Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston Sadness

I posted this morning about my nostalgia for this race, and my excitement today for all my friends running the Boston Marathon.  Even though technically I could have run it this year, I didn't register for it, instead hoping to do speed training all spring and very little distance running.  Here's how my day unfolded:

I got to work late (that whole thing about running to and from work means I have to bring all my clothes and lunches for the week, plus my laptop, to the office on Monday mornings).  Then I spent pretty much all morning sitting at my computer tracking my running friends.  Not working.  Oops.  Tracking my friends is apparently my Marathon Monday tradition if I'm not running.  

All morning, I'd been taking fun pics on my cell phone of how my friends' splits were unfolding.  Planned to do a fun post about it tomorrow morning. 

My first shot of the morning, before anyone had gotten to the half-way point, but all had passed at least the 5k mark, so they all had projected finish times (the middle column): 

Then I was able to click on individual names to see exactly how their races were progressing:

Here's a friend who scared me, with the 8:44 average pace for a 5k, but it turns out it was just a porta-potty stop:

What it looked like when almost all my friends were about halfway done:

Here's one of my best running buddies, running steady, but faster than his predicted 3:15 (crazy fast in my book), because he was getting on a flight shortly after the race back to Dallas since he's expecting his first baby this week: 

Here's another running buddy, the one who was pacing me at my disatrous 15k the weekend before last.  Clearly, he's running faster than I did during the 15k, and he's doing it for an entire marathon!  Amazing splits: 

Here's a friend who decided she wasn't feeling great, so she let up on the pace early and said it was her most fun Boston ever: 

Another friend encountering the Newton Hills and easing up on the pace: 

And then finally, I have finish times for all nine of my friends: 

The last friend (third from the top in the photo above) crossed the line with a gun time of 3:56. That was almost 1:00 my time. I spent another 15 minutes or so checking exact Re-Q times that friends needed to see who is in for next year, and who isn't.  (For reference, you have to qualify to run Boston, and that means meeting a minimum required time.  For men under age 35, you need a 3:05, for women under 35, you need a 3:35.  Then about every 5 years, you get about 5 more minutes (for example, at my age, I need a 3:40 or faster).) 

I was hungry, thirsty and had to pee, so I finally got up from my computer. I made lunch, filled my water glass, went to the bathroom, and came back to my desk to begin the stream of "congrats" texts that I wanted to send everyone.

And then, at about 2:00, I got a call from my local best friend to ask if I was watching the Boston news.  I thought she meant tracking my friends.  I said I hadn't been watching, but I'd been looking online and it was great, so many PRs, so many great races.  Then she said to go to a Fox Boston affiliate station and told me about the horrible explosions that had happened at the finish line. 

I then spent another hour-plus not working, but glued to my computer and to my phone, checking in on each and every one of my friends. 

And my phone was also buzzing with people checking in on me.  Friends who don't live in Dallas who didn't know for sure if I was running it or not.  Cousins who didn't know.  Local running friends checking in to see who I'd heard from, just going through the chain to make sure everyone was okay. 

And of course I was reading news reports and looking at photos in the interim (from cnn):

And then looking at the finish line, devoid of people except for clean-up crews.  Instead of a stream of charity runners trailing in (they don't need to meet qualifying times), and a crowd of spectators cheering them on, the bleachers were deserted, and the street filled with emergency vehicles:

While of course I'm glad that I wasn't running it this year, and that everyone I know personally is okay, the current news reports are that 2 are dead and about 50 injured (and about 27,000 unable to walk, but unrelated to the explosions). 
It makes me insanely sad, as I'm sure it does others. 
This may be the saddest post I've ever written.  I will say, it makes me want to run that race again. 


  1. It is heartbreaking Carina. My son and I were there just 2 hours earlier very close to the finish line. We left to meet my sister at her office for lunch. Then we left to head home to the western part of the state. As I got onto the highway I began noticing an odd amount of police cars, motorcycles and state troopers all racing towards Boston. My sister called to tell me what had happened. I'm so grateful to be home safe, but I'm just devastated for those affected by this. What started out as such a beautiful peaceful day has turned into a nightmare for so many. I'm so glad to hear all of your friends are safe.

    1. Oh, how scary to have known you were so close and simple timing could have changed everything. I didn't know you were going to watch. My heart is breaking, and my eyes are brimming still, and it's been hours. Just can't stop thinking about those people out there to cheer, the police everywhere but it still happened.

  2. I hear you Carina! This is so heartbreaking. I feel incredibly saddened by yesterday. I'm constantly finding myself tearing up thinking about it. What a devastating day for what should be such a joyous occasion. So, so sad.