I cried tonight. I made it through an afternoon of watching news coverage at my desk, went out for a run, even came home to stretch and eat, and then I cried. I cried at the replay of a teacher from Newtown, who was running today, gave her thoughts on what it would mean to her and the other parents & teachers running. The BAA then presented the town with the Mile 26 marker. It was at this point that I lost it.
I was suddenly taken back 5 months and a day. I was on a conference call while working at home, with the news on in the background, when the local news popped in with an update on a story in Newtown, a town only a little over an hour from Hartford, where I lived at the time. As the day wore on, the reality of the horror set in, and I couldn’t help but think: what kind of person attacks innocent school children?
Today, a similar thought ran through my mind: how could someone want to attack the most innocent and natural of things, running? We may never have the answer to this, like we’ll never truly know why anyone commits these horrific acts. But we can run.
I had planned to run 8-10 miles tonight after deciding not to do my long run in the cold rain yesterday. By this afternoon, I knew I would do it. I had to do it. I got out of the office later than expected but cranked up the radio and headed to my favorite trail.
I knew I didn’t just need to run, or run for Boston, but I needed to give it as much as I could. And run I did. Every time I started to get tired or sore I repeated “This is for Boston” to myself and my energy came back. When I finished, I looked back at my run history. I ran the fastest 8 miles I’ve run since January 2012. I was ecstatic and yet completely depleted.
While I had just had a great run, more than 100 people in Boston cannot. Many of them may never want to again, and others will fight and find a way back. And 26 families in Newtown had to relive the horror that changed their lives forever, on a day that should have been a step forward. And innumerable victims and survivors of attacks here in America, in war zones, and around the world are reminded that no where is off limits for the Baddies. Tonight, I ran for them. And then, I cried.
As a member of the amazing running community, I am thankful to have a group of people that immediately knew, we can’t fix any of this, but we can run. And run we will.