Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Boston Strong - One Year Later

A year ago today, I got a text from Sam that told me two bombs had gone off at the Boston Marathon.  I jumped online and spent the rest of my work day (and several days after) in a state of worry and anger.  How dare someone hurt my tribe?  And the bigger question, why?

The answer was simple - to hurt and to cause fear to the biggest group possible.

It made me think about the crowd that marathons, Boston in particular, draw.  I couldn't think of anything else that has this kind of support.  It made me remember that I loved running, and runners, and the countless people that support us.  So, in an effort at positivity, I wrote a blog entry called "For the Love of Running." 

One year later, I made a new list because I do love running and because the people that hurt us don't deserve one more second of our fear.

For the Love of Running, Part Two

1. The spirit.

I went on my first run a few days after Boston and I'd never seen so many people on the trail.  A man approached me in the brightest running tights I'd ever seen.  He nodded just slightly and stuck his hand out for a high five as we passed each other.  I smiled, high fived him, and kept going.

2. Boston Strong - Missoula.

On just a few days notice, Run Wild Missoula and The Runner's Edge coordinated a two and four mile run to benefit One Fund Boston.  I can only speak for myself, but at that time, I wanted to do something and felt helpless.  This run was our chance to do something good and stand united.  Seeing the crowd of supporters from this little town was one of my proudest moments as a runner.

Boston Strong - Missoula

3. The motivation.

I've always thought of the Boston Marathon as something like the Super Bowl.  I'll admit, I'm not the fastest runner.  After last year I thought that I may not ever have the privilege of running Boston, but I can run a marathon.  I'll be running the Missoula Marathon, my first, this summer.

4. The gear.

I need, not want, compression calf sleeves, a watch, a foam roller, new running bras, a couple more shirts, shorts, and tights, Unbreakable: The Western States 100, and as always, more gels.

5. The crazy.

Runners tend to get the same responses from people when we say that we run.  "What about your knees?," and "I hate running, it's so boring," and my favorite, "you're crazy."  Yeah, I wake up before dawn on my day off for a long run and I plan race day meals like I'm going to storm the beach at Normandy.  My toes have bled, I've pulled muscles, I've gotten side stitches that take my breath away, I've cried, and I've pushed until my tank was way past empty. 

In the beginning, runners have to motivate themselves.  In the end, we motivate each other.  We pick each other up when we fall.  And we don't let anything stop us. 

So, one year later, we've lifted each other up.  We're stronger.  And yes, we're still that kind of crazy.