Day 222: Boston

I didn’t get around to pulling the pics from the park last weekend. Funny how the weekends that always seem open, seem to fill so quickly. I got up on Saturday, all ready for a distance run, but it was SO pretty out (60 degrees, light breeze, bright sunshine) that I decided to take my knitting and coffee, and sit on the porch. Not long after, the lady across the street came out with her lawn vacuum (is that even a thing?) and started her yard work. It guilted me into it, so I decided it was time to get the garden cleaned up after that long brutal winter. Two hours later, the yard looked great—except for the straw that used to be grass—and I was dog tired, and I’d promised Alex we’d go to Impact in “Mr. Burns-ville” in the afternoon. (He struggles to pronounce Montgomeryville, and I pointed out how Montgomery is Mr. Burns’ first name. He thinks it’s funny to call it Mr. Burns-ville.)

Sadly, I think part of the problem is that, for some unknown reason, I was scared to go for a distance run. I really don’t know why, but I found every possible reason to hesitate, even when Sunday morning came and I had a limited time in which to run or work out before going to the baseball game. I practically had to pry myself off the computer chair to go to the park, but I finally did get around to it…and damn, am I glad I did!

That may have been my best run EVER. I don’t know what it was, but I suspect it had something to do with the weight machine workouts I’ve started doing, thanks to my friend Michelle’s inspiration. She’s often talking on Facebook about lifting, weights, and strength workouts, and it got me thinking. Most of the winter, all I did was cardio; either running, treadmill, or elliptical. Finally I started thinking I needed to change things up, so after the Love Run, I decided to try using the machines again. I’d stopped because it seemed like the more I built up muscle, the more I gained weight, no matter how little I ate. That gets old fast.

There were times during the Love Run that, despite the rain, I’d keep going because it felt like my legs forgot to stop. Sometimes I’d stop without intending to, and the problem is that once you stop (especially in the cold and rain), it’s hard to get going again. They kind of went on auto-pilot. On Sunday almost the same thing happened, except that my legs felt like pistons; they just kept going without me thinking about it. More than once I’d tell myself, “Just get to the corner and then you can walk,” but I’d start thinking, get to the corner, pass it, and be a block away before I thought, “Oh wait, wasn’t I going to stop and walk? Oh well; keep going!” And I did. I think I ran 5 miles (no GPS with me) and when I got in, I’d run less than an hour. I’m pretty sure if I keep it up, I can PR at Broad Street, and I’ll kill the marathon! Funny how, the more you prepare for something, the less scared you are. I’m saying this at day 222, however. Ask me again at day 22, when I have a few LONG training runs under my belt, but on Sunday I could’ve easily kept going if I had more time.

Today is the 1 year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings. I put a transcript of the Jon Stewart rant on my Facebook page, and I’m wearing my “RUN*NOW” wristband from the BSR last year. (Dummy me, I wore blue yesterday, and I don’t seem to own anything with yellow in it.) I love when he says they picked the wrong people to mess with: people who run 26 miles on their day off ‘til their nipples bleed, “FOR FUN.”

I started running 2 years before the bombings, and I’d said before how it changed my life. (And just thinking about signing up for the marathon has changed my mental approach even more.) But when the bombings happened, I felt it very personally. I remember driving home from NY, scanning the staticky AM radio, searching for a news station and any information I could get. I’ve never driven home that quickly in my life, and for me that’s saying something.

I couldn’t understand why anyone would do this, but they’d attacked what I’d come to think of as “my people.” I’m a runner too; I’m part of the running community. It’s where I first felt like I belonged, at a time when I wasn’t sure I belonged anywhere. Runners put massive amounts of time and energy into their sport. Baseball players don’t play every single day; football players play once a week; basketball players take weeks off if they sprain a finger; but there are runners out there day after day, logging miles. As the saying goes, “My sport is your sport’s punishment.”

So here we are, a year later, and I dare say stronger than before. Maybe it’s true that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but for the three that died a year ago today, and the security guard who died later in that week, I hope no one minds if I speak for all of us when I say the hearts of the running community are with you and your families. We are all #BostonStrong.runners united

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