Since I first watched the Boston Marathon from the top of Heartbreak Hill as a Boston College freshman and said, “I want to do that,” I’ve been running. Some years I’ve trained for and completed marathons, some years I’ve just puttered through with shitty mileage, but I haven’t stopped.
Having ran the race twice myself, ran my friends into the finish, had barefoot contingents lead me half-delirious to the right on Hereford, left on Boylston, and also having experienced the race as a spectator myself for many years, Marathon Monday has always been a truly special day. Which makes yesterday’s horrific attack all the more stingingly acute.
Between countless hours of watching the news, looking at way too many photos, and making sure their loved ones are accounted for and okay, everyone’s been processing the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings differently.
For me, so far, it’s been with music.
Over the years my running playlists have included quite the range of music – dirty, dirty rap, the Last of the Mohicans score, death metal, pop, classic rock, you name it – even spoken word has made an appearance. I love running with music. Some hate it, some say it’s bad, but I find it inspiring. For most of my six marathons, I’ve picked a race song, a song that has really spoken to me during training and embodies how I feel about the race, the running – life, really.
And it’s funny how some of those have been popping into my head, speaking to me in their own way throughout today, connecting the dots. Like my 2010 Boston Marathon song.
It’s funny how while working a song will come on that makes me pause and brings me right back to yesterday’s scenes again. It’s been a pendulum between a comforting lull and a reminder that yesterday was real, and I feel called to revisit the news again, just to make sure.
The guitar riff from “Fix You” has always made me feel like I want to run until I can’t run anymore. Especially today. To run all the feelings out of my gut.
And then some have made me hopeful.
Carry on, Boston.