It’s been a while. School’s always crazy, but it reached a new level for quite some time there. Now that I’ve got time off for the holidays, you’ll be hearing from me more. I’ll post plenty about tech and startups like I did briefly before, but I’ll throw in a look at my life such as this once in a while as well.
Last year I ran in the Boston Marathon. I probably don’t need to tell you about the disaster that ensued that fateful day, but my particular story has a different perspective – a unique twist, if you will. I trained for months with the Campus School Volunteers of Boston College (fantastic organization, by the way), then woke up at the crack of dawn on April 15th, 2013, not even sure if I was able to go out there and run that day. I had shin splints, I had the truly awful idea of going to BC’s “Plexapalooza” dance party event the night before, and let’s be honest – 26.2 miles was a long way, and I wasn’t completely confident I could make it. But I checked my phone, and I saw exactly what I needed – a text from one of my good friends telling me to go out there and kill it that day. So that’s what I planned to do.
For the most part, I’d like to think that’s exactly what I did. I got to Hopkinton, started running, and it went pretty well to begin with. I made it all the way to Heartbreak Hill, and saw the first familiar face – my cousin, whom willed me up that wretched mile stretch. Then I made it to BC, which to this day was the most emotional experience of my adult life – everyone I’ve ever known, and many whom I’ve never known, all cheering their hearts out for me. I don’t cry (trust me), but I almost did there. From there, we know how the story goes. The bombs went off, chaos ensued – but I wasn’t aware until I got to Boylston Street, probably half a mile from the finish line. When I found out, I thought of my dad at the finish line, and my mind went blank. Luckily, everyone I know and love is just fine, but the chaos continued in the city for hours, days, as we all well know.
When the younger Tsarnaev was captured, the reaction from many at BC was to declare that they were running the marathon in 2014. My thoughts were different. People thought I was out of my mind – “Don’t you want to finish your marathon?“ And don’t get me wrong, I did want to and still do. The Boston Marathon, though, is part of BC, and BC is part of the Boston Marathon. If every student at BC was to run in 2014, the infamous Golden Mile, Mile 21 at Boston College, would be strangely empty when the increased number of runners was paired with the number of people still on Easter Break (unfortunate that Marathon Monday is Easter Monday this time around). It’s such an important part of this race’s rich tradition to have thousands of crazed, partying college students up and down the stretch of the marathon route that runs through Chestnut Hill. What I think people misunderstand is making the 2014 marathon bigger and better than ever doesn’t have to mean running in it. The spectators are as important as the runners themselves.
That being said, I found myself starting to train for the 2014 marathon yesterday. Why? There’s no deep, philosophical reason to this one – I’m just a competitor. I went to the finish line on my own once they re-opened Copley Square, and had my own cathartic moment – but I knew it wasn’t the same as running across the finish line on race day. That thought began to eat me alive, and I finally decided I had to run this year. The 2013 marathon is part of me, and I’m part of the 2013 marathon – forever. I do think Mile 21 won’t be lacking this year, at least I hope. But I have to cross that finish line. So I ran my 6 miles yesterday. 6 down, 20.2 to go.