Love. Strength. Boston.

Love. Strength. Boston.

boston-marathon

Today’s post was meant to be a recap of my 50 mile race over the weekend. A post about overcoming adversity and fatigue. A post about celebrating the ability to finish a race.

Maybe it still is the latter.

Like many of you, I experienced it on TV and through social media. It didn’t seem real. It didn’t seem fair. It didn’t seem like the place. But is there a “proper place” for things like this to happen? I’m not going to go into detail about the events that happened at yesterday’s 117th Boston Marathon. We’ve seen the images and heard the reports. It’s sad. It’s scary.

On a personal note, my thoughts quickly turned to my family. I thought back to times when they have been waiting for me at numerous finish lines. My eyes going from side-to-side to see them smiling, cheering, taking photos of me as I approach. It didn’t take very long for me to realize that the time on the official clock is around my pace.

Fresno Marathon (Nov. 2011) 4:09:

Fresno Marathon (Nov. 2011) 4:09:28

4:09 — that’s around my finish time. I finished Fresno last November at 4:09:28… the very first race where both The First Lady and Wifey were waiting for me. Waiting for daddy.

What if it was at a race where I was running?
What if I got tired and hadn’t reached the finish line yet?
What if I decided to take that extra walk break?
What if I stopped to take a photo for this blog?

Too many “what if” questions that lead nowhere. If I run faster or slower maybe it puts me right at that spot or further away. Or like yesterday, not there at all.

I’m okay with telling you that it scares me. It scares me to think of it all. It scares me to think that something I do for fun, could be a danger to me and my family and friends. I’m smart enough to know that tragedy can strike anywhere and none of us are immune from it, regardless of what we do and where we go. But this one hits pretty close to home.

* * * *

Love.

The community was amazing. People were sharing information across social media — on where to organize for help, on where to find out if runners had finished or been stopped. Some people were tweeting out if they had heard from friends, as was I. We came together as a community to support each other in any way we could. Thoughts, prayers, well wishes and gratitude were plentiful.

Strength.

Sadness, fear, anger and confusion were also a part of that mix. But I think it will be strength that is the biggest result of yesterday’s tragic events. We’ve seen it take place already. The strength of volunteers, law enforcement and medical to help in any way possible. The strength of runners to unite and support each other. The strength to show that we can be afraid. That yes, we can be scared for our loved ones, but we will continue to move on. It might not be today, it might not be tomorrow, but it will be when we are ready. The strength of runners is never in doubt.

Boston.

A race with history. A race with tradition. A race where dreams are realized and legends are created. A race where not all of us are fortunate enough to run it, but a race strong enough to hold our hopes. To capture the essence of what many of us strive for: to run Boston. One thing you can count on. We will run again and there will be honor and remembrance on Patriot’s Day in Boston 2014.

I have never run Boston. I may never be fast enough to run it. But I have crossed plenty of finish lines and I plan to continue to do so. #BostonStrong

I have never run Boston. I may never be fast enough to run it. But I have crossed plenty of finish lines and I plan to continue to do so. #BostonStrong

Thank you to everyone that exchanged information across Twitter and Facebook yesterday. There were some fellow runners and friends that were running and spectating. It’s comforting to know that when events like yesterday happen, we can all come together and help and support one another, either in words or actions.

 

31 Comments

  1. Thank you for your post. We are still in shock. Our thoughts are with those who are grieving and suffering.

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  2. I thought the same…the what ifs came flooding over me! Just thankful all I love are ok. Still in shock!

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  3. My family was my first thoughts when I heard this, they could have been sitting there. Then I thought of all my running “friends” and it broke my heart. Finally I saw the goodness in people and it made me happy that in the end goodness prevailed.

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  4. I woke up this morning hoping it had been a dream. My heart just breaks every time I read about it. Today I’m thankful for everything I have in life. I’ll be counting my blessings.

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  5. adorable pic of you and the first lady. you’re absolutely right.. my fam has been at just about every race that i’ve finished too and itz just heartbreaking what happened in boston.

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  6. Wonderful post. I had the exact same thoughts of my family waiting for meat a finish line.

    A guy in my running group sat near that garbage can at the finish line for almost 8 hours. The runner he was watching for finished at 4:05 so he got up and went to the family meet-up area. Someone was looking out for him yesterday.

