thought about doing that too with MCM and now I’m even more determined. Great post! Good luck at Boston this year!

  2. I am curious about the 2013 medal. Did they end up sending those to runners later or did you get it the next year with your 2014 medal? The phone in the porta potty made me laugh out loud but I’m sure it wasn’t funny at the time.
    My 5 year goal is to qualify for Boston. When I get there, I hope I get to see you. I have been following your blog for months now, even though you haven’t seen much of me in comments. Have an awesome race.

    • They sent the medals to the runners. My company did a surprise ceremony for me with a makeshift finish line and they put it around my neck. It was really special.

      Good luck with all of your training-a 5 year goal to get there is definitely doable. IT’s all about small steps to acheive your goal. I hope to see you there, too!
      Thank you!

  3. My husband is running his first every Boston this year and I’m so excited to go and watch it. I can’t imagine what it must be like to qualify for YOUR race and celebrate those 26.2 miles.

  4. this made me tear up! Love all your pics and hearing your special memories. Can’t wait to see and hear what this one brings for ya 😉

  5. Awesome, and you are so right, every race is so different. I hope to make it to Boston someday as well because Boston is my home town! I just realized…do you know my friend Kim Auen??? She is running for Children’s too!

  6. I really know what you mean about each marathon having it’s own special story, feelings leading up to it, and each of them are defined in some way. I’ve run the same half twice and they were completely different races. Just like going out to dinner at a certain restaurant isn’t the same dinner you had there 5 years ago, life just makes each time different and special!

  7. My jaw dropped at when you said you dropped your iPhone in the porta potty before the race! OMG I can’t imagine!

    I hope you have a great race! Enjoy every minute! Here’s hoping for great weather!

    • It was TERRIBLE. I had to borrow a phone and called my BFF at the finish line and asked her to call my toher friends and family to let them know….Worst possible moment to do something like that!

      Thank you!! I’m hoping for 50s! That would be perfection!

  8. So amazing. and very true.!! Not even any single run is the same.. funny how there can be so much differences day to day or year by year. 🙂

  9. Congrats on your BQ!!! I’ve only run Boston once, and LOVED IT! I think qualifying is even more exciting than running Boston, though, because it’s really not easy. Good luck with your taper. I hope you have a great race!

  10. I am sharing your post with a friend. Thank you for this. I am not the fastest runner and may never qualify for Boston, but to see your take on it is refreshing and not at all the snubbing most of us get if we wanted to choose the charity route. Thank you for being a positive voice!

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