Prayers for Boston

Today I had planned to write a long blog post about my third Irongirl 5K yesterday.  I was going to write about the joy of running as a mom/daughter team with my 7 year old daughter.  I was going to tie it back to the (still not written about) Disney Half back in January where I ran side by side with my sister and my husband and my brother-in-law. I was going to wax eloquent on the joy of running with those you love.  I was going to express how proud I was to hear via texts about split times that an old high school friend and her sister had successfully completed the Disney Princess this year.

And I was going to consider how amazing an inspiration Dick and Rick Hoyt are in all their races – including today’s Boston Marathon – their 31st time running the course.

I wanted to write about family.  And running.

And then as I headed home from a quick grocery store trip with the kids, we heard the horrible phrase on the radio:  This news is breaking from Boston…..there have been two explosions at the finish line of the marathon.

And I wept.

I called my husband. He checked online that the one person we knew at Boston today was finished – he had finished an hour earlier. We prayed that he and his wife had left the area of the finish line.

The kids and I got home and we gathered together to sit and pray.  Then I made sure they had things to do away from the tv and the news. And I hopped on Twitter, and FB, and turned on the news, and I sat in horror.

Today my daughter proudly wore her Irongirl medal to school.  And by evening, there were at least three deaths (at the time of this writing) that had occurred at the finish of the storied Boston Marathon.  Today I bragged about my daughter’s running to some of my students.  This evening, there are families torn apart and surgeries being performed to save lives.  This morning I was still riding high on yesterday’s effort and endorphins.  Tonight, I quietly cry as I work to tear myself away from updates and Twitter news.  It’s too much to take in.  Even the amazingly written pieces (such as this one by Ezra Klein) are almost too overwhelming to consider….it’s too much.

But I can’t forget the original premise of what today’s post was going to be – that running involves family. The running community acts like a family (and many races become family events for people).  And that running family tends to pull together in ways that demonstrate humanity at its finest.  I read reports that runners ran straight to hospitals to donate blood today. And EMTs and first responders RAN towards the explosions and the victims.

So tomorrow I will demonstrate my solidarity with the running community. As per a growing number of FB posts by runners, I will proudly don one of my race t-shirts tomorrow. And I plan to wear a piece of tape with “Standing with Boston” written on it.  I will wear it not to show that I run – but to show that my saddened heart is with those runners who finished and who were stopped before the finish, with the spectators, with the volunteers, with the race organizers, with the victims, with those Bostonians who cherish their city and it’s traditions, and with those first responders and medical personnel who have had to see and fix horrible things today.

As a slow runner, I have never had dreams of meeting a BQ – a Boston Qualifiying time.  But tonight and tomorrow – we are all a part of Boston and it’s running traditions.  And we are all Americans who stand with our fellow citizens in their time of grief and horror.   And as runners, we will run on – especially for all those who never will again.

Many many prayers for all those in Boston today.