Monday, May 13, 2013

Reflection on Boston - one month later

It has been a month since the tragedy in Boston.  As a runner, April 15, 2013 will always be a day close to my heart.  I didn't express my feelings much at the time because I needed time to process what this terrible event meant to me.  We all took to twitter and FB to comfort each other. 

Runners are a family.  We make up one of the largest communities in the world.  One that doesn't judge your color, race, religion, weight, height or ability.  We lend a hand to each other and offer words of encouragement.  Our community includes not only the runners, but our spectators (most of which are family and friends), race volunteers and above all the police officers who provide safety along the race.  None of use would succeed without the support of this community.   One month ago, two cowards went after my community. 

Nashville was my first race after the attack; just two short weeks.  It just happened to be pouring rain.  Neither of these factors stopped any of us from making this race a success! The volunteers were out in force.  The spectators came out to support friends, family and all the random strangers.  The police officers were at every intersections protecting all of us.  Every runner was ready to support our brothers and sisters and run our hearts out!

However, this attack reminds me when I run that I am vulnerable.  Not to injury or pain (which is true) but to the outside world.  I have never run a race and ever been concerned about my safety.  Who would attack a bunch of runners?  Why would someone attack a bunch of runners?  It never crossed my mind that the racing community was anything but safe.  After all, we are supposedly the crazy ones for running 13.1 or 26.2 miles for FUN! 

Reality of the racing future hit me upon arriving at the start line in Nashville.  The SWAT team was assembled in full gear, ready and waiting should a threat arise.  The mounted police were patrolling the park.  I can only imagine that the same increased security measures were occurring at the finish line.  This was the first time at a RNR event that security was standing guard at my corral.  While all the extra protection did increase my anxiety (full disclosure I worry about everything), it did not diminish my desire to run.  I'm glad that someone was watching out for me so that I could continue my beloved sport! 

This weekend I head to the busiest city in America to run.  The Brooklyn Half is my way of saying you can attack the running community but you will never stop us!  If those cowards did anything, they encouraged more people to run and fulfill their dreams!   


Sunday, May 12, 2013

RNR Nashville "po" down

Thank you all so very much for the kind words and motivation from my last blog entry.  It was hard to write but even harder to admit that my 5 month pity party wasn't helping me move on.  I still have bad days.  I'm still not great at handling stress and sometimes let it consume me.  I'll get to the point where I can handle the stresses better.  After all, Rome wasn't built in a day and I won't kick this depression in one either.  Keep encouraging me to move forward.  Big thank you to my trainer who is running with me twice a week and helping me return to my routine. I am forever grateful for her pushing me back out there! 
Crappy, rainy finish pix!
I am so happy to be running again.  I'm slow right now and definitely not breaking any records but I out there.  I completed the St. Jude's Country Music Half Marathon (RNR Nashville) in 3:24.  My worst time ever.  I could blame the pouring rain but that wouldn't be fair.  This finish time is on me.  I didn't train properly.  Sure I was soaked to the bone and miserable but with so much spectator and volunteer support there was never a chance to think about the conditions.  I truly had a blast while out there.  30k people all enjoying the rain and laughing about how wet we all were was the best bonding experience I've had at a race yet.  Now, once I was no longer moving was another story.  It was then that I realized just how wet, cold and in pain I truly was and spent the rest of the afternoon cuddled up in bed with my puppies.  :) 

Smiling despite the rain!

I was able to meet some Half Fanatic friends.  It was so exciting to hear all about their races and moving up strategies.  It's nice to know so many other crazy people exist out in the world.  Many non-running friends and even some of my running friends don't understand just how much joy and accomplishment we get out of running halfs!  There is nothing like being able to chat about your runs, etc and not have someone give you the "oh no, there she goes again look"!  Thank goodness we have the group to make us feel normal!

New HF friend, Betty!

Now I am gearing up for the Brooklyn Half on May 18th! I am going to give it my best effort and fingers crossed that I finish within the time limit!  I am trying out the Galloway run/walk/run method for the first time.  It went well for 9 miles yesterday and for my short runs the past week.  Yay! 

I also have some really awesome new shoes that I am breaking in.  So far, I am in love with my Hoka One One Stinson shoes.  No offense to my Asics Kayanos (that I adore) but these are so much softer and absorb shock like crazy.  I hope they continue to give me the wonderful feeling I had yesterday!  My heel didn't start to bother me until mile 6 because it is usually killing me by 3 miles!  Being able to walk without limping post-run was the biggest plus of all, however, once I took them off and wore my Kayanos at the baseball game it was back to limping.  I may need to buy another pair to wear while not running.  I shall ponder this idea!  

I am sure you are all sound asleep now from my race recap and running rambles but it feels so good to be running again.  :)