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(Today) 5.25 tear-filled miles on incline 1 on the TM/ 37:32

3.63 mi. walk with all of the girls and the Double-Bob

(Yesterday) 6.48 mi. tears and hills run around the ‘hood/ 52:04

Aside from the random tears that seem to flash flood my eyes during the day (mostly when I’m running and when I see other runners), I don’t really know what to say about Boston. It has left me sickened, sad, and confused.

My heart and prayers continue to go out to victims, families of victims, runners in the marathon, runners in general, people who want to run, everyone who has ever supported a runner, first responders… pretty much everyone who has been affected by the the events that unfolded yesterday at the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon.

You see, it has been a dream of mine since I began really loving to run to qualify for Boston. It’s not an easy thing to do. You can Google it, but, unless you are part of a fundraising team, you have to train hard and be fast to get in.

I teach middle school, and my kids may or may not think I’m a bit on the wacky side. I let them a little bit into my life this year when I told them that I was going to run my first marathon in May, hoping to BQ. Instead of forgetting about it, my kids have asked me every week how my training is coming along. They have signed up for races themselves, including one kid who ran LA. They have asked me for training plans for a 5K, 10K, half, and full marathon. They ask me what my fastest single mile time is on a weekly basis to see if it’s changed (6:08; it hasn’t), they race up to me to inform me of their quarterly mile time after PE, and they keep me posted on school and meet records being smashed by other students who are clearly enjoying every step they run. They’re into it. They’re in middle school, so I think this is just a little bit extra cool.

On Monday, while teaching poetry, I had the Boston Marathon live streaming onto my computer in the background. Together, we watched the women’s winner and men’s winner cross the finish line. “2:10, Mrs. J! That’s insane!”

Yeah, it is insane. To know how much training, heart, and dedication went in to running that fast in one of the world’s premier sporting events. It’s ridiculous.

My kids were pumped after seeing the finish at the end of first period. They told their friends in other classes about it, bragged to their peers about their fastest mile time and how they were going to get faster, and were pretty much stoked to have witnessed something that many of them didn’t even know existed until they walked into my class that day.

At lunch came the news. I didn’t believe it. I still don’t. What sick coward would do such a thing? 

I prayed. It’s what I do. For everyone.

I continue to pray, and I hope you do, too.

Faster Bunny summed it up well, so I won’t repeat what many of you have already heard/read/thought.

What I will say is that, for a moment, I questioned whether it was a good idea or not to continue to try to qualify for Boston.

I came to the conclusion that I have no choice.

I am going to train hard with the support of my friends and family and get it done. Because there are three people who are not ever going to be able to. Because I will not let he/she/them win. Because runners are tough, compassionate, friendly, supportive, all around nice people who may just be a little bit stubborn. And because I have faith in humanity. And God.

If I’m not at Boston next year, I promise I’ll be there in the future. It’s something that has to be done.

I have faith. Do you?


View through the tears.