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My Runner’s Heart is Breaking

by Meghann on April 16, 2013

My heart is heavy for those in Boston today.

As soon as the new broke about yesterday’s tragic events, my whole office went silent. We gathered around a single computer to watch the live news stream, while simultaneously trying to get ahold of co-workers we knew were running. They were okay – thank goodness! – and we all felt like we could finally breathe again. Our thoughts are with those were not as lucky.

My phone started ringing at this time. I had three calls from different family members who know I love to run marathons and wanted to make sure I was safe. I was. I’m in Tampa and I am safe.

But I could have just as easily been in Boston. Any runner could have. It’s a race that’s on most runners’ bucket lists (even if the qualifying times make our heads spin) and it could have been any of our friends or family members standing by the finish line, waiting to take a photo or give a final high five before watching us finish something that took most of our blood, sweat, and tears to accomplish. A finish line is supposed to be a time of celebrating, not a time for terror.

My heart breaks for yesterday’s victims, but it also fills with love and thankfulness to the Boston community who not only rushed in to help the victims but also the runners and family members who were still out on the course. Every time I read a story of people coming together to help one another, I’m reminded that among tragedy, there’s still hope and good in this world.

This morning I ran in honor of Boston. I left my headphones at home and just took the 4 miles to think about what it means to be a runner. We’re all a part of this amazing community where every accomplishment is celebrated. No one keeps score, there are no losers, and the only person you’re ever “racing” is yourself. It’s quite honestly the greatest sport in the world and why anyone would ever want to tarnish it tears me apart. They’re not taking my sport away from me, I won’t let them. WE won’t let them.

So I will continue to run. I will continue to race. I will continue to volunteer, spectate, and cheer my friends on to achieving new goals. I will continue to run in honor of Boston and be thankful for every step along the way.

{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs April 16, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Lovely post, beautifully written.
Love & Kindness to those affected.
Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs recently posted..First Giveaway!

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2 Nanci @ This Crazy Life of Mine April 16, 2013 at 5:52 pm

You said this all so well… Keep on running!

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3 Ericka April 16, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Well said, Meghann. I agree 100%.

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4 Sonia the Mexigarian April 16, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Beautifully said.
Sonia the Mexigarian recently posted..Soreness & Beasties

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5 jill greblick April 16, 2013 at 6:35 pm

I ran on the Boston Marathon route this morning from mile 16 to mile 18 (I live right there). The other runners and I gave each other high fives and thumbs up! Runners are a group that will prevail and those of us in Boston will run with a different style because we are now running for those who can not!

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6 Presh April 16, 2013 at 7:04 pm

That is so awesome running some of the route!! Us runners stand strong!
Presh recently posted..We are Strong. We are united. We will not run in fear.

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7 Presh April 16, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Very well said.
I am so happy to see how we have united as runners though.
We well show that we are not to be reckon with.
We are runners. We strong.
Presh recently posted..We are Strong. We are united. We will not run in fear.

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8 Becky April 16, 2013 at 7:22 pm

Very well said. Thank you.

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9 Mary April 16, 2013 at 7:27 pm

Ditto, Girlfriend 🙂 I couldn’t have said this better myself.

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10 Emily @ The Swallow Flies April 16, 2013 at 7:29 pm

Absolutely beautiful.
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11 Karen @ Runner Girl Eats April 16, 2013 at 7:37 pm

I loved every step of my run today. I saw so many runners out there, all running for the same reason. Runners are tough. Nothing can stop us.
Karen @ Runner Girl Eats recently posted..Look for the helpers.

