“Sometimes living in a world like this, it’s pretty hard not to go insane. Not pretty if you don’t comply, pretty easy if you don’t complain. Stand there like you don’t feel pain, no tears in the face of defeat. Pretend till the end that you don’t feel change, don’t admit that your faith is weak. Don’t say that you feel like dying. Life’s hard and it feels like diamonds.”-Lupe Fiasco
In light of the past two days, I have to say that I’ve never felt more connected with running in my entire life. My emotions have gone from being completely devastated to absolutely horrified to terribly angry. But, when it comes down to it, I’ve never been more in love with running. I’ve been reading blog after blog, news story after news story. I can’t seem to break away from Boston, so I decided that I needed to speak my peace, in hopes to feel better about everything that’s happened.
I was sitting at work on Monday morning, watching the live stream of the Boston Marathon. My former boss/fellow runner/close friend was racing. Even though I couldn’t be there physically, my heart was there all day. I sat there biting my nails as I watched Desisa, Kogo, and Gebremariam finish with a handful of seconds between them. I nearly jumped out of my chair when Rita Jeptoo effortlessly ran past Ana Dulce Felix, after she had been leading by 30 some seconds for almost the entire course. I won’t lie–I got all goosebumpy and a little teary eyed watching them cross the finish line. The emotions that come with marathons are wild, not only for those on the side of the road cheering , but also for those who are running. So for me, Monday really hit hard at a special place in my heart.
Training for the Boston Marathon is a lifetime accomplishment to say the least. It takes most runners years of training and racing to be fast enough to just qualify for the race. Then comes the day when you actually have to make it down the other side of Heartbreak Hill. Getting there is half the battle and as a runner, I know all the hard work that it takes. There is a bond between runners (especially long distance runners) that is hard to describe. It’s a bond held together by the commitment, endurance, and suffering that accompanies long hours of training. To watch a day that was meant for celebrating a feat that defies the physical limits of humans, pushing your body to run 26.2 miles at a speed only seconds slower than some people sprint, be destroyed by such a senseless and selfish act was heart breaking.
I have never taken for granted the love and support that I get from my family and friends while they stand, early in the morning, waiting for me to cross those finish lines. And while this is a reminder that there is so much evil in the world, I think it’s also a symbol of strength and resilience. There were runners who crossed the finish line and then ran back to help. They pushed past the exhaustion that was in their legs and acted with their hearts. The Red Cross had to turn down blood donations because they had more than what they needed. And there were the runners around the rest country. The runners I saw out on Monday night running beside me. The runners I saw on Tuesday morning bright and early. The runners posting countless pictures and tweets of the race shirts that were being worn in honor of Boston. That is what keeps me going. That’s what keeps me believing in a race greater than the Boston Marathon: the human race.
I will keep running. I’ll run for those who ran before me. I’ll run for those who can’t. I’ll run because running is something that no one can take away from me, or anyone else. You can try to light up the streets with your bombs, but there is no fire greater than the fire that burns in a runner’s heart for their run.