The other day I received the Boston Edition of Runner’s World in the mail. I knew I was traveling today and so I threw it into my carry on. Seems the only time I get a chance to read anything significant these days is when I am traveling and I am forced to sit in the same place for several hours at a time. During my normal day to day life this does NOT happen very often. And when I am sitting down at work or home, I am always working on something! I have to say I was really looking forward to reading this edition.
I have struggled for a long time with being called a “runner.” I have yet to fully identify WHY, but I feel it has something to do with my speed (or lack there of), quality and quantity of ‘runs’ that I embark on each week. Even though I have been ‘running’ for many years, I have never really made much progress with my times and milage. Yes, I have participated in many races, but my goal is to finish and to survive. Each time I race I wonder to myself WHY AM I DOING THIS? I have never really trained that great for a race, and have never felt proud of myself for any of the races I have completed. Many of my non-runner friends are very sweet and think I am some sort of amazing runner for all the work I do, but I have yet to feel that for myself. Dealing with health issues and random injuries seem to keep me from really achieving the goals I have mentally made for myself. I honestly struggle when I see people talk about how ‘slow’ they are when they run twice as fast (or faster) than I do. I have to work on keeping myself from getting really jealous of their accomplishments. To not compare myself to their speed and times for races. Wouldn’t I LOVE to run a half in less than 2 hours? Of course I would. Will that ever happen? I don’t know. On April 15, 2013, none of that seemed to matter anymore.
Most of those struggles and feelings evaporated when I heard about the bombings in Boston. For the first time since I began to run for myself, I felt like I belonged to a group. Runners of all speeds, levels and abilities came together. It did not matter who was fastest or slowest at that moment. It was about joining our hearts together across the nation, and the world. I feel it is one of the few sports where each individual comes together to make the largest team in the world!
As I sit here reading the stories in Runner’s World, I am bawling my eyes out (I am sure my seat mates are wondering what the heck is wrong with this lady??). My heart aches for the families who lost loved ones, and for those who lost limbs. My heart swells with pride at those who stepped up and offered help to those who desperately needed help. I did not personally know anyone who was running Boston that day, but I follow other runners who were there. There is certainly a connection in the running world for ALL who were there and all of us cheering them on from all over the world.
Since Boston I have had challenges with my running. Reading the stories reminds me that no matter what my mile time is, I can still run! That is a gift I need never take for granted. I am not thankful for the bombings and the tragedies that occurred, but I am thankful for the running community, and their response to what happened. A few weeks after Boston I finally jumped on board and joined a running group! BEST CHOICE IN AGES! More on that choice and how it has been going for me coming soon!