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12 Laura @ Backstage Balance April 16, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Beautiful post, Meghann.
Laura @ Backstage Balance recently posted..Giving it a Tri

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13 Jane @ Not Plain So Jane April 16, 2013 at 8:35 pm

Lovely post. I went for a run today to and I am even more motivated to sign up for that next marathon and volunteer at as many races as I can. The atmosphere from a marathon leaves you with a runners high for weeks and I guarantee that atmosphere is not going to change, it will probably get even stronger.
Jane @ Not Plain So Jane recently posted..Go Do Something Good

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14 Ani April 16, 2013 at 8:38 pm

The running community is so strong and will break through this tragedy. All we need to do is hope. Stay strong Boston.
Ani recently posted..Hope for Boston

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15 Beth @ Running with the Sunrise April 16, 2013 at 8:42 pm

Such wonderful thoughts. I spent a lot of my run thinking about similar things. I have a greater drive to run now than I have in a long time. This community will only become stronger and we will support each other and our supporters with even more strength. We are stronger than evil.
Beth @ Running with the Sunrise recently posted..Tuesday 12 Miler

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16 Erin April 16, 2013 at 8:49 pm

Well said, Meghann!

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17 Michele April 16, 2013 at 9:14 pm

I totally agree. I was even happier than normal to do c25k with my husband as he works toward “being a runner.” My thoughts and prayers are with all of Boston and the runners and families…
Michele recently posted..Sadness

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18 Jennifer S April 16, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Wonderful post, Meghann. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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19 Ellie April 16, 2013 at 10:59 pm

I am with you-so proud to be a runner- so proud to have learned to run from others who taught me what it means to be a runner- those who taught me to cheer for random strangers- to believe in random strangers
I ran Boston four years ago-I finished with a man from Puerto Rico- we spent the last mile cheering for each other-him in spanish and me in English. I get chills thinking of that.
My heart is broken for the running community- but we are peaceful people who will heal-I walked away yesterday wanting to run-to be a part of my community

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20 Meredith April 16, 2013 at 11:38 pm

First time commenter but I’ve been reading for a while. I live a mile from Boston, and like you, had friends in the race and many watching. Thankfully, all are okay. Thank you for your support.

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21 Jessica April 17, 2013 at 12:34 am

Great post!
Jessica recently posted..Thief

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22 Grazia April 17, 2013 at 3:16 am

Beautiful words. Thank you, Meghann…

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23 meredith April 17, 2013 at 7:04 am

Beautiful post. I agree with every word. I felt so helpless yesterday that in addition to wearing a race shirt in honor of Boston, going out for a run and having my son wear a race shirt to school, I baked blue and yellow M&M cookies for my son’s little league team last night in honor of the marathon.
meredith recently posted..Unite for Boston

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24 Molly @ RDexposed April 17, 2013 at 8:11 am

Perfectly said about the nature of the finish line! That spot is filled with elation by runners and spectators!
Molly @ RDexposed recently posted..Runers United to Remember

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25 Courtney April 17, 2013 at 8:47 am

Yes ma’am! Like others have said, if you’re going to try to defeat the human spirit, marathoners are the wrong group to target. You can’t get runners down.

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26 Stacey April 17, 2013 at 8:53 am

I have to be honest, this post rubs me the wrong way. Other bloggers have covered it in more appropriate ways and/or expressed their personal feelings from having run Boston previously.
Though I know your heart was in the right place, this post read like a shallow attempt at attaching yourself to a tragedy.

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27 D April 17, 2013 at 9:59 am

Agreed. You do know that this wasn’t an attack on RUNNING, right?

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28 Sara April 17, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Was coming here to leave the same comment.

I do understand your motivation for the post, it just came off as you inserting yourself into a situation and making it all about you. The bombing wasn’t an attack on running or runners… rather, it was an attack designed to hurt the largest amount of people possible, and it took place at a marathon. Two different things. Nobody is taking running away from you.
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29 Stacey April 17, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Exactly. And to drill the issue further – this particular event was probably chosen due to the worldwide recognition and coverage. With citizens of 90+ countries participating, it was planned to take advantage of that media coverage.
I think there has been a fundamental misunderstanding of what the target of the attack was among many bloggers this week, and I think posts like this detract from the real issue at hand.

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30 Anna April 19, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Honestly, is there any harm in Meghann writing about the community coming together in support? What is wrong with you people?… Why are you even bothering to comment at all? I mean seriously, this is a heartfelt post from a runner, talking about the fact that runners were targeted in THIS particular tragic event. I, as another runner, in no way felt as though she was trying to take the spotlight or bring attention to herself solely. She is talking about the beauty of human beings coming together in times of need and supporting one another, something that I would assume from your comments, you are unable to relate to.

