Somber 5K for Boston


Yesterday was Patriots Day in Boston.  For those of you who don’t live here, it’s a state holiday, also known as Marathon Monday.  It’s a day off for most of us.  A day of cheering fans, triumphant stories, and amazing display of athleticism of thousands of people.  For someone training for a 5K, and just recently fell in love with running, I have even more respect for those runners out there.

Like every year, I had yesterday off.  But because Avery’s daycare was open (it’s outside the city), and I had some hours to makeup from being home sick with him two weeks ago, we all made it a ‘normal’ Monday.  Little did we know, it would be anything but normal.

My drive to work was actually exciting.  I drive on some of the roads the marathon is run.  It was early, before 7, and they were setting up barricades, port-o-poties, water stations, and signs.  I was on the phone with my Mom chatting as she got dressed for work telling her about all the cool race stuff I was passing.

When I got to work, I popped the marathon on one of my screens and watched the Elite Runners while working.  There were only a few of us in the office.  It was a quiet day of work, but also exciting because of the events happening just miles from us.

I left work at 3 and on my way to pickup Avery, and popped on the radio – but there wasn’t music.  There was some announcement about ‘explosions’ at the Marathon finish line, happending just 10 minutes ago.  I had just passed under the city on the Masspike.  There were hundreds of people passing on the bridges, especially next to Fenway Park, and I thought nothing of it until I heard the announcement.  I immediately turned off the radio and called Vinay.  I told him I was OK and on my way out of the city headed south to get Avery.  He was OK, still at work in South Boston. When I hung up with him, I tried to get a hold of my Mom, who had sent me a text message just as I was getting on the highway.  There was no answer at home, so I left them a voicemail that we were OK.

Driving south on the highway, there were emergency vehicles with lights and sirens blasting heading into the city.  This was not good.  The people on the radio said there were two explosions and fans were injured   The played a clip of the sounds from the finish line at the time of the explosion – horrifying.  When I picked Avery up, he was fine.  I updated his teachers on the goings on.  One of them was outside on the phone trying to get details of what happened.

I packed Avery up in the car and headed home.  We listened to his kids music CD on the way.  I made a quick phone call to a coworker, because I knew his friend had ran the marathon.  We were tracking him online during the race.  He was OK.

The last thing I wanted to do when I got home was sit Avery in front of the horrible events on TV.  So we took advantage of the gorgeous weather and played at the park for an hour.  With these terrible events happening in our city, the only thing I wanted to do was be with Avery.  I was in shock from how close to home these events were and for them not to affect us – I was just so thankful and all I wanted was to be with Avery… my happy little guy running around the park, falling on his butt, yelling ‘dog-dog’ as an owner walked his dog down the street, pointing at planes in the sky.  Just being with him calmed me.  He even found a tree and was thrilled to sit up high in it.

Avery in a tree

When we got back to the house, I got in touch with my Dad, who hadn’t heard anything about it yet, and my sister texted, making sure we were OK.  When Vinay got home, we popped the TV on and got updated on the horrible events.  Avery had a normal afternoon, ate a yummy dinner of mac and cheese and a WHOLE hot dog, followed by half a clementine for desert.  At bath time, when Avery was more interested in pouring water from one plastic cup to another than playing with us, Vinay and I popped open our phones and we realized the cell service in Boston had been turned off and people were wondering where everyone is.  I had text messages and phone calls from friends making sure we were OK (I usually leave my phone somewhere when I’m playing with Avery and always miss calls and messages cuz of that). I quickly posted this on Facebook:

facebook post

I did a sweep of facebook and saw that one of our friend’s boyfriend had run the marathon and got stopped and diverted at 25.8 miles.  So close!  At least he was safe.  But can you imagine?  Training for so long for such a big event, and having THIS happen?!  And my cousin and his family went to the Sox game, along with my Project Manager at work – they were all OK.  Thank you email and Facebook.

We did our usual night time routine with Avery.  Pajamas, books, and I rock him a little to cuddle before putting him in his crib to sleep.  Last night I must have held him much much longer than usual because he was almost asleep when I put him down.  I guess when your city is being attacked, you’ll tend to hold your loved ones a little longer and closer.

