It seems like forever since my last race. The BAA 5k was the last time I went for a run and was able to focus on my performance. I’m looking forward to a day when I can find my way back to that place and write about it with the same humor and attitude I’ve been using for the past year since I began Run Like A Girl.
I was exhausted this past weekend after an emotional week and then Friday’s manhunt that locked down Boston and its surrounding suburbs focusing on my home, Watertown. It was a long stressful day that began in fear and sadness for Sean Collier, the MIT police officer that was shot and killed, and ending in a relief that the surviving suspect was in custody.
I woke up Saturday prepared for my scheduled long run of sixteen miles, one of my last long runs before Vermont City Marathon. It was not a good run. I was exhausted and my legs felt heavy and achy. I stopped to stretch along Memorial Drive and gazed across the river at Boston, especially the Citgo sign which is so symbolic for the marathon. I had hoped those moments might inspire me to finish up strong but I was just too spent. I was running out of fuel with several miles to go but pressed on and when I finally hit 16 I stopped my watch and walked.
As a runner I instinctively thought that lacing up my shoes and heading out to the Charles would clear my head and rejuvenate my spirit. I thought it would make me feel strong and resilient. It just made me tired and my hamstrings achy. I can’t blame myself for being anxious to feel normal again but there is nothing to do but take small steps and find ways to heal. Many of us are finding comfort in giving. I have ordered about a half dozen tee shirts over the past several days with proceeds going towards the ONE FUND and I’m eager to participate in one of the many memorial runs being planned around the city.
Next weekend I’m running the Spring Classic 5k. A while ago I was thinking ahead to this race and its fast course and wondering if I could finally break my PR. Now, I’m just excited to run with my friends and spend time enjoying the company of people I care about and that are experiencing similar feelings.
I am still working through a lot of the emotion and confusion of the past week. Knowing that the men responsible are off the streets doesn’t change that. Like many others, I’m feeling somewhat overwhelmed and trying to accept that the anxiety might linger for a while. It doesn’t matter how far I run because the road to this recovery isn’t measured in miles. Still, I am confident that with time, resilience and the comfort of one another, together we will find the new normal and an even stronger spirit.
Fenway’s Boston Strong Tribute