Thursday, April 18, 2013

It's Personal

I have been pretty quiet this week, not really able to match words to my emotions. Still, as I type, I am not sure anything I put here can properly convey why this week has been so tough for me.  It didn't even occur to me until yesterday, that this has been the view from my living room this week.  

I put my Shamrock Shuffle bib up on my window a week ago to take a picture, and never took it down; the meaning it had to me then, now takes the backseat (trunk) to the loss and suffering that these half mast flags represent.

I suppose I have known this all week, but it wasn't until I was watching the Boston memorial service this morning that it really clicked.  Why it felt like the wind was knocked out of me on Monday, when I was casually walking through the lobby of my building and someone asked, "Did you hear about the explosions at the Boston Marathon?"  Why I can't tear myself away from the news reports, abandoning the items on my to-do list for the day/week.  Why I glued my phone to my hand on Monday, anxiously waiting for check-ins from people I know, who were hoping to cross the finish-line that day. Why I have hugged my kids a little tighter this week.  

It clicked, this is PERSONAL.  

As a runner, I have run those final .2 miles of a marathon, when the finish line is in sight, your body is literally brimming with excitement as you find that last little bit of energy you were certain you left back at mile 18, and you somehow propel your body toward that finish line with a big fat smile on your face.  Elation.  Bombs don't cross your mind at this moment, why would they? 

Beyond that finish line, all marathoners can appreciate the special kind of pain you feel after you have stopped running....and then start moving again.  On Monday, finishers RAN themselves to hospitals to help.  Wow.

As a spectator, I have stood along finish chutes, cheering-on people who have the courage to race.  If you know me, then you know I am a race-junkie.  Can't get enough of them!  I love watching pros/elites cross finish-lines like machines, but I REALLY love watching the people who never thought they would make it there.  I cry all the time while watching races.  

A friend and fellow coach remarked in her own blog, as runners/triathletes, we often bring the most important people in our lives to watch us race; 
ING Miam Marathon, 2008

Lake Zurich Triathlon, 2012
Shamrock Shuffle 8k, 2013

I have been a parent for less than 3 years, but my kids have already shaken cow-bells, high-fived and to be very honest, slept through countless 5 and 10k's, marathons, cycle-cross races, and triathlons.  No doubt, they will end up being race-junkies just like me.  I want them to love watching races like I do.

As a mother, to say my heart aches for the parents of the 3 people killed and others who were injured, is an understatement.  To finish, what in its own right is a spectacular challenge, only to be presented with the unspeakable challenge of facing a life where your wife and daughter are critically injured...and your 8 y/o son is just gone!?  I am pretty sure when Bill Richard woke up on Monday, he thought the most difficult part of his day would be somewhere between miles 18-23.     

As a human, I am at a total loss, and this picture pretty much sums it up for me. 

I am registered for the Chicago Marathon on 10.13.13.  I will probably cry at that race too.

Stay strong, Boston.

Run on,


Tuesday, April 9, 2013