And tonight I ran for Boston.
Yesterday went from terrific to tragic in the blink of an eye. I had run out for lunch, and I was reading up on the top finishers for the Boston Marathon - awed at the fact that they can run a full marathon faster than I can run a half. I did a quick check of the weather there - looked like it was sunny and in the mid-to-upper 50s...and I thought "wow...it's a perfect day for them".
I had been back at my desk for a little bit when a coworker called me. She had received a breaking news report on her cell about the explosions at the finish line. To say I was shocked is an understatement. The t.v. was on in our lunch room, and I caught a brief bit of what was going on. Trying to focus the rest of the afternoon was a huge issue, but I plugged along. It was a relief to get home and hug my boys.
My heart was breaking for all of the runners. Their incredible journey, all the training they've done, only to have it marred by this unimaginable act of terror. Then I thought of the spectators, who really bore the worst of the bombs. And I cried....cried thinking about how spectators cheering on us crazy runners when they probably don't understand why the heck we'd choose to run long distances, but they are there, yelling their encouragement to every.single.runner. It doesn't matter if they know them - they keep us moving forward with their funny signs, their excitement, and their enthusiasm. They make the race an amazing experience, and I know I would have struggled to finish my two half marathons without them spurring me on.
So today I wore my Shamrock Shuffle race shirt to work. I'm sure some people were wondering what the heck I was doing, but it was important to me to show that the terror won't win. The running community is such a supportive group, and I know there were many others like me out there today.
I ended my day by honoring those affected, injured or killed by the blasts yesterday. I was sad I couldn't join the Dick Pond group, but I think the solo run helped me think and clear my head. It started to rain as soon as I started out, and it rained the first 2.62 miles - fitting, isn't it? I restarted my app and finished the run back to the church to pick up my younger two boys from choir. As I went along, I came up to a beautiful sight:
Seeing the flowers blooming brought some comfort to me, along with the miles under my feet. I ended up with a total of 4.09 miles. The time on the finish line clock when the explosions occurred was 4:09 and some seconds.
On a final note - I've had many people ask me if I still plan to run the Chicago Marathon this October. If anything, this tragic event makes me want to run it more...to run it for those who lost their lives, suffered serious injuries, and for those runners who didn't get to cross their finish line in Boston. I will cross it for them, and they will all be on my heart during my 26.2 miles.