I knew Boston would be inspiring and man oh man, was it ever! ...but I also knew it would be indulgent. After all, I haven't yet qualified for myself and although I enjoy attending & watching marathons quite thoroughly, I felt this experience to be much different. As the weekend went on I couldn't help but notice the thin line between soaking up all that this historic race offers and perhaps soaking up a bit too much for where I was, a non-registered, non-qualified runner. Sure, all sorts of folks not running attend the expo, buy gear and cheer runners on in Boston - no different than any other race, but I also had plans to jump in along the course and run as a bandit along with Missy. I've done this before for/with others and I didn't feel nearly as guilty as I do, now, reflecting on Monday. Boston is sacred to runners. It's historic, it often represents the pinnacle in one's running and it's very much loved.
It wasn't mine to have.
And although I never felt it was my race, never even a hint of that, I did feel like I was taking something that didn't belong to me. Perhaps it was the distance covered (20 miles for me), that's a good chunk of time to be running in a race that isn't yours. Awareness was also heightened by those incredibly wonderful folks cheering us on. "Us" when it should have been "her".
Gah, I feel so conflicted. My intentions were innocent, looking for inspiration, excited to visit with friends, to meet others I haven't yet had the chance to spend time with and to help my friend achieve a goal she set for herself when she found out she was pregnant, having already qualified. But here I am, feeling guilty and horrible.
Undoubtedly a run will leave me feeling better but for all of those who did qualify, who did have their race - I apologize, I didn't mean to take anything away from your day or your experience.