N is for… Not Real

      One hour ago my feet were pounding over a running trail in this forest I love. There was nothing more on my mind than the Cream of Asparagus Soup I had left simmering on my stove for my prework out lunch on this chilly April day.
     My legs were flying through the dirt as I made my way through the thick fog on this well known trail.
     I heard pops around me as the rain just began to fall into the manzanita bushes and I pushed my self faster to get back to my SUV before the rain really began coming down.
     My Asic running shoes pelted the dirt trail as I reached my vehicle.
     My phone started going off.
     Text message after text message.
     Across the country three thousand miles away the Boston Marathon had been bombed.
      I’m a trail runner, veteran of two half marathons and I run something like twelve to thirty trail miles a week.
      I read these words as I stretched against the side of my SUV;
      The words seemed unreal and did not even make sense to me in my mind.
      Friends were texting me
      One friend saying “If I had been running Boston this would have been about my finishing time”
      My thoughts went to my dental hygienist.
      As she had cleaned my teeth four days ago she had cheerfully told me how she was running the Boston Marathon in a few days for the first time.
      It was one of the best dental experiences I have ever had. We talked for forty five minutes (With their hands in my mouth; yea it was awkward on my part) about running and our love for the sport.
     I can’t even remember her name but I hope she is okay.
     Earlier this morning a good friend of mine had posted on FaceBook how one of her customers (She is a masseuse) was running the Boston Marathon today. Chery had been mentioning on Face Book how bummed she was that NBC Sports was not showing this race live. I thank thank god for that now; can you imagine if NBC Sports had been showing the race live and you were sitting across the country watching for your friends and family and saw this happen?
     I drove home as fast as I could after my race and found myself glued to the breaking news.
    My Mom called me to ask me if I had seen this. I could tell from her voice that she was thinking that could have been me; that could have been my daughter who loves to run.
    Also I know she was thinking in her heart about the city of Boston itself. Boston is a city my family migrated from to sunny Southern California in the sixties. You can hear that Boston accent in my own voice when I pronounce the word “Quarter.” Boston and Dorchester were home to my grandparents, my mom and my aunts when they were young children.
   This is such another sad day for our country.
   A bombing at a race like this; It just seems unreal.


  1. SouthMainMuse

    It was definitely sad and surreal. I kept thinking of all the people who were so excited to be there because of the honor to get in. I have never run trails but my doctor ran a trail marathon last year. She’s going to do two more this year. Now that would be a workout.

  2. cynk

    Since I’m not a runner, I don’t really follow running events. I never really thought about how a huge event like this marathon attracts participants from all over. You’ve shown how this bombing can touch people outside of Boston.

  3. Samantha Brinn Merel

    when I first read about it, it was minutes after it happened, and no one really had a handle on what was going on. And when people started whispering “bomb,” I also just thought over and over again, “not real.” And of course, it was, and we remain confused and we are sad. But I think that even though the sadness, the most important thing to do is to keep running, because that’s what we are. We’re runners, so we run. And no one can take that away from us, no matter how hard they try.

  4. MOCK!

    I am not a runner but am in New England. I attended college in Boston. I appreciate your vignette. The “story” may be in Boston but the ripples are everywhere.

  5. Kirsten Oliphant

    It’s wild how events trickle down and affect so many of us in different ways and places. I love reading the accounts of how runners connect, and I hope that your dental hygienist makes it home.

  6. Meg

    Boston is my favorite city in the world. I look at it as a pedestrian and a history geek, but I dont see the city, or the event, as a runner would. I really appreciate the perspective you bring to this.

  7. Larks

    I went to school in New England and have a bunch of friends and family in Boston. I spent a good chunk of Monday praying they all had suddenly lost interest in running and spent the day indoors safely pigging out on their sofas. So surreal and tragic.

  8. 50Peach

    I think we’ll all remember where we were when we heard about Boston. My runs since have been somber, but have purpose greater than ever now.

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