How lucky we are to have the world’s best marathon on our home turf. Take comfort, and draw confidence, in knowing this is a well-trodden path for you, not your first rodeo, as they say. When the course is gentle and your legs feel good, tap into that generosity. But don’t take more than you should because there will be hard miles. There always are. As courageous as it is to run on determination alone, your little bodies will thank you if save some gas in the tank for those tough stretches.
While you’re huddling in your XXXL throw-away clothes at the start, soak in the blue sky, sunshine and sweetness of crowd-packed Main Street. Be proud of yourselves for having the chance to be there again. Although you are, to the core, the same old Becca and Kristin, reflect on how much your lives have changed since the last time you raced Boston. Or since your very first Boston. My heart swells thinking about how much I’ve loved being part of the ride — from our early relays to the World Marathon Challenge, from heartache and tears to engagements with Nick and Joe, and from being friends of friends to becoming virtually sisters and part of the force that is Team Pizzi. And my favorite part, what makes me believe that getting older is a beautiful thing, is that I’ve watched you grow into your best selves.
As you make your way to Boston, remember this. I love you. I believe in you. You are tough as steel. You sure as hell are stronger than Saturday’s blister on Kristin’s foot. That was gross, sister. You are Belmont Strong. You are Becca Strong. You are Kristin Strong. You are Taylor Strong. You are Lauren Strong. You are Susan Strong. You are Fred Strong. You are Mike Strong. You are Tracy Strong. You are Joe Strong. You are Nick Strong. You are Janet Strong. You are Melissa Strong. You are Nicole Strong. And, yes, you are even Muzzy Strong. (Shhhh . . . I can hear you swearing all the way from Boston, Kristin Pizzi!) You are gorgeous, wise, determined runners who inspire me every day to work harder and smarter, and to take time to slow down and enjoy the good stuff. My life is forever richer and happier having you as close friends and teammates.
This year, I especially want you to remember, we are all Bobbi Strong. But for her audacious Boston Marathon run 50 years ago, our friendships might not have happened. As you tick through the eight towns and 26.2 miles, may you feel the lightness that comes from Bobbi, Kathrine, Joannie and others having blazed a trail for us and from the goodwill of so many friends and loved ones cheering you on and propelling you toward Boylston Street.
It’s time to FSU!!
Love, sweaty hugs and high fives,