What happened at the Boston Marathon today was horrifying. In fact, the past few days have been tough. Last week we learned a young family friend has cancer. Friday we found out an amazing person and her husband experienced a horrifying, unexpected situation. Today we watched as bombs went off at the finish line of one of our country’s most prominent marathons. These past few days have been filled with pain, confusion and a need for comfort. Not only for me, but for many people in my life, the running community and this nation. These are situations that impact so many people. So many good people. This is a time to remember what’s important in your life and to hold your loved ones close.
After about 11 miles, 22 obstacles designed by British Special Forces, more mud than I could have imagined, bruises, cuts and awesome team camaraderie, I am officially a Tough Mudder. Yesterday when I toed the line with hundreds of people I’d never met and my team of about 15, I had no idea how important we would all be to each other for the next four hours of our lives. The Tough Mudder is considered one of the toughest events on the planet and I couldn’t agree more. While marathons test endurance and mental strength, the Tough Mudder also requires overcoming fears, risking the unknown, trust and teamwork.When asked which was more difficult, I would answer they are just different and probably not for everyone.
Sometimes running can be a lonely sport. While races are filled with hundreds of cheering fans and many congratulatory texts, training runs are often long, solo and rarely celebrated. For many, this alone time is part of the joy of running. A time to reflect, let go and just run. But even during those 20-mile training runs or quick run commute, remember, you are not alone. I saw this Runner’s Prayer on Pinterest and had to share it. It is originally from “Day by Day: The Notre Dame Prayerbook for Students.”
Run by my side; live in my heartbeat;
give strength to my steps.
As the cold surrounds, as the wind pushes me,
I know you surround me.
As the sun warms me, as the rain cleanses me,
I know you are touching me, challenging me, loving me.
And so I give you this run.
Thank you for matching my stride.