This morning I set out on my 7 mile run (equipped now as always with my cellphone and my Road ID). The goal was to run to Aaron's Temple softball game and meet him and Lee there. I knew this run was going to be different for me. Last night, I put on my Ipod a portion of my marathon playlist those songs that speak to me, that motivate me, that heal me. This morning I considered just listening to a book on tape, but I could not. I knew I needed this run to reflect, to be proud, to be strong (p.s. I know "Boston Proud, Boston Strong" is sort of maybe cliche but it is just so true that you just have to love it).
Post Run Smiles
Mile 1 - Songs - Eye of the Tiger, We're Not Gonna Take It
I felt strong, I felt relieved, I felt sad, I felt proud. I did not feel scared. As others have said and felt in the past week, this week's events have hit home for me in a way that no other tragedy has. I lived in NJ on September 11th. I remember it vibablly, I remember the atrocity. It was awful, but it was not like this. This was different. I was there, I thought my family was there, I had friends there. As the week has gone on, I have come to the realization of how close we were. How we did not even realize the full effect of what was going on only a block away; how if one thing had changed we would have been crossing that line at the same time, the wrong time. This was an attack on my home, my friends, my family, my sport....
Mile 1 8:42....
Mile 2 - Songs - Lean on Me, Don't Stop Me Now
I have never more proud to be a runner. To sport the half marathon shirt I was running in. To be running down the street was enough to make me proud. To show that terror won't stop me, won't stop us. Do not mess with runners, do not mess with Boston. Do not mess with my people, my family.
Mile 2 8:48...
Mile 3 - Songs - Shut up and Let Me Go, Shippin Up to Boston
Hitting my trail, thinking of Robin and I running last Monday - those last 8.2 miles. Remembering how much I love racing, love running. Thinking of how much I want to continue it - for the friends, for the fun, for the family for the love of the game...
Mile 3: 8:37
Mile 4: Songs - I wanna go, I've Had the Time of My Life
Seeing other runners on the trail, nodding to everyone; things seems as they always have except today you make the extra effort to say hello to your fellow runner to offer your congratulations. I think of all my friends who I know through "real life" and through blogging and all their friends and family who ran last week and remember. I think of those who ran towards the mayhem; my physical therapist, who like so many others, was a block away, who was held back but said NO he was going in to help. I feel guilty that I was not one of those people, that I ran away. That all I could think of was to make sure I could confirm my family was safe and in that moment it meant calling as many times as I could to hear Aaron's voice (probably 100s) and to run away. But I do not judge myself or others. We want safety, we need safety. I am so thankful that I live in Boston, that I live in a world where there are good people, that people are safe, and that they caught them. So many of us, however, are only starting to heal and have a long way to go physically and mentally - we will move through it together, as always
Mile 4: 8:45
Mile 5 & 6: One Way or Another, The Edge of Glory
The hard part now, lots of hills, too many hills. Thinking again of last week of Newton Hills, Heartbreak Hill. No, I did not run the whole marathon. Yes I was running "fresh" that day but if I can do that, if we can get through that (and I don't just mean the marathon...) we, I can do this. I will push. I will finish.
Mile 5 & 6: 8:47, 8:55
Mile 7: Born in the USA, Give Me Everything, Que Sera Sera
Back on the street, watching all the people getting ready for church walking with their families - happy. I can do this. Feeling proud, feeling strong.
Mile 7: 8:32
At the end, I was at a softball field just in time to meet my family for a day of family softball where the dads play and the moms, babies, and puppies cheer on and have social hour. It was a wonderful morning. It was happy, it was normal. The run was fast and strong for me. The fastest since giving birth to Lee. The morning, the people, the run, the other runners it all gives me hope, it gives me confidence, it gives me faith, and it gives me strength. Boston will survive. We will go on. We will keep on running.