Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Proud to Be a Runner, Running for Boston


My post yesterday had been about loving, living, enjoying. It was about running and cycling, moving. But after the events in Boston, I chose not to promote the post like I normally would - twitter, Facebook. 

While the tragedy at the Boston Marathon is simply horrific, it doesn't mean we shouldn't continue to live, love, enjoy. In fact, shouldn't we do those things more? Maybe use the tragedy as a reminder that life is short, you never know what might happen at any given time. So let's make the most of each moment. 

And I think that runners are good at that. That time we spend with our feet on the pavement (or treadmill) is time spent enjoying. We enjoy the surroundings, feeling of being alive. We often enjoy the time solo, to clear our minds, to re-set. But we also enjoy the time with friends or spouses. 

What I've learned is that the running community is not some elitist group as I had once imagined. I guess I always thought they certainly deserved to be - running, doing something I never thought possible. 

But I realized that, for the most part, the running community is an amazingly supportive group. We cheer each other on, most often complete strangers. We bask in the joys of others accomplishments. That was something taken from so many yesterday - that joy of accomplishment. 

I'll admit, runners are often a crazy lot. We get up before the sun rises, set out on grueling hot, humid runs. Rain and wind rarely deter us. And the cold? We talk about how we actually enjoy it, as long as we're running mind you. 

We often limp around injured, tired, achy. But we go back for more. It's hard to put into words the feeling of running. The joy it can bring. And yesterday, that joy was snatched from those marathoners. Amazing athletes who have trained so very hard for that moment. That amazing moment of crossing the finish line. 

Whether you are running 1 mile or 100 miles, you're running. Fast, slow, it doesn't matter. You're doing it. Runners come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and backgrounds. But when we're running, we're all equal. We can all relate, understand each other. 

I used to think there must be some secret handshake or password to get into this running society. There's not. You just run. You run from your heart. 

And yes, we often speak our own language: tempos, 800's, farklets, hill repeats, PRs, PDRs, BQing. We get giddy about silly things like spotty a bunny rabbit or watching an amazing sunrise or sunset. We sometimes even get giddy when it rains on us. 

It's hard not to smile when you're running along and pass another runner and get that knowing nod, wave, or smile. They know. They know. 

And what I know is that I am blessed to have found running, to have found this community. I may never run a full marathon, but I know how accomplished and triumphant I have felt after any race. I hope that every one of those runners feels that joy again. 

This morning, Amy and I set out on our morning run - this morning with Boston on our minds. She has run Boston and had qualified again. She should have been there. I'm thankful she wasn't. I know it hit especially close to home for her, having been there. So I was honestly grateful to be running not just for Boston, but also with a Boston Marathoner. 


It was hot, humid, low hanging clouds that made it feel like mist. It was hard. But it was amazing as well.

Today I am simply grateful.