Monthly Archives: April 2016

Boston Marathon – done!

Wow! So hard to believe that I’ve already driven to and from Boston and run the marathon! Yes, I finished ๐Ÿ™‚

What a crazy, energy-pumping, goosebump-inducing, powerful, emotional, physical, reflective, cathartic experience that I will never forget. No other marathon or race will ever be the same. The people and city of Boston are absolutely incredible! And it was so great to be surrounded by family and receive so much support from so many people. THANK YOU all for thinking of us throughout this journey. This may be my last marathon-related post (and it may have a few lines copied from an email that I’ll also blast out – sorry for a bit of repetition). Thank you for putting up with my fund-raising plugs over the past four months for this cause that is so important and personal to me. Hopefully I mixed in enough fun pictures and facts to keep it more interesting than annoying ๐Ÿ™‚

The marathon is done but my mission is far from over (and will never end). My $18,000 raised covers over 2,300 support calls by the Samaritansโ€™ team. That is 2,300 people calling or texting in a time of crisis. YOUR donations made that possible. I had the opportunity to stop by the Samaritansโ€™ office in Boston before the marathon. Every person I met had a story to share about how their lives have been impacted by suicide. They are wonderful people doing great work every day. Iโ€™m still aiming at raising $20,000 to support this great organization. Donations will be accepted throughout May so itโ€™s not too late to donate today.


And now for many photos and probably way too much info about the marathon – enjoy.


It didn’t look so far from Hopkinton to Boston in this view ๐Ÿ˜‰


Here’s my Samaritans team at Boston Common before the marathon. This was the first time that I met any of my fellow runners. Many of us have tough stories to tell and are at various stages in our healing process, but I felt an instant connection to all of them and only wish we had more time to bond…and on a day when we didn’t have so much else going on ๐Ÿ™‚ Such an awesome (wicked awesome!) group – I hope we all stay in touch for years to come.


I’ve been to the infield of the Kentucky Derby many times. On first glance, Athlete’s Village looked to have a lot in common…people and trash scattered everywhere (but with less armed guards)! We arrived here after a 40-minute bus-ride from Boston. We found a spot in the shade and spent over an hour applying & re-applying sunscreen (yet, somehow I missed the back of both arms, which were a beautiful shade of bright red hours later) and looking for the shortest port-a-potty lines. Amazing how fast the time went between 7:45 a.m. (meeting for group photo) to 11:20 a.m. (my approximate start time). The sun was out and hot by this point of the day.


Hopkinton’s claim to fame!


Despite thousands of people in a large area, we somehow kept finding other team members…here we are just before we started our 1/2 hour walk to the start line. All smiles at this point (little did we know…).


Chills of anticipation just before the start…


We cut-up my marathon shirt from last year…and ended up pinning this to the back of my shirt for The Boston Marathon. This kept me going. I heard a few comments from other runners throughout the marathon, and I even had a woman start a conversation with me based on my shirt and we ended up running together for over 10 miles I think (thank you so much for keeping me going Mary!).


Here’s my cheering section at Mile 14. I love the #ThompsonStrong tag ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you Dan and Jackie for finding a way to make it to the race!


Mile 14…still smiling ๐Ÿ™‚


Can you believe the crowds and # of runners at Mile 17? My parents and Beth had a hard time just crossing the road. Can you find me?


My parents and Beth were at mile 17, along with the Samaritans team. It was a hot day, and despite my smile, I was starting to feel the heat getting to me. They gave me a frozen washcloth that was absolutely the perfect Mile 17 gift ๐Ÿ™‚


I didn’t see anyone from my Samaritans team after about mile 4 or 5, but somehow Ray and I ended up meeting after the finish line. Ray was also my school bus seatmate for our 40-minute ride from Boston to the start line. Fitting that we started and finished together! I ended up 2nd in fund-raising, and 3rd in finishing the marathon, for my team. I’ll take those stats any day ๐Ÿ™‚


Here’s all of the trash produced by just ME during the race! Ha!


Beth and me at the finish! This was after walking around for 20 minutes (trying to cool down still)…I found my smile and a bit of energy again by this point!


My parent’s hotel was close to the finish and packed with runners. The energy and atmosphere in their hotel was great – loved every minute of it. SOOOOO glad we all stayed downtown – crazy cool to be there with my family. We’ve been through a lot and this marathon was good for us in many ways. After this we all headed to the Back Deck for a post-race event by the Samaritans (shockingly, WE closed the place down).


