I knew my Monday morning wasn't going to be very productive - after all, it was BOSTON morning! I had friends to track, live feed to watch/listen to, and oh yeah...work to do. I actually managed to get a decent amount of work done, though. I kept the tracking window open off to the far right of my computer screen, and listened to the commentary from the elite field coverage via one earbud in my left ear, all while working on an AutoCAD project. I was pretty pleased with myself.
After lunch I only had one person left on my tracking list that hadn't crossed the finish line, and the live commentary from BAA was over, so I'd stopped checking the site as frequently. And then I saw the post from a friend:
OMG did you guys see the reports of explosions at the Boston finish line!
Wait, WHAT? Immediate switch to Google to look for stories about it. News websites were hurriedly trying get information out to the public, Facebook updates with the initial stories were crowding my newsfeed, and Twitter/Tweetdeck was exploding - especially the column I'd put in with a search for #BostonMarathon that morning.
Shock turned to horror as the initial pictures of the scene and then the videos of the blasts started rolling in. My friends and I scoured the internet looking for any new information and any information at all about our friends and family that had been running. Finally, through the grapevine (a.k.a. social media) we got word that all of our connections were safe and unharmed.
So we turned back to the newscasts, the posts, and the tweets, desperately hoping someone could tell us WHY, and shaking our heads in disgust when additional explosive devices were found - someone had wanted it to be even worse than it was. The thought kept rolling over and over in my mind. As bad as it had been, someone had wanted MORE damage, MORE injuries, MORE heartache. And then shock and grief made room for anger.
Runners are a community. I may have only known the names of five of those twenty thousand runners out there on Monday morning, but they are all my family, as are all the runners around the world. We share a common bond - running. A friend made a comment about this feeling personal. And I think that's exactly it. IT IS PERSONAL. There were so many emotions building up and I was stuck in my office trying to get work done - yeah, I'm gonna need to make up those hours this week.
Then I saw it. Another friend's facebook post that perfectly articulated what was going through my head:
I don't know about you, but I wasn't planning on going for a run today. But I am now.
This. This was the answer. Today wasn't a run day. But I NEEDED it to be. I needed to get out there and pound the pavement and have an outlet for the fear, the frustration, the anger, the sorrow. So after work I headed home and changed and headed out the door. Okay, I'd forgotten that Dallas is experiencing it's first warm spell - and it was 89* and sunny, windy, and humid - blech.
That was a pretty miserable run - but I just kept thinking about what those people saw and heard and dealt with, so I kept going. I was thinking about Boston through the whole run but didn't feel the need to cry...until I walked in the front door and sat down on the stairs to take off my shoes. Suddenly, sitting there, still dripping in sweat and gasping for breath, I was overwhelmed by the emotion of it all, and finally the tears that had been threatening all day surfaced. And I cried.
It was the perfect therapeutic release. So, if you're feeling lost, hurt, angry, or scared - go for a run. Feel your feet pounding the pavement and feel the same motion those Boston runners felt. See your fellow runners running with you, coming towards you, and passing you - they are your family. Use the emotions to power that run. Feel the emotions pour over you when you finish. You won't regret it. Join with your running community as we begin to heal - and take that first step towards healing.