Finding My Way To the 2016 Boston Marathon Starting Line

Our very own Sarah Bowen Shea is serving as an expert on Find Your Finish Line, Hyland's daily lead up to the 2016 Boston Marathon. She was recently featured on the site, explaining how she found her way to the starting line in Boston:SBS Victoria FB cover.

Standing in the lobby of the Marriott Copley Place, waiting for an elevator, I am surrounded by men and women runners a head shorter than my 5’ 11” frame. My forearms are about as big around as their sinewy quads; I’m fairly certain I outweigh each of them by 50 pounds, if not more. It’s two days before the 2012 Boston Marathon, and I want to proclaim, “I qualified, too!!” Instead, I slump my broad, former-rower shoulders and wish the marble floor would open up beneath me. I feel like a poser. Even though I make my living as a runner, as co-founder of Another Mother Runner, I don’t feel like I belong in this fast crowd.

Read the rest of Sarah's essay here.

7 responses to “Finding My Way To the 2016 Boston Marathon Starting Line

  1. Oh Sarah, thank you for your honesty and openness. I feel the exact same way. When friends from high school and childhood discover that I’m a runner/marathoner they are in shock. I feel I will be forever proving myself. Thank you again for the heartfelt essay. It’s nice to know I’m not alone. Hugs!

  2. As my miles go up and there is always another time goal to beat as well, i have asked myself the question: “Will I ever feel good enough?” I am afraid of the answer some days—most days. Which may be why I wear a tutu or silly costume during some races — to embrace a moment where I don’t give a damn anymore. Of course it is also followed by giving a damn on training days and races to actually race, which is completely hypocritical on my part but necessary to build momentum. You deserve to be there! And you are blessed to run as fast as you do and to have conquered so many goals. Poser??! As if!!

  3. Reading this from someone who has qualified for Boston and has these struggles (and from reading the replies its not uncommon) really hits home. I’m still that girl too-the bookworm, the slow one, the unathletic, the fat. She’s still in there, she is still me. Everyone who knows me now sees runner Kathy and only runner Kathy. In a way, I identify very strongly with the Oatmeal’s character the Blerch. I run from my fat Kathy the way he runs from the Blerch. So much so, I named her what I was called as a child-Ellie the Elephant.

    Feels good knowing I’m not alone with this. Thanks for that Saran.

  4. Sarah, Thank you for your story!! You are a true runner through and through… Every week when I listen to you on the podcast…I think to myself…. “Wow, she sure does know her running, training, fueling, etc….!” I only can strive to be more of a mother runner like you!! Plus… You are an awesome mom!! You focus on your children and they seem very happy and fulfilled!! Kudos to you!!

  5. Thank you for this, Sarah. I know many of us struggle with feeling like a “real” runner. Somehow knowing you feel the same way at times makes it a bit easier to take. Misery loves company? 😉

    I’m a volunteer cross country coach at our local high school, and last year a new coaching staff came in. With the entire coaching staff now younger and smaller than me, and already surrounded by sinewy high school runners, it was a blow to me when the new coach told me I was “solid, more like a thrower than a runner”. I haven’t decided if I want to return to coaching this year, and struggle every day there is a run on my schedule with feeling like I’m a pretend runner. Thank you for being vulnerable enough to share your story.

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