Let it Ache!
We are a husband and wife who train and run a lot of races together. Heather is on a journey to complete her first 100k race while JD pushes towards a 100 miler. Between the both of us, we have dealt with numerous injuries and thought the title was appropriate!
"I'm waking up to ash and dust
I wipe my brow and I sweat my rust
I'm breathing in the chemicals
I'm breaking in, shaping up, then checking out on the prison bus
This is it, the apocalypse"
Radioactive by Imagine Dragons
I usually only blog about races, but this needs to go somewhere. Yesterday morning was so exciting watching the start of the elite women's race, following along online while I was out and about doing other things, tracking a friend who was running, and anticipating watching the DVR'd marathon in the evening. Then the unthinkable happened...explosions at the finish line. I teared up immediately and was worried about runners that I knew who were in Boston. As photos started to come in, I felt sicker and sadder. I also saw how runners are still inherently runners. Even amidst the chaos, you can see people automatically stop their Garmin or make sure they cross the finish line completely. I smiled as I listened to the story of the elderly gentleman who was knocked to his feet yards from the finish line who then got up and continued on to finish. When I heard about Martin Richard, I was completely undone. This feels so personal. This could have been my family. This could have been my little boy. How many times have one of us stood at the finishing line of a big race with the kids cheering on the other parent to the finish? My heart breaks for that family, for all families, for the runners whose dreams and lives were shattered today. My run is my outlet. It's how I process life, solve problems, find strength, and push myself to the limit. This morning I felt so lost. I felt like the solace and joy of the run had been taken away. As I began to read on Facebook and see other runners feeling the same way and starting a movement to wear race shirts in honor of Boston, I gathered my strength. I did what I always do in the morning. I laced up my shoes, and I hit the road. My tears mixed with my sweat as I pushed myself harder than I normally do on a midweek run. As I finished the 6 miles sprinting towards my driveway, my lungs burned, my legs ached, but I owned my run again. I ran for those who might never run again. I ran in solidarity with other runners. I ran because I'm a runner and that's what I do.
JD is running a marathon on Saturday and the kids have been working so hard at logging 25 miles so that they can complete the kids' marathon on the same last mile as Daddy. My heart is heavy, and I can't quite see how we move forward, but we will move forward. We will take back our finish line.