I did not run the Boston Marathon this year. I did not qualify for the Boston Marathon this year. I did not even try to qualify for Boston this year. However, two years ago, I started a blog post (it’s still in drafts) called “My BQ Quest” which I never finished and never posted out of fear that I may never be able to actually qualify for Boston. The bombing of the 2013 marathon has given me new resolve. I am no longer afraid to share my goal. I am no longer scared to try to train for the time I would need to qualify. I am no longer intimidated by the challenge of qualifying for Boston. I am no longer embarrassed about the possibility of publicly failing. I am simply determined.
Don’t Mess with Runners
I am determined, like so many other runners, to keep running. This bombing will not stop us. As a friend of mine posted in response to my recent Facebook post, whoever bombed the marathon had no idea who they were messing with. Runners are resilient. We (or at least I) are often described as ‘crazy.’ And we proudly accept that! We are crazy to run 26.2 miles; we are mad to train year-round in the freezing cold and the rain and the heat and everything in between; we are nuts, obsessed, proud. We are a community of crazy wonderful people.
The morning of this year’s Boston Marathon I had the live streaming video on one of my screens at work, muted, so I could check in on the elite runners. I happily was at my desk at the time Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher crossed the finish line and then I closed that tab in my browser and carried on with my day. Around 3pm my husband texted me to say he was glad I hadn’t qualified for Boston and I wrote back to ask what I missed. When he wrote back ‘bomb’ I was immediately online and in shock. Throughout the day I received texts from different friends either asking if I had been there or telling me they were glad I wasn’t. Even as a runner who wasn’t running Boston, my running community was connected. We were collectively reaching out to make sure the other was ok.
Trying to Digest the Bombings
The morning after Boston, I had planned to run six miles. On any given morning I hit snooze about 3 times and spend a lot of time mentally pep talking myself to get up and run at 5:30…on some mornings it doesn’t work and I keep on sleeping. But that morning, I didn’t need a pep talk. I woke up motivated, determined and excited. I was eager to run in honor of everyone who was affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. I wanted to find peace on my run and realize my resolve. I needed that run to try and digest what had happened the day before. I wanted to think about why, why in God’s name would someone bomb a marathon? At the end of the run I had no answers. For the life of me I cannot understand why and I know I am not alone in this confusion, frustration and anger.
I also know that I am not alone in my resolve to keep running and my desire to remain positive. I am fascinated by the coverage of the Boston Marathon. I agree with so many reporters, runners, friends and total strangers that this horrific event will only make us stronger, more committed and more united as a community.