My Heart is Heavy for Boston + BostonStrongNYC

It’s been a few days since the events occurred in Boston. I have yet to write anything here because, frankly, I still am having a hard time expressing what I feel. Heartbroken. Sad. Angry.  I can’t even begin to imagine what Bostonians and the runners and spectators who experienced it firsthand must be going through.

When I first heard of the news, I was sitting on the couch, nursing my youngest son.  I had picked up my phone to check out twitter for the 10 min or so he was busy nursing.  I saw a tweet from a runner from NYC that said something about bombs at the finish line.  I first thought she meant it in the context of bonking along the course but then my home phone started ringing. Once I saw it was my mom calling, I knew something horrible had happened. I turned on the news to see the photos that have become all too familiar to us now.

Having been deployed to Iraq numerous times, I am all too familiar with seeing innocent civilians attacked.  One of the most disturbing aspects of Monday, for me, was that if you took off the news banners on the screen, took away the signs that it was the Boston Marathon, the footage could have come from Baghdad – Shi’ites attacking Sunnis and vice versa.  These ruthless attacks were often at large, joyous gatherings and the targets were always the innocent bystanders.  It is ALL too familiar for me, and I’m sure any of my brothers and sisters in arms who spent time overseas.

My thoughts, prayers, and heart are with all the runners, spectators, and families who were affected on Monday.

To my fellow running community: I have never been prouder to call myself a runner. The show of support the last 2+ days has brought me to tears.
To the Boston Marathon Runners: Be Proud of the Race You Ran – don’t let the events damper your journey to get there or run that race
To the thousands of spectators: Thank you for being out to cheer the runners on.   The fans lining the course – cheering, high-fiving, handing out beers – is one of the things that makes the Boston Marathon so special. It’s a community event – not just a race. 
To the first responders:  Thank you for running TO the site of the bombs to help your fellow Americans.  You are the heroes.
To those responsible:  (in the words of Toby Keith):  You’ll be sorry that you messed with The U.S. of A.  ‘Cause we’ll put a BOOT in your ass.  It’s the American way

There have been some wonderful articles and posts written about Monday’s events.  I won’t try to be as poetic as they are, so I figured I would share some of them with you in case you haven’t seen them:

Patton Oswalt’s reaction:

Boston. F-ing horrible. 
I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, “Well, I’ve had it with humanity.”
But I was wrong. I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths. 
But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness. 
But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.

Bring on the Next Boston Marathon

So hug your kids tonight, but also encourage them to start training for the next marathon tomorrow. Now that I think of it, maybe we should make this one longer — from Boston to the site of the World Trade Center to the Pentagon — to remind ourselves and anyone else who needs reminding: This is our house. We intend to relax here. And we are not afraid.

“If you are losing faith in humanity, go out and watch a marathon”

If you are losing faith in human nature today, watch what happens in the aftermath of an attack on the Boston Marathon. The flood of donations crashed the Red Cross’s Web site. The organization tweeted that its blood supplies are already full. People are lining up outside of Tufts Medical Center to try and help. Runners are already vowing to be at marathons in the coming weeks and months. This won’t be the last time the squeakers run Boston. This won’t be the last time we gather at the finish line to marvel how much more we can take than anyone ever thought possible.

Explosions and the Meaning of the Boston Marathon

Or perhaps it was someone who saw a reflection of the human spirit and decided just to try to shatter it.

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If you are a runner in the NYC area, come join me and lots of amazing runners as we run to show support to Boston:

For More Information:

We are working on making this a global event.  16 cities are participating so far (so if you aren’t in NYC area, check out the list here for other cities or how you can start one in your city!)

 

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    20 thoughts on “My Heart is Heavy for Boston + BostonStrongNYC

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    2. Thanks for sharing this. I was in Boston cheering for a friend on Monday afternoon — it was truly awful. My mind also went to the veterans and men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thank you for your service.
      Kristin recently posted..CHEERING IN BOSTONMy Profile

    3. Thanks very much for sharing this. I was in Boston cheering for a friend Monday afternoon — it was truly awful. My mind also went to the veterans and men and women currently in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thank you for your service.
      Kristin recently posted..CHEERING IN BOSTONMy Profile

    4. I don’t consume news media hardly at all so I found out from my husband (who spent all day agonizing about how and when to tell me) and I haven’t seen any footage. But my heart is broken for all of those who have and will suffer because of someone’s rage and hate. They are in my prayers.

      I haven’t run since Monday because of some physical challenges, and tomorrow evening my 7 year old daughter and I run an organized 5k. I’m thinking I may need to go on a run earlier in the day just to have that sobbing running experience I expect in private, rather than frightening my daughter (who knows nothing about the bombing, and certainly isn’t going to find out just before her first chip-timed race if I can help it).

