Tuesday, April 15, 2014

One Year Later. Remembering Boston 2013 and Looking Forward to Boston 2014. We All Stand Together.

"I'll see you next year Beautiful Boston.  And our spirits will be STRONGER.  They already are.  Fear doesn't win.  Love does." --taken from my reflections from Boston 2013

This blog doesn't get much exercise these days.  Seems like I go longer and longer between posts.  Inconsistent at best.  So, while I'm in better shape than perhaps I've ever been, my blog is wildly out of shape.  And this is probably a good thing right now.  It means I've been focused on other things...life!  Training for the Boston Marathon 2014 has been a big part of that but definitely not the main focus.  Life has been pretty balanced these days and the marathon training has been so much less of the main focus and so much more of a beautiful and energizing compliment to the other areas of my life.  Just the perfect place really.

Today, one year after Boston 2013, seems like a fitting day to blow the dust off this blog a bit and do some reflection.  I've never been one to remember exact dates all the time.  I remember moments.  Experiences.  Feelings.  So, even though I was in Boston last year...running, watching, experiencing...I did't entirely register 4-15 as the exact day that it was.  I remember Boston 2013.  Very much.  Of course.  I remember my feelings on that day.  I remember what the race meant for me.  I remember the outreach of love from family, friends and the running community world wide.  I remember so much.  And I won't forget.  But waking up this morning to register that today is the exact day...one year exactly...brought with it some unexpected emotions.  Emotions I haven't entirely allowed myself to feel.

There have been many times over the last year that I've found myself thinking that since I was one of the lucky ones that wasn't physically harmed or that didn't have any loved ones who were harmed or killed, that I don't really have a right to feel too much emotion.  I remember thinking this directly after the bombings and on into the night of the marathon as we made our way out of the city to a friend's house. I told myself this on my flight home and when I hugged my kids when we arrived safely.  I pushed emotions away when people asked me about the race and my experience.  I almost felt like I didn't deserve to grieve or feel deep emotion compared to so many others.  I'd quickly replace my feelings of sadness with all the reasons I had to be thankful:  My husband and friends who were near the finish area were safe, kids were with their grandma back home, I finished with plenty of time to not only have had my race but to be far enough away from the bombs to where I only heard them...so many things to be thankful for.  But that didn't take away from the real emotions that were also part of that day...that moment.  The truth is, so many of us were affected by this tragedy.  All our feelings are valid:  grief, sadness, fear, anger, relief.  All of us that feel something are entitled to those feelings no matter how silly we feel about expressing them.  All of us:  Those that were physically harmed or that lost a loved one.  The families and friends back home who were watching and hearing about the tragedy.  The running communities near and far.  Those of us that raced.  The citizens of Boston.  Or those that just FEEL for HUMANITY.  It's the way we come together after tragedy (of any size) that adds to the beauty of life...the way we come together to


I look back to Boston 2013 with a lot of different feelings.  It isn't lost on me even a little in the power that this race held for me when it comes to letting go of fear and replacing it with love.  That's what this race was for me.  My words to myself during this race were all about self love and comfort during a somewhat unpredictable time in life.

"Leave fear on the course.  Let fear go with every step.  You are in control. You are where you are at this time and that's just where you need to be. All will be okay."

I didn't realize at the time that this very race would be what would not only help me get rid of fear in my personal life, but what would bring me calm during a tragedy that came to a city, a race, a day, the community and sport that I love so much.

"It is this very act of letting go of fear and replacing it with an incredible amount of self love that gave me peace and calm during those hours of tragedy that touched Boston at the finish line of one of the greatest human sporting events of history. It was those 26.2 miles of remembering myself and finding an Amanda that I'd never fully seen before that prepared me for what was to come and what is still here to process."  

I love Boston.  I love the city.  And I especially love the Boston Marathon.  It is a race I hope to run as many times as I can.  It isn't just a race for me.  It is an experience.  It's the energy.  A celebration of the sport of marathoning that I love so much.  It is a spirit.  And I couldn't be more excited to return to run again next week.  It will be my fourth Boston Marathon and probably my most special.  I'm excited to be there with my family and spend time with some of my dearest friends.  I'm excited to be running in a race with so many of my favorite runners from all around the world.  It will be a day where we all come together....with love, resilience, passion, and spirit.  Together.  As spectators.  Runners.  Community.  STRONGER.  STRONG.  BOSTON STRONG.  Boston 2014 will be yet another way to come together and send a message of:  LOVE WINS.

Below is one of my favorite songs lately and one that gives such a beautiful tribute to this race, this tragedy, this sport that we love....

Be Well Friends,


I don't write here as often as I used to but you can find Runninghood on:

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully written Amanda.Wish I was close enough to give you a hug.