We weren’t worried anything would happen to us.  We felt safe, just shaken up from the days events, still unfolding on TV.  I had a run scheduled, and still wanted to hit the gym.  I left Vinay to make dinner and with strict instructions to change the channel, because watching the same horrible clips on the news wasn’t good for anyone.

On my way to the gym, thinking about how everyone was contacting us wondering how we were, I made two quick phone calls, first to my Nana & Papa (my Mom’s parents) and then to my Grandma & Grandpa (Dad’s parents)… knowing they were probably wondering and worried.  They were glad to hear we were OK.

When I got to the gym, I was on a mission.  Today people were hurt, and killed.  People in my city.  The only city I’ve ever known.  The city I went to college.  I ran those streets my Freshman year after the Sox won the world series in 2004.  Crowds of thousands streaming towards Fenway Park – where just two days ago, Avery went to his first Red Sox game.  How could someone do something so horrible to this beautiful city, on such a joyous occasion?!

I had my first 3 mile run scheduled for this past Sunday, but I skipped it to spend time with my family visiting and to finish our taxes.  Good thing too, because last night I was full of emotion, hurt, anger, and shock – and I needed to vent it somehow.  So, I ran an impromptu 5K.  Just me and the treadmill, in a very empty gym (which is understandable – as I’m sure everyone wanted to be home with loved ones).  I kept a steady pace and went for it, and finished my first 5K in 35:00.  No, it’s not record-breaking, or even anything to brag about.  But for those people affected by the explosions at the Marathon finish line – this was for them.  For those thousands of runners that got diverted and didn’t get to finish their marathon – this was for them.  No, it wasn’t 26.2 miles, but it was the furthest I have ever run, and it was for them.

Attacks like this are forever going to change our city and especially the Boston Marathon, but damned if we don’t see MORE runners at the marathon next year…. and maybe one year, I’ll be one of them.

Week Dates Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 3/11-3/17 Rest Zumba 1m run (10:51) Rest 1m run (11:23)
2 3/18-3/24 Rest Zumba 1.5m run (17:09) Zumba 2m run (23:10)
3 3/25-3/31 Rest Zumba 2m run (22:27) Rest
4 4/1-4/7 Rest Zumba 2.5m run (28:40)  1m stroll Rest
2.5m run (27:55)
5 4/8-4/14 Rest 2.5m run (27:10)
6 4/15-4/21 3.1m run (35:00) Zumba 3.1m run (00:00) 1.5m stroll Zumba 3.1m run
7 4/22-4/28 Rest Zumba 3.1m run 1.5m stroll Zumba 3.5m run
8 4/29-5/5 Rest Zumba 3.5m run 1.5m stroll Zumba 4m run
9 5/6-5/12 Rest Zumba 3.1m run 2m stroll Rest 5k Race!

14 thoughts on “Somber 5K for Boston

  1. I’m glad you and your family are safe and doing fine. I can’t imagine how scary and unsettling yesterday must have been. Our thoughts are with you and the bigger community during this difficult time. And I’m really proud of your excellent run last night! Best wishes. XO

  2. So happy to hear that you are all okay. I was thinking about you guys when I heard the news. Such a tragedy! Congratulations on the run and way to use that negative energy to do something positive!

  3. Your post brought a tear to my eye Meghan and my thoughts are with all those who were affected. I’m so glad you are all safe and I totally understand your feelings about wanting to be with Avery, whenever something sad happens I just want to be with Elisabeth. Well done on your 5k, running is a great way to deal with anger and all sorts of other emotions.

  4. Oh Meghan, I have been thinking about you since I heard the news that afternoon. While these events are never easy it is even more eye opening when they occur so “close to home”. All we can do is focus on the good and not let the evil win. What other choice do we have?

    • I agree. The fear intended by these type of events is not the route I’m going. It’s more of a motivator to keep training to be a runner and maybe one day I’ll run Boston. I’d much rather have this attitude than stop running to be ‘safe.’

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