on boston, one year later

I always say that the morning of the Boston Marathon is like Christmas morning – so many people have been waiting for this day for so long and wake up with anticipation of what the day may hold.  A year ago today, I woke up with that excitement.  It was to be my first marathon back after my back injury, the first time I would get to take on Boston with a healthy body.  I was excited and nervous – would I get that PR?  Would my legs stay strong?  Would I see Amy on the sidelines?

Never did I imagine what would happen at the end of the day.  I knew my legs could lock up, I knew I could go out too fast and I could hit the wall.  I never thought someone would inflict an act of terror onto a marathon.

Well.  Okay.  I’ve thought about it.  I remember thinking that if someone wanted to cause mass panic, the end of the New York City Marathon, with all the people and long walk out of the Central Park – that would be a perfect spot.  Call me crazy, but I’ve thought about these things.  I just never thought they would actually happen.  Why would anyone go after runners?

April 15, 2013 was one of the scariest days of my life.  Sitting in a parking garage with Amy, having no idea what was going on, how long it was going to go on, who was doing this, who was hurt, if we were even safe – I have a hard time thinking about it.  The week dragged on after that as the search went on.  Amy was staying in Watertown and gave me reports of SWAT teams combing through the neighborhood.  I was terrified for her all over again.

It’s amazing how just one day, one moment, can change a person’s life forever.  Some people will never be the same physically, others will never be the same emotionally.  But to hear stories about those affected and how they’ve overcome the challenges set before them, that’s the true strength of Boston and of the Boston Marathon.

I recently watched the National Geographic “Search for the Boston Bombers.”  I didn’t know if I really wanted to, or if I even could.  And honestly, I knew everything that happened already.  But one thing that struck me was William Evans, a Boston police commander (now the police commissioner), and his running.  He ran the marathon last year then responded to the bombings.  During his retelling of that week in Boston included what any runner would tell you – he needed to run.  In the face of everything that was going on in the city, a run is what helped him clear is mind and prepare to do more work.

I received a message this morning from one of the weekly run lists I’m on.  The run was cancelled this morning due to the rain, and one of my first thoughts on seeing it was, “Runners don’t cancel!”  We don’t cancel runs.  We run.  We run through the coldest of winters, we run through the hottest of summers.  We run in the face of adversity, we run when people tell us we can’t.  We run for the good days, we run for the bad days.  When we don’t know what else to do, we run.

I have such mixed opinions about not going to Boston this year.  (It’s also Easter weekend, so I couldn’t get off work.)  Actually, I don’t have mixed opinions…I want to be there, and I’m so, so sad that I can’t be.  A few weeks ago, I was up in Boston for a work conference, and I ran by the finish line.  I’m excited for everyone running Boston this year, especially those affected by the attacks, for those who didn’t get to finish last year. 

477

Last year I finished a post by saying:

The running community, the runner family, is a great one.  I know we’ll run strong and that we won’t be deterred.  Runners will still run Boston, and spectators will still cheer at Boston.  As a runner, as a nurse, my heart breaks for those injured, for those killed from this event.  An amazing event was ruined on Monday, but it will not be the end of it.

As runners, as spectators, as a running family, we are strong.  We are strong in that final 0.2, and we will be after as well.

Boston 2013 is a year I will never forget.  But Boston is for runners, and it always will be.

Because it’s true.  Boston, its runners, its spectators, its people, is ready to show the world that runners will run, and that Boston is for runners.  Runners will run Boston with a little more purpose in their stride this year, one that shows how strong a community we are, how we come together for one another, and how you can’t bring us down.  Good luck runners – I can’t wait to cheer you on.

15

04 2014

a weekend in review

It is a rare occasion that I get a full free weekend off from work when I’m not traveling away from the city.  Day shift helps with this since “weekend shifts” on nights are Friday and Saturday, but working on a Sunday night basically takes out your Sunday anyway.  I worked Friday day shift, then proceeded to buy slices of pizza on my way home and eat them on my couch, too exhausted to do anything but.  It’s been a bit more emotionally exhausting at work (and life, a bit) than it usually is, but I truly have no idea how people go out after working for 12 hours.  So what a way to kick off the weekend!

saturday

MetCon3

Saturday led me to sleep in, which is oh so glorious.  I also slept with my windows open HELLO SPRING nice to see you.  Anyway, I chilled with some (hot) coffee before heading to the gym for a workout because I hadn’t been to the gym in awhile.  I decided to try out MetCon3 (apparently short for “metabolic conditioning,” whatever that means), which I took to be like a circuit type thing, maybe like the Refine Method classes I took earlier this year.  Per Equinox…

image
Increased VO2 max??  Any runner who has read the likes of Pfitz or Hanson, etc, know that VO2 max is key!  And after this class, I can feel, if not understand, the hard work involved in this.  I had no idea what I was doing when I entered the class, but I grabbed two different sets of weights like the people around me before the instructor came in and told us to grab a medicine ball and two discs.  After a warm up, he led us through ten different exercises – lunges, sit up with a Russian twist, burpees with the medicine ball, jump squats, and using the sliding discs in a plank position to pull your feet into your chest.  Among others.  You do each movement for one minute, leading to a set of ten minutes before you rest for two minutes and do it two more times.  Then you finish with moves I couldn’t even do, some stretching, and call it a day.