Please, please do not continue to read Meghann’s blog if you disagree with what she has to say. Your negativity and judgement is just not welcome here. I love everything that Meghann has to say and what she stands for and find her to be a great motivation and it is such a downer to come across negativity when the motivation of this post was clearly the exact opposite.

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31 Anne April 17, 2013 at 9:18 am

Beautiful post. <3
Anne recently posted..With Love for Boston.

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32 Jana @ Happy Wife Healthy Life April 17, 2013 at 9:19 am

This was a great post! As a long time reader, I know how much running, races and the community mean to you. I have never ran Boston and most likely never will, but I know how it feels to run a race and to look for your family at the finish line cheering you on until the end. It should be a moment filled with excitement, love and relief…not terror. Running is something we all have the opportunity to be a part of and just like you, I don’t plan on giving that up anytime soon!
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33 Meghan @ After the Ivy League April 17, 2013 at 9:44 am

I was in such complete and total shock when I heard what happened at the marathon. Boston is such an important city to me, growing up nearby and living there for almost a year. I’m proud of the way the city, emergency officials, and volunteers responded. And I’m heartbroken for all the victims and runners. You’re right–each story proves that there’s still good in this world.

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34 Hayley @ Running on Pumpkin April 17, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Very beautifully written. I did the same thing and ran 4 miles thinking about running and counting my blessings, while praying for those affected by the tragedy. <3

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35 Carli April 17, 2013 at 9:18 pm

I did not hear about this until I was driving home from work. My husband told me about it and I thought maybe he was confused since he’s not a runner. It broke my heart when I found out he was not.
Carli recently posted..The Best 10 Minute Core Workout #YQA

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36 Ed April 18, 2013 at 7:14 am

I’m a new runner with my first two races last month. Your blog is one I started reading and found somehow as a voice worth listening to. So first, thank you for all the great food and running tips! Second, thank you for writing this inspiring post. I’ve def thought the same thing and ran Tues with Boston on my heart and mind. Thanks for what you do,keep it up!

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37 Cait @ Cait Strides April 18, 2013 at 11:39 am

Hey Meghann (and readers! ),

I’m not sure if anyone is looking for a way to help relief efforts in Boston. But if you are, a friend of mine and I have designed custom T-Shirts to honor those who have been affected by this tragedy. You can buy one at the link below and the full commission ($10) will go towards relief efforts in Boston.

The finish line is meant to be a place of triumph and empowerment, not terror. The events of Monday’s Boston bombings left me, like so many of you, feeling totally powerless in the face of this senseless act of terror. As a marathon runner, I felt like this was an attack on my very way of life. My family has stood at the finish line for every one of my races, and to think that this could have been them is heartbreaking. Instead of shrinking away from what I love, this horrible event has made my resolve that much stronger.

We thank you for your support and hope that you will share our message.

http://skreened.com/janeofsometrades/keep-running-boston-2522120

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38 Joy April 18, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Meghann,
As someone who was just up the road (I like to watch Boston as they turn onto boylston) and have a friend who was right there (fortunately she and her boyfriend are only minorly injured) this is one of my favorite things I’ve read. You’re right a finish line should be a time of celebrating, hopefully it will be again.
Joy recently posted..I can’t talk

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39 Monique April 18, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Hi Meghann,
I’ve debated commenting, but your post has been stuck in my brain since I read it and I have to let this out. I’m a Bostonian, so perhaps I’m extra sensitive to this event, but… These bombings were not an attack on running, runners, or marathons in general. Your ability to run in FLA isn’t threatened right now. I mostly think it’s not worth it to analyze how others respond to tragedy, because it is a personal thing. But I must admit, I’m bothered that you seem to think this event was personal to runners. I appreciate the outpouring of support and solidarity from the running community (and everyone else from around the world), these past few days, but pieces of your post rubbed me the wrong way. For what it’s worth, I am a runner, too. I hope you’ll receive my comment with the love and respect I am writing it with. As I said, I had to let this out. Thanks for listening.
– Monique

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