Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston Marathon Heartache

As I type, I'm a sweaty, tearful puddle. The sweat is from a run inspired by the Run for Boston hashtag of UMightBeaRunner. I ran in honor of the people who's hard-won moment was cut short today by two explosions near the Boston Marathon finish line. Which gets to why I'm tearful.
As Evan Gregory pointed out,  running a marathon is hard enough without hurricanes (Sandy) and explosions. Seriously, it's really f'ing hard.
If you've never run a marathon, here's the best analogy I can give you: imagine eating your favorite sorbet or ice cream. At first it's fun, a treat, you never want to stop because it's sooooo good. Now imagine eating that same flavor of ice cream for somewhere between 3 and 5 hours without stopping. What once was pleasurable is now detestable and downright painful. You think you might throw up. Or, worse, poo on yourself. Every muscle involved is tired. You can no longer feel key parts of your body. People keep shouting, "You're almost done!" But they are lying liars. You're not almost done. You have three more tubs to go which, by themselves might be manageable but you've already eaten 23 giant, Baskin-Robins commercial-size tubs of Rocky Road.
You get the point. It's an awesome accomplishment but hard. And finishing can be emotionally overwhelming. I cry at the end of my own races, while watching races on TV and when I ran the last two miles of a half marathon with my sister-in-law. I just want to shout at everyone around me, "You did it! I did it! We all did it!!!"
Today, those shouts would have been drowned out by the sound of an explosion that killed at least two people. That joyed would have been forever tarnished by terror. In the future, when today's racers tell people they've run the Boston Marathon, people will half jokingly ask, "You weren't at the one with the bombs, were you?" and they will have to buzz kill them with a somber, "Yes. And it wasn't just hard. It was a nightmare."
Tears of joy finishing Baltimore race w/ bro.

We don't need any new excuses to sit on the sofa. Don't let today ruin your runner's high. Breath in, breath out, tie your shoes and go for a run.