It’s been awhile since I have updated my blog. A lot of the reasoning behind that is because I have spent the past 30 days or so working on my self development. I have literally immersed myself in Bikram Yoga. One of the most mentally and physically challenging activities I have ever encountered. I started this venture based on a running burnout after the Little Rock Marathon. I felt so physically just worn out on top of everything else going on (crazy work schedule and the usual ‘life stuff’). I just needed a break to focus on me.
This week, after the tragedy at the Boston Marathon, I felt compelled to write my thoughts down on the event even though I was not there.
Monday was the 117th running of the Boston Marathon. This is likely a race I will never qualify for. I live vicariously through my friends who do qualify and run it. Some of them run it year after year. I love watching their updates throughout the year as the BQ or Boston Qualify. I love watching how hard they work and push through the training to make it to what everyone calls the holy grail of marathons.
Personally, I have a place in my heart for Boston as that is where my sister and her husband lived for quite a bit and I was able to visit them many times. I have always felt such a strong sense of patriotism in Boston. Unlike any other city I have visited. The people are so strong and courageous. It is a very proud city. I was always looking for an excuse to come up and visit.
This past Monday, the first post on my facebook feed was from my undergraduate college’s newspaper. All it said was that some explosions happened at the finish line. I saw nothing online…no news reporting much at all yet. About 5 minutes later, I saw a post from one of my super fast friends (a sub 3 hour marathoner) that there were explosions and people were hurt. Please pray. I can honestly say I was so shocked. Of course my mind went to the friends I had up there…our vet, some of my running friends in the Memphis community, a former SVP where I work. Were they okay? As the photos and updates started streaming through the news, my heart just ached. The only thing I have experienced close to this was some of the bomb threats in London when I was a child. I will never forget experiencing one in a large toy store that frightened me quite a lot. I just couldn’t imagine what the people felt or experienced as I watched the finish line video. I was not there, but I felt like I was. Selfishly, I thought about if I had ever run the Boston Marathon…the bombs would have gone off closer to when I would have finished (definitely greater than a 4 hour race).
I don’t consider myself a runner but I have finished 7 marathons in the past 2.5 years. What I can say, is that I know how that finish line feels. I know how it feels to cry at the end as you are so overwhelmed with just getting to the end. I know how it feels to pray as you go through the marathon just hoping you will make it. I know how it feels to see people with prosthetic limbs, in wheelchairs, or twice my age passing me and to shed tears for their accomplishment. It is a gift to the marathoner to get to the finish. It is a gift that was taken away from all of the marathoners at Boston on Monday. Not just the ones who did not finish but the ones who did. It is hard to celebrate in that tragedy. I feel like many do in the running community. We will prevail. We are a tough skinned bunch. We will stick together and we will help those that need us and we will also help those who never ask for help. That is how runners are.
With that being said, this event has helped me gradually come out of my funk (along with my Bikram practice). If anything, I am not scared. I want to do another race. I want to be out there with my running buddies, with the running friends I have yet to meet but will meet and bond with along the way and at the finish line again.
My heart goes out to all of those hurt in Boston. I can only imagine how difficult it was to experience that. Sending love and prayers.