“We may be momentarily knocked off our feet, but we will pick ourselves up. We will keep going. We will finish the race.”
Since that first blog post, I've completed 3 Cherry Blossom 10 Milers, 4 half marathons, and a handful of other races. I'm not sure exactly when, but at some point in that journey I think I made the transition from "someone trying to run" to "a runner." Running has given me more than I can express. Through running, I've strengthened friendships, increased my self-confidence, kept myself sane through graduate school, and so much more. Running has become a part of my identity, and I love that.
So, while I may never run a full marathon and will likely never qualify for Boston, this attack felt quite personal. I've spectated that race before - I probably will be spectator at it again some day. We have family in Boston; we've talked about moving there one day. Susan ran Boston this year, and to quote my friend Kevin on Monday, "Today we can all be thankful that Susan is fast" - because I knew she had already finished when the bombs went off so I was relatively sure she was safe (which twitter quickly confirmed for me). But not everyone was that lucky. A girl I knew in high school was standing at the finish line, with her sister and brother-in-law, waiting for their mom to finish. Their mom was about a half mile from the finish line when the bombs went off, and was diverted from the finish line. But my friend, her sister, and brother-in-law all sustained injuries, and the two sisters are still in the hospital.
I don't think I really have anything novel to add to the thousands of blog posts and news articles that have been written on this topic, so I won't try (go read Susan's blog). What happened doesn't make any sense, and probably never will. And it's scary. I've run races as big (in numbers of participants) as Boston, and crossed those finish lines exhausted and elated at my accomplishments. It is impossible to imagine the horror of being at that finish line when the bombs went off.
In 10 days, I will run another large-scale race in a big city. I refuse to spend those 13.1 miles worrying or fearing the worst. Instead, I will hold my head high and run the best race I can. And when it feels too hard to keep going, I'll be thinking about my friend and her family, about Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell, and Lingzu Lu, and about the other 170+ people who were injured. I'll run for the people who weren't able to finish Boston, and for the ones who won't be able to run it next year. So in 10 days I will do what Obama quoted from Hebrews in today's service: I will "run with endurance the race that is set before us."