      Thanks for your beautiful words, and sharing those of others. Here was a lovely post I read today. http://www.nomeatathlete.com/for-boston/ – my favorite part was that he entitled it in a way to honor running. I think that as we respond to acts of terror there should be a conscious effort to focus on and glorify the heroic, compassionate responses to it – because putting the focus on the act of terror or the terrorist is glorifying them.

    5. Thank you for sharing this Michele. There’s so much that it still just hurts, you know? I think maybe because I’m so much more connected to the running community through social media this year and knowing people running or because it just brought back so many memories of 9/11 (being in Boston then and losing friends) that it just breaks my heart. But seeing the running community come together gives me hope. And the quote that you shared earlier this week about light triumphing over darkness gives me hope. xoxo
      Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..For BostonMy Profile

    6. I was so excited to run Boston this year. It was a beautiful day, I had my best race (not a PR, but best in terms of following my plan), and had just returned to my hotel when my husband called to check I was OK and tell me about the bombs. The next few hours were surreal. We stayed in the hotel, listening to siren after siren. We finally went out and joined some other marathoners in a bar. It actually wasn’t until the next morning that I realized I really wanted to get home. And I don’t think the horror of it all really hit me until I got home and saw my kids and husband. I will run Boston again next year in tribute.
      Alison @ racingtales recently posted..We Love BostonMy Profile

    7. Some powerful words… thank you for sharing. I thought the same thing about the attacks around the world… it’s too awful to dwell on, and most of the time I hardly let myself comprehend how common these attacks are in other places, but of course, this one hit close to home. So glad there’s a nyc group gathering, Houston is as well.
      Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..Post-Boston: Ways to help (and get help)My Profile

    8. I’m still working through all my emotions from Monday and haven’t yet been able to post about the day. Although I had finished the race and was no longer in the area, I feel so traumatized by what unfolded afterwards. I am plagued by “what if’s” and guilt. So many conflicting emotions.

      Instead of writing my post, I am instead spending time reading others’ posts and it is helping me to gather my thoughts. Love the quotes you have included.
      Kristen @ Happy Running Mama recently posted..Boston updateMy Profile

    9. Love your words here my friend. I’m struggling to process my emotions on all that’s gone on this week in my city, my home. I am stunned, sad, heart-heavy. I know we will overcome, and I am proud of the city and this beautiful running community more than ever. And that’s what matters most — our hearts and souls are intact, alive and full of faith. Despite the sadness.
      Jess recently posted..Little, simple things.My Profile

    10. well said, I wish I was closer to NYC and could do that with you, but I promise that I am doing my tribute runs here in Rochester. All of my runs and rides this week have been in honor of Boston, and they will be forever.
      Laura recently posted..We carry on…My Profile

    11. So very well said. And I like the reminder that marathons (and other races!) are a community event. I just can’t wrap my mind around it all and find myself at a loss for words – the right words – to describe my feelings about this. As others said – heartbroken, devastated.
      moltovivace recently posted..Triathlon NightmaresMy Profile

    12. It is just so sad. I made it to mile 25 and was told to turn around, but what I keep thinking about is my friends who were waiting for me at the finish who saw things that they shouldn’t have seen. I keep thinking about the people who are so badly hurt and I keep thinking of what if my husband and kids would have been down there waiting. Just so overwhelming….

    13. Still so much to process from Monday’s events. I find myself with many mixed emotions. One is guilt- that I was able to finish and so many had that ripped away from them. At the time my main concern was getting to safety so I did not have the chance to take it all in and really think about what was going on. Now that I have seen media coverage I cannot believe I was right there when this was happening. Random things now will make me cry and remind me me “could have” happened. The BAA sent out an email this morning to all the runners which provides a phone number to get free post traumatic stress counseling. I don’t know that I will call this number because my family and friends have been so helpful but it’s good to know I can if I need to talk to someone who is qualified.

      I hope to write about my actual race soon but it’s taking me some time to wrap my head around everything that happened in such a short amount of time. Thanks for your message on my blog Michele! It is SO good to be home!
      Tia @ Arkansas Runner Mom recently posted..Boston Marathon Update- heading home!My Profile

    14. I was so heartbroken I just sat on my couch for probably 3 hours without moving on Monday. My brain just stopped. I’ve never felt so close to such an attack. Even though I’ve never been to Iraq I was thinking the same thing about the images looking like they could have come from overseas. It scares to think of all the bad in this world today. The running community is what enables me to see the good. Even though I’ve run a marathon I struggle to call myself a runner but this week I am 100% a runner.
      Shannon @ Mon Amour recently posted..Peak Week = CompleteMy Profile

    15. I am really so heartbroken over it all. I had friends who made it out ok and I am so thankful for that. But they are an emotional wreck. I also have a former massage therapist whose family is not ok–one daughter lost a leg and the other has two broken legs. I really am just unplugging from social media b/c it just doesn’t seem to help anything…I hope to be back up and facing it all by next week.
      misszippy1 recently posted..Boston MarathonMy Profile