Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Memory No Runner Should Have

We normally don't go back and re-read a post that we've already published ( unless it's to fix a typo, and I'm sure we've missed a few of those over the year), but recently I've been finding that going back through our blog to be very helpful.  It lets me remember details of an event I may have forgotten about and when I went to Physical Therapy for the first time I had to write down when I started feeling my symptoms. I could not recall when my pain started, so I looked on the blog to see when I first started complaining about it, I mean "Mentioned" it! 

There is one particular day/event that I probably will never forget the details of because it was one of the most emotional days I've ever experienced.

If you've read our blog from day one, then you may already know what I am about to say, but considering what time of year it is, I thought it was worth resurfacing.



America was certainly shocked when they heard the news of the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013.  I cried. My sister was there running.

 The day I found out that my sister was going to be running in the Boston Marathon, I promptly got online and starting asking advice about hotels. My sister got her notice that she would be able to run the marathon only a few weeks before, so we didn’t exactly have a lot of time to prepare. Either myself or someone in my family (usually my mom) has been to every one of her races and I wasn’t about to miss what could potentially be the biggest race of her life. So I booked two nights at a hotel in Boston. I spent the rest of the week deciphering how I was going to get to all the weekend events (while using public transportation). What train would I use to get to the expo? How would I meet her at the pasta party? Which train was running on race day? How early would I have to leave the hotel? Would I get lost? How would I meet up with her after the race?  Would I be okay driving the 380 miles to Massachusetts all by myself? I was starting to feel anxiety. This was not like watching a race in Disney, or VA Beach (where she usually runs). I had never been to Boston. This was an unfamiliar city to me and I felt like I didn’t have enough time to do all the research I needed to feel comfortable navigating myself around. After finding out that the train I would need (I think it was part of the green line) would not be operating on race day, I decided I couldn’t do this. I cancelled the hotel at the last minute. I felt confident that my sister would be okay. She would be meeting up with some race friends and she could stay with them. They would make sure she got to where she needed to be, and quite frankly I thought that I may just be a burden to her as I tagged along. I didn’t want her to have to worry about me.

 I can’t believe that one split second decision could have potentially saved my life. Watching my sister race is a big deal to me and I always luck out and get a great spot near the finish line to watch her. I don’t know that I would have been in danger, but I know for a fact that I would have been on Boylston Street and I would have been near the finish line holding my sign for her!

 So with blinds pulled open, the sun shining in, and a yellow Labrador sitting on my lap, I watched the race on TV that April afternoon. I watched what little coverage they provided on the Universal Sports channel ( after the elite runners finish, they don’t show the average runners, so I turned it off and went about my business) I got the automatic text saying that my sister Lacey crossed the finish line (in many races, you can sign up for runner tracking.  Each runner wears a tracking chip on their bib. As they cross the finish line it sends a text to your phone giving you the time they finished).   She didn’t actually text me herself, but I knew she had finished. I did text her phone saying “Congrats! You even beat your Disney World marathon time!” I then got a call from a number I didn’t recognize. It was Lacey. She said she just wanted to tell me she was ok.  I could tell by her voice that something was very wrong. I said “what?” I had no idea what she was talking about at the time. She then told me about the explosion at the finish line; it was bad, people had lost limbs, and people died. I just started crying and then turned on the TV to see what was going on. I continued to cry.  I then had to call my mom at work and tell her what had happened before she saw it on the news and started panicking herself. Even though I told her my sister was okay,  I could tell that my mom was an emotional mess. And my dad, well, it was the first day of trout season so he was off fishing and had no clue what was happening.
 I was scared for my sister. I am extremely grateful that she crossed the finish line when she did. Only by the help of God she was able to exceed her expected finish time. She crossed exactly six minutes before the first explosion. She had just got her medal and was in line getting Gatorade and water when it happened.

 I was SO Glad that my sister was okay, but I could have potentially loss my sister the same day I loss my grandma ( she died April 15 exactly 5 years ago to the day). During all this, our home phone started ringing off the hook with people calling to see if Lacey was running and if she was okay.
 From my brief conversation with my sister, I knew she was going straight to the airport (or at least going to try to get there) I was now concerned about her safety even at the airport. My heart was breaking for her as she had to experience all this and to everyone else that was there and of course to all the victims and their family.
 My sister has a stressful enough job as a flight attendant and has to worry about this kind of situation affecting her safety on a daily basis. But now it is affecting the thing she loves to do for fun, running! What is this world coming to?
 