Anyone who knows me, knows a huge part of travel for me is for the food. Here’s my lobster roll the next day (and cup of clam chowder). And, of course, malt vinegar on the fries. This is at the Atlantic Fish Company which was right in the blast of one of the bombs from the 2013 marathon. The last two turns of the marathon are beyond words to describe (“Right On Hereford, Left On Boylston”). When you make the final turn onto Boylston and can see the finish line in the distance, you can’t help but be almost overcome by the crowds cheering and energy in the air. The streets are absolutely packed with people – I can’t imagine a bomb going off in the midst of all this. Boston definitely shows its strength and resiliency for the marathon. A few days before the marathon, my brother and I walked a mile down Commonwealth Ave to get to Fenway. I was glad we made that walk so I at least knew how the last mile of the race would go (although at the time I didn’t realize Commonwealth was the road I’d be running down).


My mom proudly wearing my medal. Her leg had a short-lived pain after the marathon so she was limping around for a bit as if she’d just finished the race ๐Ÿ™‚


And here’s my sad workout stat. I only managed to get in one workout last week ๐Ÿ˜‰


Thanks again for all of the support throughout my journey. I couldn’t have done this without all of you. WE are saving lives. As always, I canโ€™t thank you all enough for reading these messages, being there for those around you, and helping fight the stigma of suicide and mental illness. Thank you.

Ok, last time, I mean it…here’s the DONATION LINK – let’s hit $20,000!!! (thanks for putting up with me and my requests):

Peace in the year ahead.

24 Hours To Go

Tomorrow is the big day! What a blur of a week! I started by driving over 1400 miles from Minnesota to New Hampshire to get to my parent’s house. The drive was exactly what I needed to clear my brain & heart a bit. Before I left I said I’d match any donations received from the time I left Minnesota until I arrived in New Hampshire. I was blessed to receive 12 donations during that time totaling $450. I’ll get my matching check written once I get back home! I saw 39 different state/province license plates during my drive here – maybe I’ll get the rest on the drive back home ๐Ÿ˜‰

I stopped after 15 hours the first day in Buffalo, NY. I jogged the next morning before finishing my drive. It shocked me a bit that cold temps were following me: 21F for my 4 mile jog. I unexpectedly came across this great Naval and Military Park. Cool stuff.


It’s always a mix of emotions to be back home now. So many memories of great times, but also of what is now missing. It’s beyond words to be surrounded by my incredibly supportive family – they are all doing great and the marathon journey has pulled us even closer together. New Englanders are wicked awesome – love the people out here. And I’m very grateful for the visits, calls, and email from so many people this week – I absolutely feel the support. Thank you all.

My brother and I went into Boston on Friday. It was a powerful day. We first went to the Samaritans’ office where we got a great tour (including seeing the call center that answers the 24/7 Crisis Services phone & text lines: (877)-870 HOPE(4673)) and were able to meet so many wonderful people who make Samaritans’ what it is. The staff and volunteers are amazing, and we got to have good conversations with many people. Here we are with Steve Mongeau, the Executive Director.


April 15th is now known as One Boston Day, and the energy, pride, and spirit of the city could be felt all around.


I unexpectedly was invited to a small event put on by John Hancock for certain fund-raisers. My brother and I got to hang out in a private suite (with maybe 40 people) and see the Red Sox beat Toronto. Two of the people from our group even went down to throw out the first pitch at the game (a father, and his son who has early onset Alzheimer’s, who will be running the race with two guides – very inspirational). I met many great people who are running in support of charities they strongly believe in. I was the only one there from Samaritans. Part of this event included getting pictures and a chance to talk to past marathon legends who stayed with our small group for over an hour. Bill Rodgers (“Boston Billy”; won Boston 3x in a row, plus other victories in Boston, NYC and other marathons) and Greg Meyer (until 2014, he had been the last American to win the Boston Marathon for over 30 years). Both ran crazy fast but the advice we heard for Boston was, “If you feel that you’re running too slow…slow down” – I like it ๐Ÿ™‚


Here’s some of my pit crew (thanks Mom and Martie!) working on making my marathon shirt memorable for me. Watch those fingers!


And, of course, two reminders about why I’m running. My sister’s girls (and all my nieces and nephews out here) are getting so big!


Today we go back into Boston to get my official race bib. I’m #31114 if anyone wants to track me using the mobile app or via text alerts.

Boston Marathon race-day temperatures were forecast at over 70F a few days ago. The first half of the course is still forecast to be that high, but it looks like Boston’s forecast has dropped a bit. Amazing to think that I trained in temperatures 90 degrees colder than this – ha!

Thanks again for all of the support. We are all in this together. Be there every single day for those you love. Treasure today. Tell someone if you are struggling in any way, and don’t ever hesitate to reach out for help. You will be met with love and compassion. You are not alone.

It’s not too late to make a donation to help support Samaritans life-saving and support services: