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A soundtrack for race day

Posted by Ty Velde  April 10, 2012 11:13 PM

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The final days leading up to race day are always a time of great anticipation. Weíve spent months training for this moment and possibly years dreaming about it. Itís now about to become a reality.

Our minds are swirling with thoughts and anticipation. We're excited. We're anxious. We're ready! With this being said, the following is a musical interpretation of just a few thoughts that are currently running through my head and maybe even yours.

I want to run
Yes, Iím ready to take this on. The hardest thing for many of us in these final days is simply just holding back. Many of us have been prepping and running on daily basis, but weíre now saving ourselves and our bodies for the big day.

I want to hide
To say Iím not anxious would be a lie. I know Iím ready, but I also know what awaits me Ö an incredible physical and mental challenge. The thought of running 26.2 miles can often seem overwhelming, whether your goal is to just finish or do so in less than three hours. Needless to say, its OK to be nervous, as this just shows that you have a true understanding and respect for what you are about to do. At the same time, you need to look at what you have done to get to this moment. Youíre here because youíve earned it.

I want to tear down the walls that hold me inside
Race day is about letting go. Itís the moment when you put everything to the test. No matter what has brought you to Boston, this is the time when you show yourself and those around you what youíre made of.

I want to reach out and touch the flame
Who does not have a sense of burning desire running through them at this moment? Youíre ready. Youíre able. You want to go! There is a fire burning within all of us at this very moment. Itís representative of a passion and desire that lives within us all. The flame was lit the moment you started this journey and come race day, you will touch it and it will carry you across the finish line.

Where the streets have no name
Who is not thinking about the course, looking at maps and plotting a race day strategy? However, are you really thinking about the fact that the race starts on East Main Street?

For one day, the roads become the route. Itís not about the streets, itís about the miles. Youíre not running on Commonwealth Avenue, rather youíre running up Heartbreak Hill. When the gun goes off and you get out on the course, be prepared to step into history and one of the most incredibly inspiring and energetic atmospheres you will ever witness.

I want to feel ... sunlight on my face
Who is not hoping for a beautiful day? Not only will this make for a great run, it will ensure the streets are lined with people to cheer you along. I can only hope that the weather gods look favorably upon us come race day.

See that dust cloud disappear without a trace
Race day is about looking forward. Specifically, when you're out on the course, the key is to not look back, but to remember what you have learned. This will keep you focused on the finish and what lies ahead.

Therefore, take some time to think about what learned about yourself throughout your training and how you can leverage that experience on race day. It will prove to be a very valuable asset and key to your success.

I want to take shelter from the poison rain
Now is a time to focus on the positive and that which has inspired you along the way. Therefore, you want to be sure to shelter yourself from any form of negative energy, as itís all too easy in these final moments for your head to get clouded with doubts and concerns. Think of the marathon as the moment where you will show to yourself and to others your strength and ability to rise above it all.

Where the streets have no name
Yes, the aforementioned paragraphs are my interpretation of the song by U2 from the perspective of a runner who is counting down the final moments leading up to race day. However to be inspired to create my own meaning and interpretation, in my opinion it is the hallmark of a great piece of art and a powerful song.

Iím sure Bono was not thinking about the Boston Marathon when he initially wrote this song, but take a moment to watch the below video of this performance from Boston in 2001.

Just look at what he does at 1:37 seconds into the videoÖ.he runs!

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Look for updates, news, analysis and commentary from the following.
  • Steve Silva, Boston.com senior producer, two-time Boston Marathon sub-four hour runner.
  • Ty Velde is a 16-time Boston qualifier who's completed 12 consecutive Boston Marathons and 25 marathons overall. Ty is now training for his 13th Boston run and will provide training tips for those who train solo and outside, no matter what temperature it is.
  • Rich 'Shifter' Horgan is a 19-time Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team member who runs in honor of his father, who died of colon cancer. He will provide updates on local running events with a focus on the charitable organizations that provide Boston Marathon entries for their organization's fund raising purposes

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