Sunday, April 21, 2013

It's Not About the Running

I started this blog as a way to document my journey of running and races. Within the past two years, it's become more personal, as I am using my running as a way to address and overcome personal issues that have always been part of my mental fabric.

Given the purpose of this blog, I originally wasn't going to post about the Boston tragedy. I'm not trying to use this space to tackle large issues that happen in the world. I'm not trying to be political, preachy, poetic, all-knowing, or anything like that. I'm just trying to talk about running, specifically, my experiences with running. But over this past week I found myself thinking about the incident quite a bit.

The fact that I run doesn't have anything to do with what happened in Boston-- I reacted to the news not as a runner, but as a person. I really see the tragedy as one that could have occurred at any time or any place, although more likely in a crowded area.I think it's wonderful how the running community has bonded together over this incident and has already held events to honor the victims. I've always loved the commitment, dedication and camaraderie among runners. However, I don't think this bombing was an attack on runners or the running community or the marathon as a  sport. I think it was a senseless act of violence that occurred in an area that would be nearly impossible to secure.

Personally, I have always been a bit wary about running in large races in major cities such as the Marine Corps Marathon, The Army Ten Miler and the New York City Marathon. Particularly at the start line when you are packed in like sardines and there is no way out. There's no security around the perimeter. But I don't let that stop me from going and living my life.

When I run Chicago in the fall, I am going to try and stick with Greg. One of the things that perhaps made me the most emotional about last Monday was when I saw photos of loved ones reuniting after not knowing if the other person was safe. I can't even imagine how I would feel if I was separated from Greg in a situation like that and I couldn't get in touch with him.

I don't have too much to say other than that. I received calls, emails and text messages from concerned friends, asking me if I was in Boston and if I was okay. It was a nice reminder that I had a solid network of people who cared about me. At the same time, I was closely watching Facebook and waiting for my friends in Boston to post that they were safe.

In the spirit of moving on, I'll provide an update on my ankle since many readers had commented on that potential injury after my previous post. After the Cherry Blossom 10-miler, I took five days off from running. I used the elliptical on Wednesday, but that was really my only form of conditioning. I spent a lot of time icing the ankle and by Saturday I felt ready to run on it again. Greg and I went out and I had honestly expected my ankle to start hurting after several miles, but miraculously, it was 100% pain free! I was so happy. I ended up running 14 miles without even a hint that my ankle had been giving me trouble. I'm assuming that jamming my car door into my lower leg caused the initial irritation and with rest and ice, the injury healed.

I'm running the Nike Women's half next weekend and given that I have been flirting with injury and over-training for the past four weeks, I'll be very thankful to simply go out there and run it. I'm just going to run to celebrate that I can. As with any race or training run, I will be thankful that I am healthy enough to run and focus on enjoying the experience. To anyone reading this blog who ran the Boston Marathon this year-- congratulations on your accomplishment (whether or not you finished) and I am glad you are safe.


  1. All those who contacted me in concern after Boston made me keenly aware of the large group of supporters I had. Even more than this, it became more vividly apparent that most people I know identify me as an athlete. That is how they tend to see me and it made me more cognizant of the fact that it is how I see myself. It is a large part of my lifestyle and I can't see that ever changing in this life. And, I think, whether we realize it or not, other people see that too...We can't quit. You never know who is watching, looking for inspiration.

    1. Very true! When tragedies like these strike, it's good to look for the positives. And reinforcement of our support systems is definitely a positive that came out of this.