Boston Strong

Last week I raced in Boston at the 37th Annual Tufts 10k for Women. It was my first time in the city since the Boston Marathon bombings rocked the worlds of so many runners, and running a race through the streets where some lost their lives was sobering. On the starting line we had a moment of silence for those affected during last April's attacks and my breath caught a little as I recalled that horrific day.

But the sadness that surrounds April 15, 2013 is small compared to the strength with which the city and the running community emerged. Boston Strong was evident last week - in the 6,000+ women who competed and in the friends and family who lined the streets and cheered in support. The city is resilient, the running community is strong, and the 2014 Boston Marathon will be triumphant.

The race offered other displays of strength, too. I draw strength from 2 of my inspiring teammates, Kris Paaso and Steph Dinius.

Kris became a long-distance runner a bit later than most, diving into the sport in her 30s after a successful collegiate volleyball career at Stanford. At the age of 42, Kris continues to not only set PRs across all distances, but set masters records! (all while working full time as a Senior Investment Manager at Wells Fargo!) Kris specializes in the 1500 but moved up to the 10k last week to help out our team and came away with a new PR of 35:05. Not only is Kris a strong, inspiring woman who I look up to (and hope to be as fast as when I'm her age!), but she's a generous, kind friend and mentor.

I also draw inspiration from the fortitude of Steph (Marcy) Dinius. Following a decorated running and academic career at Stanford, Steph joined New Balance Silicon Valley with high hopes of qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Trials in the 10k. However, a hip labral tear dashed those dreams and Steph was instead faced with surgery and a LONG road to recovery. Where most others would hang up their spikes and move on, Steph spent weeks and months rehabbing from surgery, rebuilding strength, and learning how to run again. A year and a half later, she ran her debut half marathon in a flying 1:15.47 and there's only more to come for her! 

Coming full circle on the strength theme, "Start strong, finish stronger" was my mantra for last week's race and I tried to apply that over the 6.2 miles. I started out a bit too strong (hello, 5:20 first mile!) and paid for that in the middle miles, but I ran a solid last 2 miles and a last 200 meters that I can be proud of. While my time of 35:13 is far from my PR, it serves as an opportunity to improve! I look forward to the day when I split that en route to a half marathon PR! (And this distance may or may not be in my near future... stay tuned!) :-)
Good times, good teammates, good things ahead with NBSV!