Tuesday, April 30, 2013

What if?

With the Boston Marathon bombings seemingly a lifetime behind us, it's amazing how fast life can move, I've had the time to ponder the question, "What if?".

What if I had ended up running the marathon? People keep telling me, "but you're much faster than the 4 hours the bombs exploded at". True, but, because I was injured I had started to modify my expectations. Up until three weeks before the race I was still determined to run. Since I had lost a few key weeks of training I figured I could run it in around 4 hours comfortably. I would start in the first wave and cross the start about two minutes after the gun. If I ended up being slower than I planned I could have been crossing the finish line right around the 4:09 mark.

Even if I had been there though, no runners were hurt by the blasts. But what if my family had been there to watch me finish? They could have been standing on the sidelines with all those other people when it happened. Or maybe I could have finished it a bit faster than expected and joined them at the finish to wait for our other friends. There are so many possibilities.

Or what if we had ended up sending the kids to school and just Jen and I decided to go in to town to watch the finish. That was something that we had discussed and it could have gone that way if we hadn't ended up wanting to bring the kids out with us. We've done that before so there is no reason why we wouldn't have this time.

In the end, none of that happened though. The problem with What Ifs is that they can never happen, they are only questions. I didn't run, I wasn't at the finish, and everyone I know is fine. Speculating about what could have been is a deep rabbit hole that can lead to dark places. It can never serve a good purpose.

I still wish I could have run that marathon, even knowing what took place, but I didn't. With all these What Ifs floating around, the fact that I didn't get to run maybe isn't such a bad thing after all.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Marathon Bombing Suspects

The FBI has released photos and video of the two bombing suspects. Please take a look to see if you can identify them.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Boston Marathon 2013

After a late night of riding my bike along the marathon course and a long morning cheering on the runners at Wellesley I had finally settled in to take a nap Monday afternoon when my phone started ringing. I promptly ignored it, but it kept ringing. And ringing. So I got up and checked the voice mail transcripts. At first I was surprised to see so many, but then I read what caused me to run downstairs and turn on the tv:

" My friend Betsy just texted me that the explosion at the windows of Marathon Sports"

I stood in front of the tv for ten minutes watching the same video clip of the explosion. Disbelief and shock quickly transformed itself and I began studying the video, looking for anyone that I may know. Having met Kim and Vin at the half-way point I knew what they were wearing so I scanned the footage looking for any sign of them. Finally convinced that they weren't there I confirmed with the BAA tracking that they never reached the finish and weren't scheduled to for some time. Facebook had become the source of information for most people so I updated everyone as I found out anything.

What amazed me was how quickly I went from the shock of seeing what happened to transitioning into crisis mode to start collecting, organizing, and disseminating information out to people. But through it all one feeling remained with me; anger. Anger at whoever did this. This is my marathon, the marathon I grew up watching, the marathon that got me into running. It stands as a testament to the countless hours of sacrifice and perseverance that runners endure to better themselves and their dedication to reach for a goal for which some may never achieve. The Boston Marathon is an event like no other. It is a race, a celebration, a party, a destination, a day of victory. It is history. I stood in anger as someone tried to take away all of that.

I'm still angry, but also resolved to not let these events change anything I love about the marathon. The anger may last for awhile but one thing I am certain of is that I have no fear. No one can make me afraid to be involved with the marathon that I love, no matter what they do. Because in the end it's not just about celebrating a race, it is about celebrating the people who make up the race. That is what makes the Boston Marathon so special, the people, whether they are running, volunteering or cheering it's the people who make the race what it is.

After watching hours of tv and internet coverage, hearing all of the stories, and making sure everyone I knew was safe there were still no answers to why. So I did the only thing I could think of to do, I laced up my shoes, and for the first time since suffering the injury that kept me from running that day, I went for a run.