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  7. Twitter got me more information than any news channel! I was like you, thinking of the family who always waits for me at the finish….but I know we can’t live in fear…

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  8. i was having similar thoughts yesterday for friends running. if they ran a great race they finished before that time…but i knew they had previously ran races finishing right around that time. it’s hard to think about the what ifs because they can overwhelm your mind so quickly…so instead i’m choosing to focus on the positive…and how amazing and supportive the running community is…even to those of us who don’t run.

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  9. that was my first marathon too, wow. Running will be forever changed, but it will be changing the better. Strength in numbers!

    p.s
    thank God for twitter and letting us know our friends were ok

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  10. I couldn’t help but think about the ‘what ifs’ too — to think of those runners whose family WAS in the stands waiting to cheer them onto the finish line? Gut wrenching, heart breaking, torturous to even consider the possibilities. I feel for those runners especially. But even bigger than that? I feel for everyone involved, everyone who was there, who had a loved one racing, who was at all touched by this week’s tragedies. It just changes perspective so much, scarily so. I am just sad, heart-heavy yet filled with so much gratitude at the same time. A giant mixed bag of emotions indeed.

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  11. Sad news but let’s turn this negative energy into positive. Let their losses be our inspiration. I’m trying to collect pictures for a Randford Boston collage on my blog. Would love for more pics if you have them!

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  12. A lovely heartfelt post. One that hits a core in all of us runners searching for the familiar face in the crowd cheering us on. <3

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  13. As I already mentioned on Twitter, your words are exactly what we’re all thinking. Hope you don’t mind, but I linked to your post on my blog. Stay safe!

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  14. I have to reiterate that the thoughts of my family at a finish line waiting for me and being in potential danger, or my daughter and I waiting for dear hubby, got to the soul of me. I too thought of finish time and knew I wouldn’t have been there yet but my family could have been. It is gut wrenching….and yes, scary.

    But I find strength in how the running community pulled together and in the multiple questions on how someone was and reports on their status. It was the light in the darkness and made me realize how close knit this community is. It is odd to think of people you haven’t met face to face as friends but yesterday it hit me hard — I do care about many people I haven’t been graced with the opportunity to meet face to face yet.

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  15. I don’t think I’ve read a better post today. My heart is breaking for my city. I am usually at the finish and was disappointed I had plans and couldn’t see my friends run in.

    I’ve always said BQ or not I will run Boston. That’ll never change. They’ll never take this day from us.

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  16. Things like this really put things into perspective and help us appreciate things we take for granted every day. Very well said.

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  17. I too was focused on who waits for me at the finish line. Though my pace is far slower than yours and I would have been 6 miles away from finishing, they would have been there waiting and watching and cheering runners along. The hubs would have crossed the finish right around 4:10.

    I was so comforted by the community stepping up and making sure everyone was taken care of, opening their hearts and their homes. It’s just another reason that though we don’t live there anymore, Boston will always be my home.

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  18. Thank you. I am still trying to understand and I doubt I ever will. I’ll just keep running like I always do when things are bad. And when things are good. That’s what we do. We just run.

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  19. Very open and honest post. I don’t think you’re alone in the “what if” thoughts. But it’d be a horrible tragedy if the events that occurred yesterday stopped runners from doing what they love to do.
    I, too, will continue running, crossing finish lines, and thinking of those who may longer be able to do so.

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  20. Very well written. It’s hard to process what happened and blogging about it can definitely help! It’s good you pointed out the positives as well as getting real about what upset you.

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  21. Well said Post – I think we will all be asking ourselves Questions after this tragic event. I have never run a marathon, but Im training for my 4th & hubby is running w/ me (his 1st). My kids have never seen me run a half. The Race we are training for is in our Home Town & on Mothers Day. I was thinking this would be the perfect race for them to come too! Now I Question that thought. It’s too soon (they have also seen & heard the news reports). I will just have to keep Running, there will be other races.

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  22. You took the words right out of my mouth. Love this so much.

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  23. Hi there,
    Coincidentally, I did Fresno in 2009 with a 4:12 finish time and that was also my thought when heard about the bombs. Not of myself, but of my family and friends who come to watch me race… without fail. This event is definitely hard for all of us runners, but we will prevail. Darkness can cover a light that is this strong.

    Reply

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