We woke up on Sunday with no real plan in mind. It was also Easter so we knew that would impact what we did to some degree. After showering we wanted breakfast but knew it would likely be impossible to go anywhere for breakfast so we just ate the included hotel breakfast.
After that, we came up with a game plan for the rest of the day. We had to be back at 4 for the ball game but we had plenty of time until that.
We ended up going to see Harvard and Harvard Square. It was a pretty short cab ride to get there and the cabbie that drove us there was also nice enough to tell us where exactly to go to get a cab BACK. Always a good thing. It was a campus and we had some fun poking around in some of the shops. We stopped for a mid-day snack of Cupcakes before heading back to the Hotel.
Mom and Dad wanted to relax but I didn’t feel like staying inside since it was nice out. I also thought it would be a good idea to check out the end of the Marathon course to make sure there would be a way to walk back to the Hotel in case we weren’t able to cross the course once the race started.
I headed out and decided to take the slightly longer route towards the finish line. I really liked all the old fashioned homes in the area and I wanted to stroll and just enjoy them.
I got down to Boylston and boy was it crowded. The block before the finish line was now blocked off from vehicular traffic and I knew this was my chance to go up and actually have time to appreciate the finish line and sort of reflect. There were a ton of people milling around and taking pictures but I got to see the actual finish line painted on the ground. I even snapped a few pictures of my own.
Luckily, my emotions were still in check.
As I was heading back to go back to the Hotel I saw right by the finish line a memorial for the 4 that lost their lives. That is when I lost it…
I was completely overcome by my emotions. Remembering the horrific images I was seeing right after it happened. Thinking about how I might have felt had I been a runner with MY family and friends waiting to see me finish. Most of all, I thought of the lives lost and those that were injured. I thought about their struggles and how easy it it might be to take running, something I love, for granted.
Yep, there were the tears I had mentally prepared myself for before I even left for the trip…
I was only there for a few minutes but I needed to distract myself so I snapped a picture and then focused on getting through the crowds and getting away from the finish line.
Despite knowing that I was going to have a strong reaction at some point, I had been doing better than I thought I would… at least up until that point. And though I am sure no one would have judged me for openly balling my eyes at that particular point in time and in that spot, it was not something I wanted to have open. I didn’t want any focus on myself. In my mind the trip wasn’t about me. It was about taking back the finish line and supporting the runners and this Marathon. It was about being a spectator showing that we WILL continue to support our loved ones and complete strangers as we watch them accomplish something incredible.
Is that weird? Maybe. But it is the mindset I had going into the trip. It was all about the Marathon from day one.
I got myself off Boylston fairly quickly but I still needed to scout out the end of the marathon so I took my time working my back towards the hotel making sure to check the points of the course I was walking along. Once that was done, I was pretty comfortable with knowing the end of the Marathon course and having a plan for how to leave the spectating vantage point the following day.
I got back to the Hotel and took a quick nap before my friend, Lisa, got to the Hotel to meet us for dinner before the game…