Yesterday was a very difficult day. There are two reasons.
The first is obvious. I don't think there is a soul who wasn't shaken by what happened at the Boston Marathon. I've never really felt like I could call myself a runner... I can run 5 minutes tops right now. But yesterday, I felt like one. I walked a half-marathon, training for months, so I have some small idea of what kind of dedication and work goes into running a marathon. And this was one of the ultimate marathons... people train for YEARS to just qualify to be there. To know so many dreams were crushed breaks my heart almost as much as all the injuries and deaths.
The second one is a little more personal. I saw last week that an old friend of mine posted that her 15 year old nephew was missing. On Friday, a body was found in a field near his home, and they all feared the worst. Yesterday it was confirmed that it was him, shot to death at such a young age. The family has been through some of the most tragic circumstances I can imagine and now this....
I felt so crushed under all the tragedy and heartache. I spent the afternoon with my family out at the park... it just seemed like the best place to be. Nature is a refuge. I found a trail that I had never explored, and it reminded me that there is still so much to look forward to.
So, today, since I feel like I can call myself a runner, I ran for those who can't.
I had seen many people say they were wearing race shirts today. At first, I wanted to wear my half-marathon shirt. That's the closest to a marathon I've gotten (and my ever get, to be honest), and it seemed appropriate. Until I remembered that horseshoe and the word "LUCKY" across the front of it, and that just seemed wrong. To wear a shirt proclaiming that I'm lucky when these people had the misfortune of being the target of an attack like that... So I grabbed my Mud Run shirt instead. Any other day, I am proud to wear my half-marathon shirt and I do feel that I'm incredibly lucky for many reasons surrounding it, but it seemed to be the wrong sentiment for today.
I went to the rec center, got on my favorite treadmill and finished Week 4 of C25k. When it felt difficult, I reminded myself why I had to keep going. For the people who may never run again because of their injuries. For the people who have had their security ripped out from under them and will have to overcome that fear to get out on the street and run again. For the people stopped so close to their dream of crossing that finish line. To show support for the helpers Mr. Rogers so wisely told us to look for. To show that whatever sick psycho did this can't stop US as a whole. To send out my strength, what little I might have, out into the universe for those who feel weak right now. For the little boy who had endured so many heartbreaks in his life, now cut short in one of the most tragic ways possible. I had to keep running.
And I will keep on running.