Saturday, April 20, 2013

Running — Boston and a Bronze

While visiting Kansas City last weekend, my trip coincided with the Eisenhower Marathon, a race in Abilene, Kansas that has been put on for more than a decade. My extended relatives are at the helm of organizing this race that attracts runners from all over the nation.

Everyone knows that Kansas is flat, but Abilene seems to be really flat, making it an ideal place for a fast run. When you jump off the Interstate to Abilene, you're right on main street (Buckeye), where lawns of homes are dotted with signs greeting runners to town. Although it is a small town race, the charm of it is unparalleled. A local church hosts a pasta dinner the night before. One of my cousins sings the National Anthem before the race. It's simply the best of middle America.

I joked multiple times while there that I could potentially qualify for the Boston Marathon if I happened to be a 76-year-old man. When I saw the first footage of the senseless act in Boston this week, one of my most vivid memories was of the older man who fell to the ground after the shock of the bombing, only yards away from the finish line. What an incredible accomplishment for that man, and for it to have been taken away from him and thousands of others made me sick.

My dad asked me last weekend if the Eisenhower Marathon was going to make it on Cirque du Sweet. I pretty much laughed it off. Since I had recently posted about my recent half marathon, there would be no way I could post again about a race so soon since this is not a running blog.

Then Monday in Boston happened and here I am posting about running.

The events in Boston made me realize how much running is a huge part of my life now. It's an activity that my husband and I both enjoy together. Running is the reason I'm able to eat sweets. Running pushes me to challenge myself.

Simply put, running makes me happy. The running culture is so positive and and nonjudgmental and I have found it to be highly motivating in many other aspects of my life. Whether you're the tortoise or the hare, you can be a runner. Rich or poor, lace up a pair of shoes and you're a runner. Start small and keep up with it, you'll do things you never thought were possible. My running group is a mix of people from all walks of life, yet we all share one common bond.

The Boston Marathon is a race that only a few runners can even dream of running. The cowards that put a damper on this year's Boston Marathon have not crushed the spirit of running. Despite temporary setbacks, runners will always finish strong.

After a busy week, I finally was able to go out and do a #RunforBoston. The last song that came on my  playlist was "The Dog Days are Over" by Florence and the Machine. I couldn't help but get a little misty-eyed in somewhat of a happy way.

The dog days are over
The dog days are done
The horses are coming
So you better run

Run fast for your mother and fast for your father
Run for your children for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your love and your longing behind you
Can't carry love with you if you want to survive

The dog days are over
The dog days are done
Can you hear the horses
'Cause here they come

A special shout out to Ali of Miles with Style who finished the Boston Marathon just minutes before the blasts. Also, congratulations to Jeremy who completed his first half marathon in Abilene, and to my Dad and Karen who both received a gold medal in their age groups in the 5K race. Don't worry, Dad, I won't reveal how many people there were in your age group. Not to boast, but I set a PR and received a bronze in my 10K age group. I will note that there were only five of us. :) 

We are all Boston Strong. 

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