Marathon Training Day #106: Horror


Monday was supposed to be my rest day. A day to get back to normal. I haven’t unpacked since New Orleans. I haven’t done laundry. I haven’t gotten groceries. I was going to follow the Boston Marathon in the morning, work hard all day, get groceries and head home to chores and follow the WNBA draft.

That, as you all know, wasn’t how Monday went. The greatest race in the world turned into a place of unspeakable horror. I struggled to put what I saw on TV and read in the news together. Doing all the ordinary things I had planned seemed frivolous and thoughtless. So I watched and read. And watched and read. And worried. Worried about bloggers I liked who were there that day. Worried about those I knew who were there, fulfilling big dreams (so far, everyone I know is okay). Thought about how Matt’s mom ran Boston just a few years ago. Worried about the victims, their families and the running community as a whole.

These kinds of blog posts are supposed to be filled with inspirational messages. Boston will prevail. The running community will band together, stronger than ever, etc. And I do believe these kinds of messages are true, and necessary. But, being relatively removed from what’s happened, anything I write to that effect seems selfish and artificial. And so, I was at a loss about what to write today. Should I write about this renewed my resolve to become a better runner? (It did.) Or about how it reminded me I need to give more blood? (I will.) Or about how grateful I am for social media, which made tracking people during this day so much easier? (It did.)

All these topics are about me. And what happened yesterday isn’t about me.

What has touched me the most through the massive amounts of coverage, though, is the stories — the many, many stories — of people helping: the first responders swiftly moving into action, of race volunteers coordinating amongst chaos, of people running into the blast, offering food and shelter, making tourniquets, carrying people to safety.

Mr. Rogers was right: there are always helpers.

I’ll be following this story closely, as a runner and news junkie. But as more and more details emerge, I will be looking for the helpers and their stories, to see the good emerge from this carnage and horror.

Those helpers give me hope. They make me believe.


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