I had so many sweat puddles underneath me that I wished I’d grabbed a towel.  In the few times that I had the energy to look around me, I was happy to see that I wasn’t the only one who needed a quick five second break in the middle of a set because this was hard.  But in a fun way…

running

I’m still not sure how to fit in a HIIT workout with running, but I couldn’t let the spring day pass me without running.  When I got home, I changed into my running clothes and headed out for an easy six miles in the park.  It was glorious and I loved every single step.  So many people sitting out in the grass in Central Park, so many people to dodge running on Fifth Ave.  Did I mention that I wore shorts and a tshirt?  Yes, please.

enjoying the weekend

After a quick bite to eat, I met up with Abbe and Baker to explore a new cocktail bar, The Gilroy, that opened in the neighborhood.  Apparently it’s a late night cocktail bar (“and late night eats”), as it doesn’t even open until 5pm, even on the weekends.  I’m admittedly not much of a cocktail drinker, mainly since liquor isn’t so much my thing nor do I actually know what I like, but I went for what sounded fruity and it was so delicious.

image Phils Collins and Gatsby…Green tea infused gin with raspberry, lemon, mint, and seltzer.  I could have drank that in one sip it was so delicious.

After a few beverages, we headed nearby to eat some pizza at Gino’s and Kelly met us for a glass of wine…the pizza was delicious and the company was grand.

sunday

the long run

I’ve never been a morning person, and this generally hampers making running plans with people because I don’t necessarily like setting my alarm when I don’t have to…especially when the weather doesn’t require me to get in an early run.  (And let’s face it, I ran in the 95 degree heat at noon last summer, so there’s that.)  After a glorious eleven hours of sleep, I set out to the west side for a long run of sorts…keeping in mind that in my barely-running-days, that meant 12 miles.  After a quick costume change (definitely tank top weather instead of tshirt weather), I took my somewhat sore body out for a run…the kinds loosened out after a mile and away I went.  I didn’t think much about pace and rather just ran (ended up right about 8:00 minute pace, give or take, for every mile), which was fun and made the run quite enjoyable.  So many people were out (SO MANY BIKERS), and one biker said, “Nice pace!” as he rode past me, so that was nice and very un-NYC-biker-like.  (On the note of bikers, so many tourists/CitiBikers who like to stop right in the middle of the path.  Please, no!  Such a dangerous place to stop!)

I knew the water fountains had been turned on, so I enjoyed using those every couple of miles…not having to carry water with me for most runs is so convenient.  Otherwise, I love just being out there with all these other active people and seeing the sites…a 12 mile out and back takes me through Central Park, down past a few west side outside bars, past Chelsea Piers, all with a view of the Freedom Tower when heading south.  I’ve run it a million times and it doesn’t get old – and I like that you can just show up and run without having to worry about the stoplights that you might hit running in the city.

image I’ll take it.

Long runs always remind me how much I like the long run and distance events.  I’ll be taking a break from long runs for a bit and trading them with lots of time spent on a bike (hooray triathlon training!), so hopefully I like those three hour bike rides just as much!

swimsuit shopping

Speaking of triathlon training, I’ve been searching for a swimsuit to purchase since the only lap-worthy suit I have is one from my swim lesson days as a senior in high school.  (I really should get rid of that…)  Bikini buying isn’t any girl’s favorite thing to do…but these lap suits are a totally different story as well.  I figured the sizing would be similar to, you know, pants or dresses or ANYTHING, but I guess that’s not the case as these suits are TIGHT.  After throwing in the towel at a few stores, I set out yesterday to actually buy one, no ifs ands or buts.  I figured maybe I should just buy a two piece suit since the one pieces seemed embarrassingly tight, but the two pieces made me feel like I was falling out of the tops…which isn’t a feeling I ever, ever have, so that was strange.  After trying on half the store, I ended up with this:

image Basic black because…obviously.

I’m gearing up to actually try swimming for the first time in a bajillion years, so wish me luck on that!  (I’m heading out shortly after posting this, I’ll let you know how it goes!)

wrap it up

I was definitely tired by the time Sunday night rolled around – I watched the Yankees game on TV (if you ever want to go to a game…or a Mets game…let me know!!) and then watched the Hunt for the Boston Bombers…probably not something to watch alone at midnight, but at least I knew what the outcome was!

Tell me about your weekend…long runs?  Taking advantage of spring?

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04 2014