One year ago. One week to go.

There’s been a lot written recently about what happened last April 15th. Everyone has their own memories from that day. These are mine:

I remember running down Boylston, blowing kisses to every police officer I saw. 

I remember standing by the buses 10 minutes later, seeing the expression change on the face of the officer in front of me as the second bomb went off. 

I remember stopping breathing when I found out Chris had been on Boylston, and that no one had heard from him yet. 

I remember starting again as one by one, all of my friends and teammates checked in safe.

 

Most of the rest is a blur. If I tried, I might be able to remember more. But what I don’t have to remember, because it has been a part of my life every day since, is what came next.

Tuesday morning I remembered that I’d seen my former teammate Sean Biggins cheering on Boylston just before the finish and texted him from an ice bath. I didn’t know him very well (we didn’t ice-bath text on a regular basis), but he responded right away, saying how worried he’d been about me and how glad he was to hear from me. Wednesday my mentees crowded onto my couch, eating pizza off paper plates and huddling as close to each other as possible. Thursday I met Biggins and some of my other long-time teammates out – we told our stories, we reassured ourselves that yes, we were there, we were okay, everyone had made it. Friday, from inside our locked houses, we did it again.

There was a lot of sadness in our gatherings those first few days. But eventually the sadness faded away, and the love that had been there right alongside it grew. The relationships I leaned on in that first week – the teammates who had been there, the ones who hadn’t, the friends in other cities who called every day to check in on me – have been the source of more comfort, joy, and laughter over the past year than I could have imagined. Biggins has become one of my closest friends. The runners I mentored are absolute anchors in my life, as integral a part of it as if I’d known them for years. And because of you, our amazing, bursting-at-the-seams team has raised over $1 million for charity.

Everyone has their own memories from the marathon last year, and everyone has their own reasons for running this one. For some, it’s to take back a finish line they were kept from crossing. For others, it’s to reclaim the spirit of the Boston Marathon. For me, it’s to celebrate the incredible strength, generosity, and love that flooded through a shattered city on April 16th and hasn’t let up since.

Last year after the marathon, I wrote about the card my friend Anna sent me the day before the race. I still think about it, and what she wrote, nearly every day:

“Run tough. Run strong. Run beautiful.”

On Monday, I know that we will.

Love,

Cait

TNT - FA

SPORTS! Marathon Block Pool

As you may remember, I dedicated the fall of 2013 to learning about SPORTS – specifically football – so I could do something during my bro-friends’ conversations about fantasy leagues besides stare into the middle distance pondering ways to dismantle the patriarchy. While I would not consider it an UNQUALIFIED success, I did pick up on this whole  “block pool” idea, and decided to apply  it to a sport I actually understand!

Here’s how this is going to work (shoutout to Zac for SPORTS-related mentoring!)

SETUP

We’ve got a 10×10 grid with each block costing $10. The blocks will be broken into ranges for half and full marathon times, based on my most recent races.

  • Half-marathon time: 1:40:00-1:54:59, with each row assigned a 90 second interval
  • Marathon time: 3:26:00-3:55:59, with each column assigned a 180 second interval

Marathon Block Pool

PAYOUT

  • $500 of the proceeds go to the LLS, $500 will go to the winners.
  • There will be 19 total winners.
  • 18 winners receive $20 each
    • The entire row of the correct half marathon time range will win $20 each ($200 total)
    • The entire column of the correct full marathon time range will win $20 each ($200 total)
  • The block that contains the winning range for the both the full and half times will win the final $100 ($140 total)

RULES

  • Zac’s going to administer this whole process so I can’t play favorites and screw with the results (if you think I’m capable of speeding up/slowing down/simple arithmetic while running, you have more faith in me than I do, but we’ll do this to be safe)
  • In the event that I finish before the low time, the lowest time range will win (and I will be ONE HAPPY CAMPER)
  • In the event that I finish after the high time, the highest time range will win (and I’ll have just had that much more time to appreciate every inch of the course)

HOOOOOOO BOY you guys that was a lot more logistics than I typically like to include in my lunch hour. But it’s all for a good cause! If you’d like to buy squares, you can PayPal me (caitlindd@gmail.com) or give me straight cash money the next time you see me. Since this is for the marathon, deadline is obviously pre-April 21st. Let’s get to SPORTIN’!

Photoshopping for Fun and Profit

As previously documented, I have a LOT of time on my hands in taper. So what better to spend it on than creating absurd fundraising incentives designed to appeal to – at most – 5 of my friends and loved ones!

For any donation received now through April 21st, I will Photoshop (okay okay okay, MS Paint copy and paste) a picture of you with songbird, national anthem aspirant, and Italian Hero Sandwich of Love Robert Kelly!

FAQ

How many questions could there possibly be about photoshopping me and R Kelly together? 

More than you’d imagine. READ ON, FRIEND.

What if I already donated? 

Donate again! I will do this for literally one dollar. Clumsy MS Paint hackjobs are one of my greatest joys.

How will you get a picture of me? 

My ability to Facebook creep far exceeds my Photoshop skills. It’s about time I put it to good use!

Can I choose my R Kelly picture? 

If you have one in mind, absolutely! However, I just started following R on Instagram and I would STRONGLY recommend you allowing me to select from that absurdly-hatted goldmine.

Do I really want to donate for this?

Well, take a look at the ever-growing gallery below and YOU tell ME: