April 16, 2013


The last 24 hours, my thoughts have been filled with confusion, shock, anger, disgust, and sorrow.

I've been at home the last two days with a sick baby. Yesterday after I put her down for a nap in her crib, I walked out to the living room where the TV was already on. My mind couldn't process what I was seeing and hearing. The words "bombing" "Boston" and "marathon" kept swirling around. The images of blood and smoke and chaos displayed on the screen had to come out of a war zone, so why did they keep saying Boston? It didn't make sense to me.

Then I realized what they were actually saying. The finish line at the Boston Marathon had suffered a bombing.

Although the images and the words now made sense, nothing else about it did.

Who would blow up a marathon? And the most celebrated and prestigious marathons at that.

Was it a foreign terrorist attack? A disgruntled runner that couldn't quite BQ this year?

Were there more bombs? Were more venues about to be attacked?

Although everything about this story made me feel sick, I couldn't tear my eyes away from what I was witnessing.

On a personal note...
I am, by no stretch of the imagination, an endurance athlete. I've run exactly one marathon, one half-marathon, one sprint triathlon, and a handful of 5Ks. Really though, if I'm being honest, I could only ever run the first 5 or 6 miles of the races and then I would alternate walking and jogging the remaining miles. Races have always been a way for me to challenge myself, but were never something I prided myself on or even really trained for. Although I would like to get back into racing eventually, for now finishing these races has become more of something that I can check off my bucket list.

So far, my goal so far has been just to finish. Finish times have not mattered, PRs have not mattered. Just finishing. Feeling that sense of accomplishment. Earning that medal. That's what has mattered.

This bombing took that, and so much more, away from so many people.

I don't want to imagine training for months to run one of the greatest races I will ever compete in, only to get a DNF at the end of the day. I don't want to imagine waiting for my dad to cross the finish line, being so happy and so proud, only to lose my brother and my own leg. I don't want to imagine cheering on my friends with bells and posters, only to be terrorized with bombs going off around me and not knowing what direction I should run for safety. I don't want to imagine being a mother at home, anxiously awaiting a phone call from my child bragging about their race, only to turn on the television and pray that my child will instead call me to tell me they are alive and in tact. I do not want to imagine the surge of accomplishment I would feel by running my hardest toward the finish line, only to have that feeling be shattered by smoke and shrapnel. I don not want to imagine being such an amazing and strong athlete, only to have one or both of my legs blown off from under me. I do not want to imagine running into a crowd to help those injured, only to find gruesome injuries and limbs scattered on the ground.

I do not want to imagine any of these things. And yet, I cannot stop thinking about them.

I don't mean to make this about me, but in a way I can't help it. It's another instance where this could have happened to any of us, and that is affecting me.  When I "ran" the LA marathon in 2010 with my then-boyfriend Brian, it was a struggle to finish. It took us a while, but we stuck together, and the best feeling in the world was turning the last corner to see the finish line up ahead through the fog.

We stopped to take this picture- maybe 100 or so feet away from the finish line- because we were so happy and proud of ourselves.

Looking at this picture now is eerie to me. We're in a very similar location in this race as the first bomb was in Boston. We were so elated at that moment. Those runners in the same spot yesterday went from such an amazing high to such a low, so quickly. It hurts my head and my heart to put myself in the shoes of those wonderful people in Boston.

Again, while I am nowhere near an elite enough level to come close to qualifying for Boston, I feel a kinship with those runners and their families. I remember being at that finish line. It is such a moment of personal satisfaction, joy, and innocence. Any kind of violence or pain- except for that pesky blister on your foot- are the furthest thing from your mind.

I don't really know how to end this post. Mostly because everything still seems so raw and my mind is still scattered with thoughts and emotions. But I do know this- my heart hurts for all of the runners, family, friends, and fans that were injured yesterday. And I am so proud of all of the people who stepped up and assisted wherever and however they could. My heart is with all of the people who were affected yesterday, both physically and emotionally.