I Stand With Boston
My KISA is from a city outside Boston. The Boston Marathon is run on a holiday that I’m aware is only celebrated in the state of Massachusetts: Patriots Day. On Patriots Day the schools don’t have classes and many employees don’t have to work, so a lot of people watch the Boston Marathon and some even go down to support the race, even though they don’t know anyone running. Boston is a very proud city and they take great pride in holding the elitist of all marathons in the world – The Boston Marathon.
When the Boston Marathon attack happened I selfishly thought first of races where I used to watch my ex cross the finish line. I remember specifically for the NYC Marathon standing at mile marker 25 and then again at the finish. The fear that the attackers hoped to instill in many had worked on me as I reflected on the “it could have been me”. As I heard about the deaths and casualties it became even more real, my heart went out to them and their families. You heard all the heroic stories of the people that didn’t run away from the bomb, but rather towards it to help the victims. Something that is not the reflex in most people.
As most of you know, I started training in June for the San Francisco Nike Women’s Marathon. The race is now on Sunday, October 20th. For anyone that has not done a marathon, you cannot fathom what it’s like to train for one. Even having done 5 half marathons I had no idea what I was in for. First, the sheer number of miles that is expected for you to run is insane. And, multiply that by 5 months and you’ll realize why I’ve been burnt out from training for over a month. I don’t think there’s anything in life I’d want to do for as many days and hours as I’ve run, including running. Then, there’s the pain that ensues from doing your long runs. Every week knowing that you’ll be in pain and have to push through it is daunting. It made me dread ever having to do any of my long runs. Many weeks I procrastinated and had to somehow make up time during the week or else modify my training yet again to get the distances in that were required. I also had to adjust my lifestyle to make sure I got proper sleep, hydration, carbs, clothing, shoe fittings, etc. to prepare me for the runs each week. There were a lot of sacrifices of fun that were required to get my long runs in, both the night before and the morning of my runs. And then after the long runs, faking that I felt great when the last thing I wanted to do was stand or go anywhere that day.
As I’ve been training, I’ve realized that there is one other group of people that were affected by the Boston bombing that people don’t often think of as victims as well – the runners. I could not imagine, first of all, not being able to finish a marathon I’d trained for over the last 5 months, which happened to many. Second of all, thinking of all the supporters that graciously came to watch you run, and now knowing that you may have inadvertently put them in harm’s way. For some runners, the fear of not knowing where your friends and family were, if they’re safe, trying to find them, etc. when they heard the news. I couldn’t imagine. I pray all those runners get a chance to cross the finish line at another point in their lives and that they don’t have to live in fear during their next race.
Because of all this, I’ve decided to dedicate my marathon to Boston. And when I say “Boston”, I mean all the people that participated in the Boston Marathon, all the victims and their families, and all my loved ones that are from Boston and now are forced to have a dark memory to go along with all the other great memories they’ve had with the race held in their city.