|My dad and me at the finish line|
First off, thanks to everyone for all of the calls, texts, emails, tweets, comments and likes I got today—it felt so good to have so much love and support come through. I just made it safely back to DC; my dad, step-mom, little bro & sis are en route to CA; older brother & his wife back at their place just outside Boston. It’s been a crazy, enormously sad day.
The race itself was beautiful—so exciting and encouraging to have the huge crowds cheering you on from the sides. I felt great up to about mile 22, after which I started to hit the dreaded wall. My thighs and calves seized up into awful cramps, topped off with a worry that I was starting to feel pain again where I had previously stress-fractured my foot (which was why I couldn’t run Boston last year, for those who know of that saga). I broke down and started to walk. But with all the people shouting at me that I was “almost there,” my pride kicked in—I felt like I should break 4 hours—and I made myself run the last mile, through tears and all. I crossed the finish line clocking in at 3:57—and about half an hour before the bombs went off.
My dad was just past the finish line waiting for me. We took some photos, got our medals and heat blankets, and wove through the crowd of tired runners to the exit—all of which took us about 15 minutes.
Once we had gotten out and made some progress slowly walking to where we were supposed to meet up with our family I called my little sister to check in with her. Her voice sounded totally panicked in a way I haven’t quite heard anyone sound before. She said that there was a bomb scare and everyone was running around, but they were ok. It was so surreal and I was so confused (and probably kind of delirious). I didn’t know how seriously to take what she was saying, and at that point couldn’t get her to tell me very much else.
Then I started to get calls and texts from others and pieced it together. My dad and I managed to meet up with the rest of our family for a weird “celebratory” meal. The restaurant was full of other runners and spectators and no one really seemed to know what to do or say.
As I've heard and thought about it more, it has felt shocking how close my dad and I were to having a very different ending to the race. It was so hard to get myself to run those last 3 or 4 miles; I can’t help but wonder where we would’ve been had I not.
I of course feel very lucky that everyone I was there with is okay right now, but of course also feel so sad for those, and the friends and families of those, who are not. The Boston marathon is such an inspiring, iconic event that so many people work so hard to make happen and participate in. It is totally beyond me how someone could think of it and all that it represents as a target.
Let's all continue to send good thoughts toward Boston.