Saturday, April 20, 2013

Of Course Boston's Been On My Mind

I'm pretty unemotional about virtually everything.  I like to say that I'm made of stone inside, and I attribute that to seeing things that don't relate to me, and not dwelling on them.  I don't really know how to explain it, but I could watch horrible story after horrible story on the news and not really thing anything of it because it doesn't really affect my life or what I do, or who I know.  Probably doesn't reflect well on me, but that's just the way it is.  But the Boston Marathon bombing this year got to me.

It got to me because I know what that finish line is like.  It got to me because I know what those people have put in to get to Boston (not that I have accomplished it, but I have an idea of what it entails).  I know what it means to those families to see a loved one work so hard for a goal, and then realize that goal.  Like I said, when I can relate to it, I feel more for it, and I certainly feel for all of the people that had their lives turned upside down by this disatrous event.  The end of a race, especially the end of a marathon, is a time of unbridled joy, of masked pain, of exhaustive relief, and of incredible pride.  The marathon itself is less of a challenge than the 18 weeks of training, with early morning workouts and 20 mile training runs, and thus the entire day turns into a giant party.  I don't remember feeling anything other than excitement when I ran in Des Moines in October, because all the work had been done.  To cap off that training, you get to go compete and give everything you have, knowing that you don't have to get up on Tuesday and go run.  Then you rehash the events with your peers, and have a laugh, a banana, and a beer.  That entire thrill was erased for the people that did not get to finish and their families who did not get to see that happen.  And that is without mentioning all the people that now have emotional and physical damage, and well as painful memories that will no doubt haunt them forever.  Families constantly having to replay the loss of life, the loss of limb, and the loss of peace within themselves and their surroundings for, well, forever.  It's upsetting to say the absolute very least.

I've been behind in training because of my foot, but I think it's getting better.  While my goal of a Boston Qualifier is out the window for 2013, my resolve to get my foot back and qualify for Boston ASAP is as strong as ever.  I want to be there to experience the peak, but also to grind it out with survivors who have braved their own misgivings and wounded souls to venture back to the course, to the very spot, where so much was taken away from them.  I want to hear stories about where they were, what they did, and let them know that even though I could in no way understand what they have been through, that I share a bond with them through a fighting spirit and a competitive drive to attempt to not let anything rattle us or get us down.  Every runner out there feels the same way, no doubt, because we've all experienced that crossing of the line that brings about the warm emotions of gratification and accomplishment, and possess a sadness when we know one of our own has the opportunity taken away from them.  I write with a heavy heart for all affected, I really do.  I hope for nothing but the best to come out of such a horrific and thoughtless situation.  Until next time...later.

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