I was watching the race live online. Then I stepped out of my office for an hour to grab lunch.
My friend Kerri ran Boston for her third year in a row, and I spent part of my morning tracking her status online until I left the office. When I got back to my office and got news of what happened, I immediately thought of Kerri. I checked her status and saw that she had crossed the finish, and then checked her Facebook page. She hadn’t updated, but a friend had posted on her account. She didn’t have her phone with her, but she was safe. I was relieved. Later, as she posted a status update (as did her boyfriend), I learned that had she run a mere 10 minutes slower, she likely would’ve been crossing the finish around that time.
When I learned she was okay, my thoughts then turned to all of my other friends in Boston, all of whom are fortunately safe.
Then, my thoughts turned to the rest of the runners at yesterday’s marathon, particularly when I saw a video of the finish line as the bombs went off.
I began thinking about how those runners felt to be approaching the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Of all the races, <em>this</em> is the race.
I thought back to how I felt when I approached the finish line of the marathon I did in Las Vegas. Throughout the second half of that marathon, I was physically and mentally struggling to finish. So many times, I wanted it to be over. My hips and knees screamed at me. My mind told me I couldn’t finish. But with each mile marker that I passed, came new hope and a strong realization that I would finish. So when I crossed the 26-mile marker, I was ecstatic. I was emotionally drained from the race and hitting walls. I was in a fog. I was relieved and excited and in awe of myself. And as I crossed the finish line, those feelings all disappeared. The cheering crowd took over, my feet shuffled over the finish line and all that was left was the realization that I had just run 26.2 miles. I finished a marathon.
So thinking back on all of this, I just imagined all of those feelings coupled with the confusion, disorientation, and panic that any runner (or spectator) felt yesterday. I imagined how it would feel to be approaching that finish line, with all the positive feelings of knowing you were about to finish, but the feeling of being so exhausted that you simply just wanted—no, <em>needed</em>—to finish, only to hear explosions going off around you, screams piercing the air, and the steps of spectators running away from the finish line, which just moments before represented the months of training, the miles logged, the anxiety leading up to the race, the fatigue and mental breakdowns, and the reward for getting through all of it.
And that’s just it. I can’t think about it or clearly imagine it, because all I can do is associate the completion of a race to something positive, especially when it comes to races like Boston.
It’s unreal. And though I’ve tried to put my feelings and thoughts into words, I can’t. Once again, there are no words. I don’t know what to think or what to say. And I hate that the Boston Marathon will forever be marred by what happened, and that yesterday, which should’ve been a day to celebrate achievements and money raised for charities and PRs, will instead be a day of tragedy.
The ABC’s of Me.
Addictions: My dog. Adam playing guitar. Peanut butter.
Bed size: Had a full all my life (excluding when I lived in a dorm), but bought a queen bed when I moved in November.
Chore you hate: Putting away my clothes after doing the laundry. I fold them out of the dryer but sometimes don’t put them away for weeks.
Dogs or cats: I like them both, but I love dogs. Especially Maeby.
Essential start of your day: Coffee. Imperative.
Favorite color: I’m a big fan of dark purple.
Gold or silver: Silver.
Height: My goal when I was younger was to be 5’6” but you can’t set goals revolving around your height, because you either are or you’re not. Sadly, I’m 5’4”.
Instruments you play (or have played): I played the flute from 4-8 grade. I was pretty good at it.
Jobs titles you’ve had: Babysitter. Cashier. Waitress. Intramural Referee. Assisted Living server. Assistant to the Senior Writer. Assistant Coach at a college. Assistant Coach at a high school. Business Analyst. Marketing Assistant.
Kids: Depends on the kids…I love my niece and nephew. They’re pretty great. One day I do hope to have my own.
Live: Connecticut. Massachusetts for five years.
Mom’s name: Sue. My brother and I call her Crazy Sue.
Nickname: There’s a million of them. I won’t even begin.
Overnight hospital stays: None.
Pet peeve: Anything involving people not being able to drive. When people leave the sponge in the sink.
Quote from a movie: One of my favorites is from Wedding Crashers. “We have no way of knowing what lays ahead for us in the future. All we can do it use the information at hand to make the best decision possible. It’s gonna be fine. Your whole life is gonna be fine.” Christopher Walken is so wise.
