Valentine’s Day Half Marathon

Last Saturday was a gorgeous day in Portland. It was sunny and nearly sixty degrees. While the other side of the country in New England was about to get another downpour of snow, there were folks in Portland wearing flip flops. I was not one of them, but inside I cannot wait for the day for my toes to spread wide and enjoy some warm sunshine. After a day of hopping around to a few of my favorite places in Portland, we came home so I could go for a run.

A little background — my treadmill died recently. Either I ran on it so much that I broke the main support bar, or Nordic Track just makes shitty treadmills. In any case, the only two options to fix it were to have a welder come out to our house, or for Nordic Track to replace the treadmill. Note to each of you that might be as crazy as I am, if you use a treadmill often, purchase the warranty. In October, we decided to extend the warranty. The treadmill fix it guy frequents our house a few times a year, and with the $150 a year warranty we do not pay for a single part or his time. If we had not paid the $150, we would have had to shell out the cash for a brand new treadmill.

So Saturday. Chris drops me off at home so I could go for a run, and he heads off to do a few more errands. I am in the middle of a really good book, and after hitting 8 miles, I feel great, Chris is not home yet, and I am loving the feel of my new treadmill. So I keep running. By mile 10, I am reminded that Sunday morning is a half marathon that I wanted to do in a neighboring town. I realize I never registered, and even if I had, I should be taking a chill day before a race. So since I have already run 10 miles I decide I might as well just keep going. Chris still is not home yet, and I still feel great, and I would love to finish my book.

Chris drives into the garage as I hit 11.5 miles, and cannot believe what I am doing. His happy, crazy wife. I finish my book at 12.5 miles and push through to 13.1 miles to complete a half marathon on my treadmill. Definitely easier than around the city, but still a good, solid workout. 1 hour 41 minutes is not too shabby.

Sadness, shock, and absolute love for Beantown

Flabbergasted. Shocked. Saddened. I lived in Boston for a few years. I worked just 2 blocks away from the Boston Marathon Finish Line. I watched the race numerous times very close to the Finish Line.

I know there is a lot of media surrounding the events, and that some individuals might say that at the moment only 3 people have died, but one is an eight year old child. Maybe this specific incident affects me because Boston is in my heart, and what is strange is that there was a shooting in a local mall a few months ago, that was in my backyard, and yet this Boston bombing is tougher for me to digest.

Iconic. That is why I am impacted. The Boston Marathon has been around since 1897. Wikipedia stated: “The event attracts 500,000 spectators each year, making it New England’s most widely viewed sporting event.” It is an event that happens each year on Patriot’s Day. For those of you that are not from Boston and do not know about Patriot’s Day, it is holiday that commemorates the first battles of the Revolutionary War. Most of the state shuts down. When I lived in Boston, it was a welcome holiday in the middle of spring, but also it was great because we had an excuse to be out of work and watch the Boston Marathon right in our back yard.

Why does this bombing bother me so much? Fear. These types of events that leave people more fearful is just what the individual(s) want us to feel. I am saddened that the next time a runner prepares for a race they will think: is it safe? I am saddened that next year’s Boston Marathon will be different. I am not sure how they would ever be able to secure the area to make it safe for future races (too many entry points along the Marathon course). Will that mean less will attend? Less will run?

Lastly be sure to read this Washington Post article titled: “If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon” by Ezra Klein who starts the article with how his wife has been training for a marathon. He starts out and says:

“There’s no reason for her to do it. There’s no competition or payoff or award. It’s just a quiet, solitary triumph over the idea that she couldn’t do it, and it all happens before I even wake up.

He ends his article with this:

“This won’t be the last time we gather at the finish line to marvel how much more we can take than anyone ever thought possible.”

After running my first half marathon on Sunday, I do know that at the heart of this runners will come together. Regardless of the way the media sensationalizes what happens, Americans will stand strong and our hearts go out to each and everyone impacted yesterday.