Boston Marathon 2013

I’ve not written about running for a while. I still run- several miles a week, but I’ve not been running races or training for a specific race or distance.

The past few years I’ve loved keeping up with the Boston Marathon- I loved watching the winners and following the people I know locally or my running friends I’ve made on Daily Mile, and I’ve always had tabs on a few people who were running it. Last night I saw a few friends give out their bib numbers, so I texted in, to receive their updates by text, and it was fun to be able to see their progress today via text messages.

I was really happy for my friends, to see they finished in the 3 hour ranges- that isn’t an easy feat to do at all, and I was sure they would be happy with their performances!  My son is home sick today, and we have a snowstorm in Colorado. I was working at home, and checked the weather to see how much snow we were supposed to get. I saw the red banner on the top of the news site: 2 Bomb Explosions at the Finish Line at the Boston Marathon. It almost seemed like a prank- another unimaginable act of violence, that was now real.

I knew my friends had finished, when this happened, and I heard later they were safe.  But after seeing the pictures, the videos, and hearing the accounts, there are many people who weren’t safe.  There are those who died- actually died- by either just going out and running, or supporting someone who was.  Hundreds of others injured, including loss of limbs.

Anyone who runs, knows what kind of devotion, training, and dedication it takes, to run a marathon.  To know some of these runners who lost their lives, or who may never be able to run again- it is just heartbreaking.

Running really helped me get my life back on track after cancer.  It kept the focus of my being “sick” and helped me focus on what I could do- not what I couldn’t. It played a key part in my recovery- physically and emotionally.  I vowed one day, I wanted to run a marathon, and one day I would run the Boston Marathon.  Even though I’ve not been able to do that- yet- it is still a goal- often in the back of my mind, when I run.

After today, it seems like we have lost another piece of innocence- another thing that will never be quite the same. We run, we train, we try our best, to be the best we can be, and now- we are not safe when we want to have that day, that race- to give it our all, and see what we we can really do, under the highest stress and when we push our hardest.

But the biggest surprise I think we saw today, is what we are made of, shone through in the chaos, smoke, and blood.  When bystanders, police, fire fighters, medics, doctors, race officials, parents, friends, family members, runners, and strangers ran not away from the smoke, and chaos, but into it- to help.  It showed, we don’t need a race to be the best we can be. After all these awful acts of violence- no one knows for sure what is coming next- people still didn’t hesitate, and put their lives on the line to help.  How many lives or limbs saved, from these unselfish acts from others today? We may never know, but we know among the horrific events, we saw the best of the human spirit rise up today.

I came across this quote years ago- when I was in the midst of my cancer recovery.  It inspired me then, and now when I run. I hope by sharing it- it helps, all of us- runners and non- runners.  As we saw today, all we really have- when it counts- is each other.

“I run because I can. When I get tired, I remember those who can’t run, what they’d give to have this simple gift I take for granted, and I run harder for them. I know they would do the same for me.” – Anonymous