Collecting thoughts here. Many I’ve posted elsewhere but am duplicating here
April 15, 2013
I’m sure I will write a race report at some point, but for now: Boston, I love you.
My parents, my brother’s girlfriend, and I were waiting for lunch post-race. I decided I was too cold and wet to stick around waiting for a table, so we decided to walk back to my apartment where I could shower, get warm, and change into NOT pajamas. As I showered, I realized how little of the race I remembered and how I would have a problem writing an in-depth race report. When I got out of the shower, I got a text from my brother in the Hancock Tower telling me about the explosions before I had even seen anything on twitter. And with that, the events of the day have overwhelmed the day’s event. We don’t know who decided to place two (or more) bombs, detonate at least two of the bombs, why he/she/they did that, what the motivation was… we know so little about the cause, but we know so much about the reactions of those there to provide assistance and comfort to the wounded. The first responders have been just amazing: running into the exact things we run away from. We’ve seen this before, but I’ve never seen it so close.
I was home when it happened. I am uninjured. But I am still shaken. People’s lives torn asunder, just an hour or so after I’d left the area (as we neared my apartment, I was told that it was 2:30, only ~20 minutes before the first explosion). I’m alternating between exhaustion and sadness. I can’t continue to watch the news coverage, but I can’t not watch it (though I could do with less repeat of the footage — often graphic — of the explosion and immediate aftermath). But it’s all just so tragic and sad.
I love Boston. I love the city and its people. I love the Boston Marathon. I’ll be running again next year and every year I can.
April 17, 2013
I don’t mean for this to diminish what has happened. Not at all. It was terrifying and sad and senseless. I ache: physically and emotionally.
I walked through Government Center last night, on my way to meet Gregory Soutiea for a beer (or three), past what seemed like the entire Cambridge MA SWAT team, past Army EOD trucks, all in a hope to get back to some sense of normalcy. I was on the phone with my dad, and he asked, as so many have, if we, if I, will ever feel safe again. And the truth is I feel no less safe today than I did Sunday, or Monday as I was running. Perhaps there was more that could have been done on Monday to prevent what happened, but I doubt it. Assholes with guns and bombs and terrible thoughts in their heads and hearts are hard to stop and hard to predict. Like so many acts that instill us with terror, it appears at once both targeted and random: targeted towards society as a whole, but random in its selection of victims. I am incredibly sad, often on the verge of tears (both in pride of all the good that everyone performed in the immediate and not so immediate aftermath and sadness over the lives ruined and lost and forever changed). But I don’t feel any less safe. I refuse to feel less safe.
April 18, 2013
The week after a marathon is usually a week of recovery, and often mental recovery, but not in this way. It’s a bit disjointed to feel so affected. I was about a mile away, already finished, showering, and ready to celebrate the day when the bombs went off. But I have friends who had just finished, friends and family who hadn’t yet finished, friends and family who had watched me finish and walked through the same crowds. Every time I thought “I’ve check on everyone I know who is running” I realized I knew 5 more people who were running, who might have family there. And that speaks to how tight knit the Boston running community is, and how tight knit Boston is as well.
I wasn’t planning on buying a marathon jacket. After all, it’s just a marathon. I’ve never bought race gear except for after I’ve finished my iron distance races. But then the explosions happened and, I suppose, selfishly I want something to say, “I ran this. I was there that day. I support the race, the city, and the people”. And so I contacted City Sports yesterday, learned they still had some jackets, and asked them to hold one of the ones they had left. And then I started walking.
As I have so many times the past couple of days, I’ve walked across the Longfellow Bridge from Cambridge into Boston, through Beacon Hill, and between the Common and Public Garden. I’ve turned down Boylston a number of times, and despite it being open all the way to Berkeley Street, I can’t make it past Arlington yet. At some point, Boylston will be opened completely, and I’ll walk down it, past the spots where lives were changed and ruined. But for now, it’s a bit to fresh to continue down the street.
This is not to say that things aren’t returning to some sense of normal. We’re remembering to also focus on the joy of raceday, the application of all of our training to the race, the cheering of Wellesley and Boston College and Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Brookline and Boston. We won’t forget, but we will recover.
April 21, 2013
The end week was, at its core, surreal. Glued to the tv, to twitter, to The Globe trying to pick up any piece of news I could.
I spent Saturday afternoon at Fenway with some friends. Friends who had come to the marathon to watch me and their other friends running. We had avoided serious physical harm that day, but Matt and I, I think, still feel the effects pretty openly. “Do you ever wish you were at the finish line?” The obvious answer is no. But I think it gets to a deeper seated question (or two): what gives us the right to feel so impacted by the explosions despite not being there when it happened? And secondarily, what would we have done if we had been at the finish line? As to the second, I hope I never have to find out. To the first, I think, we’re allowed to be impacted. We should be impacted. Matt’s a lifelong Massachusetts resident. I’m relatively new here. But we’re both members of the running community. This attack, as it was, was an attack at everything we held dear: running, Boston, our friends: all of our communities. It does matter why the attacks took place, but even without that knowledge, it is still hits very close to home. It hits home.
Time does not, cannot heal all wounds. There are some wounds that can’t be healed. But for those wounds that will heal, the healing has started. Life begins to return to a more normal reality.