Right or left handed: Righty.
Time you wake up: Usually between 6:30 and 7:30. I have a hard time sleeping in and Maeby usually wakes me up by then anyway.
Underwear: My favorite pairs came from this wonderful store in London called New Look. There was one like half a mile away from me and I’d go shopping there all the time.
Vegetables you dislike: I can’t think of any. I pretty much love everything.
What makes you run late: Forgetting something. I have to go back.
X-rays you’ve had done: Broke my thumb playing field hockey in high school, got hit below the eye with a field hockey ball in college, and got into a car accident in March 2011. I got x-rays for all of those.
Yummy food you make: Everything I make is good. But I am a big fan of taco salads, which involves this chicken chili I make. Adam can attest to this. It’s kind of sad because I eat one everyday and will never tire of them.
Zoo animal: Polar bears. Always. Also, this gazelle that Adam and I saw at the San Diego Zoo.
This week was good.
3-mile run in the morning with Maeby.
Photographing an event at work.
An afternoon at my mom’s with the dogs.
3-mile run with Maeby.
Leftover coconut fried chicken for dinner.
Crossfit. 20 mins to work up to 5 RM Deadlift - 190#
Row with a partner, 500m, 400m, 300m, 200m, 100m. Each completing the distance before the next person can do it. For time.
Dinner with Rob and Zach. Braised short rib. Yes please.
Nice drive into work. Fog and snow is a beautiful combination.
Lunchtime workout. I love my job and I love that we have an amazing fitness center on-site where I can work out whenever I want.
More Maeby time.
Walked out of work to see this.
In the morning…
CXWorx class with my boss and a quick two-mile run during our lunch break.
Came home and snacked on one of my favorites.
Skyped with Adam. And he showed me this line from something he’s writing up. I love it.
“They both smile, life is good, if only for the moment.”
Started watching Downton Abbey.
Skyped with Adam for hours.
Played fetch with Maeby. Then she was wiped out.
And then it was Sunday. Today.
Worked an event this morning and loved the easy and beautiful commute in.
Took Maeby for a ride.
And then we made it official.
Only a few more weeks and I will be out there.
- I hop on a flight to California in 35 days, 8 hours, and 40 minutes. I don’t have a running countdown on my computer or anything. My brother lives in Pasadena and I will be visiting for a few days. I’m trying to convince him to run the Firecracker 5k/10k with me in Chinatown in L.A. I read there’s a beer garden after and he said he is interested in that…but not in the race. There’s still time to convince him! I have never run a 10k, so that’s the plan. We shall see. After a few days in Pasadena, I am hopping on a train down to San Diego to see Adam, who I haven’t seen since high school. There’s a lot to say here, but I will keep it brief. I really can’t wait to see him.
- 2013 is off to a great start. I’m really happy so far.
- I had my first “long run” of 2013. 7.5 miles and I felt great. Muscle memory is an amazing thing.
- CrossFit is also going well. I PR’d on my deadlift 1 rep max, at 240. Then a couple days ago, we did 1 rep max thrusters and I ran out of time but managed to hit 100, which I was really happy with. To be honest, I haven’t been going nearly as often as I’d like or as I was. I can’t seem to find the motivation to go more than 3 times a week, which is bad, because I’m paying so much money to go and when I’m there, I really do love it. It’s just getting myself out the door, and I think a lot of it has to do with the cold and winter…but I’m going to have to get over that at some point because again, it’s a waste of money if I’m not going more than a couple times a week.
- Maeby is great, as always.
- It’s Friday. And I woke up with a very specific version of “Friday” stuck in my head. So I revisited the video. Then I made my roommate watch it with me.
