On Monday I ran the 10K. I have run a marathon (Chicago, 1998) and 2
other 10Ks before (the Crescent City Classics in New Orleans) but this
one felt different. First off, this was in Boston. I have never run a
race in my home town. Second, this was the first race I had run since
my stroke and heart surgery. Moreover I was doing this with the
American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association. That
made it very different.
I was asked to show up at 10:30, the
race started at noon. I meet some people by the press tent and then
GO! I was literally pulled in three different directions at once. I
gave three or four interviews, people asked me to wear a different kind
of shirt (advertising) a baseball cap (advertising) they held my stuff,
they told me how to stand, where to look, and in some cases what to say
to the camera. I went along for the ride. It is not as if I minded
it. I believed in what I said, and I was not lying by any means, it
was just a surreal experience by all accounts. While I did kind of
like it, the whole thing also felt odd. I was getting all of this
press because I had a near death experience. When you think about it,
that is sick. I mean, I am the one who is bringing attention to it - I
guess that is kind of sick and a bit demented as well. But I supposed
I am doing it because I want people to understand that if it can happen
to me - someone who is healthy, takes care of themselves, does not
smoke etc - then it really can happen to anyone.
So I ran the
race and as my foot hit the finish line my name was called out: "Lily
Burns, Boston!" "Lily, over here!" I turned my head and one of the
photographers who had interviewed me earlier snapped my photo. I felt
a bit sick. It was the hardest I had run in about a year. "That means
you ran hard enough." My friend Cory told me.
Ok, so I ran hard
enough. Well, I would not have been able to do it with out her. It
was drizzling, at one point we ran by my house, that would have been
nice to kind of stop, and crawl into bed right then and there, but Cory
was there by my side pushing me on the entire way.
So I ran.
And I finished. And as I watched the interview films later I felt like
I was watching someone else. Someone I did not know. I looked at a
healthy person. How could this person have had a stroke and heart