Looking back on my photo-a-day blog, I realized that there were so many little moments I forgot about. So, here are some bits and pieces from this year. I brought in 2012 with Oscar. I tried Bikram Yoga. I said goodbye to Pete’s cat, Hobbes. She was amazing. I bought an iPad. I ate Chipotle for the first time. I interviewed for jobs in New York City, and locked down an apartment and roommates. I went to Key West. I left my first job out of college. I left my college coaching job. I decided not to move to NYC. I was truly unemployed for the first time ever. I got into a new relationship. I PR’d in a half marathon. I saw the biggest spider ever on my windshield. I PR’d in another half marathon and got sub-2:00 for the first time. I celebrated the life of my brother-in-law. I officially started Crossfit. I learned that just because someone seems like an adult, it doesn’t necessarily mean that person is or knows how to handle uncomfortable situations like one. I said goodbye to my best friend, Oscar. I said goodbye to my half sister, Karen, who passed away after dealing with complications from Lyme Disease for half of her life. I escaped to New York City, and then Boston, and was able to feel like myself again for the first time in months, thanks to good times with good friends. I got a new job that was everything I wanted. I said, “See you later,” to my brother, who moved across country to California. I convinced one of my best friends that Taylor Swift’s real name is Maya Marcus. I picked up Maeby from the rescue that pulled her for me. I was summoned for jury duty. I ran another half marathon, and for the first time ever, didn’t care that I didn’t PR. I took Maeby on my friend’s boat, and took her swimming for the first time. I started coaching again, only this time, it was at the high school level. I carved a pumpkin for the first time. Stop judging me. I signed a lease and moved into a new apartment, after living at home for a little over a year. I celebrated my 24th birthday. I ran a race on Thanksgiving for the sixth consecutive year, and got a PR. I ran another half marathon in Las Vegas, my fourth this year, and had a lot of fun. I went to California for the first time. I celebrated Hanukkah at my grandma’s house, had family over for a holiday dinner at my apartment the following weekend, and then celebrated Christmas at my mom’s. I am closing out 2012 with my half sister, my niece and my nephew. This past year was a year of change. A year of growth. It was a big one for me. Here’s to hoping that 2013 is… I hope someone out there got the reference.
I don’t write on here as often as I should, and I haven’t written about Sandy Hook because the words wouldn’t come.
As a resident of Connecticut, the past week has been difficult, as it has undoubtedly been for the rest of the nation. On Friday, as I went to submit a press release to a local news site, I learned of the tragedy and immediately became consumed by it. I checked every major news site and refreshed these pages non-stop, learning more of what was happening in Newtown with each passing minute. I left work early and headed to my mom’s house to watch live coverage of the news. I woke up Saturday morning with a knot in my stomach. I couldn’t comprehend how the news from the day before had happened.
I’ll admit I’m fortunate, in that I don’t live in Newtown and I didn’t know anyone who passed away, but everyone around me is affected, with some having friends who lost their kids and some trying to understand the events after growing up in Newtown. I’ve been somewhat disconnected from the tragedy, being that I don’t have television at home. But I still hear about it on the radio on my drive into work (all the local stations are still talking about it) and still see the updates on websites, because I want to know. I want to know why someone would do something like this and why they would seek out kindergarteners, let alone commit any sort of act like this.
Today, on my drive into work, as I listened to a local station talk about the latest news and the latest ways that we can help, I broke down. I stopped and waited in the parking lot for a few minutes before going into work.
Tomorrow at work, since we are a community-based non-profit, we are joining the rest of the country in a Moment of Silence, and we are lighting candles and saying a prayer for them as well. In an effort to help those in attendance, I was given the task of putting together a list of resources, including where one can get help if they are having trouble coping, and how one can reach out to help those in Newtown. In my efforts to put together a comprehensive list of ways to help, I began finding more and more scholarships set up in memory of victims, and a list of organizations to which I could donate in memory of a victim. With most, there was a link to the website for these memorial funds, and on each of those sites, a photo. Or several photos.
The stories. I re-read stories of how one teacher who passed away was found cradling a student that had passed away, or how another teacher lost her life in an effort to save her students, or how a child lost his life trying to lead his peers to safety.
I broke down at work.
I don’t know how to end this, but I needed to get the words out.
But there are no words.
Another year gone by, another year older.
Twenty-three is my lucky number. It was the number I wore starting my senior year of high school, all the way through college.
I thought, as a result, this year would be the best one yet. And for awhile, I was kind of doubtful, because honestly? Throughout the past year, I have experienced so much, a lot of which hasn’t been positive or easy.
But you know what else? It has been the best one yet, because I can honestly say that while this year has certainly been difficult at times, it has also been a year of tremendous growth. More than I ever would’ve expected, and more than I even realized until I took time to think about things last night.
So here’s to 24 being as great as 23.
(But 23 will still be my lucky number.)