 She finally did make it home on a very late flight Monday night. As I waited in the airport  with flowers and balloons for my sister, an older lady asked what the occasion was and with a teary eye, I told her that I was just happy that my sister was alive and that she made it home safely from the Boston Marathon. She then told her friends, who then told their husbands. So by the time Lacey entered the terminal even complete strangers were clapping for her and hugging her. It was quite an emotional night!
Thirteen days later, Lacey flew to California to complete the second half of the Boston to Big Sur Challenge.  Two races, Two Coast, thirteen days apart.  I was even more frightened for her safety there. I had visions of something going wrong on that big bridge. Thank goodness everything turned out okay.   Although she has no desire to run the Boston Marathon again anytime soon, Lacey continued to run 6 more marathons. Her 7th will be  the Big Sur Marathon later this month.
If you'd like to read Lacey's Boston marathon recap from race day, you can read it HERE.
 
Do you ever go back and re-read memories from your blog?   Will you be watching the Boston marathon on TV this year?

53 comments:

  1. Good morning Meranda! You're tough to get in touch with! The email I have for you doesn't work and you're not following me on Twitter so I can't DM you! You're a winner of the 14 in 2014 Spring Fling giveaway. Send me your mailing address and you're prize will be on its way!

    Congratulations :)

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  2. So glad your sister had the timing that she did. How stressful that must have been!

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    1. Yes, we are all very thankful that she finished when she did!

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  3. Wow. I just started reading your blog a couple of months ago so I has no idea your sister ran Boston last year. I agree, the grace of God leads us to certain situations, shields us from others, and carries us through the tough times. Thanks for sharing this post.

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    1. Thank you for being a reader of our blog! Maybe one day she will have the desire to run Boston again!

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  4. I've been thinking about Boston all week and will be praying for a safe and great run to be had by all the runners next week. It's still shocking to think about what happened last year, and you are very right when you say that it's a memory NO runner should have to have.

    I am so glad Lacey was/is ok! God definitely was looking after her that day!

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    1. Thank you so much Lauren! One of our friends whom was at Boston as well last year said it best when we said "What should have been a triumph for all, was a tragedy for many".

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  5. I will try to watch Boston from work on Monday. It was on Universal Sports online for free last year and I really hope they have it that way this year. I'd always felt safe in Boston, even after 9/11, and even though I hadn't lived in Boston for 4 years as of last year, my safety felt shattered.

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    1. I was watching it on Universal Sports Chanel last year too! Hopefully they will continue to show it this year! Lets hope everyone feels secure this year as I 'm pretty sure Safety will be their first priority.

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  6. What an incredible miracle - that Lacey not ran the race as fast as she did but that she made it out of harm's way just in the nick of time. Having to worry about the safety and well being of a loved one is something that nobody should ever have to go through.

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    1. She wasn't expecting to finish that fast, but something made her want to push harder at the end and we are so thankful she did.

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  7. Oh my god. What a terrifying experience it must have been for both of you. So glad you were both safe and sound, and that she made it across the finish line safely. I didn't know anyone running that day...I can't even imagine. Thanks so much for sharing this.

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    1. Now that we have become involved in the blogging community we know about a dozen people who will be running Boston this year. We will all be praying for their safety! Thanks Jennifer!

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  8. This is so emotional and I am glad that your sister was unscathed. I wasn't reading your blog at this time last year either so I had no idea your sister ran the Boston Marathon in 2013. I hope that nothing like this happens again but sadly it seems like our new reality. Thank you for sharing this again because it really is so important to remember times like this when we came together as a community to deal with tragedy and persevere.

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    1. We are so glad that you have become a reader! It is very sad that people need to be fearful when doing something they enjoy ( especially something they are doing for their health).

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  9. Wow what a terrifying experience for you both to endure! I just found your blog, so I had not read your account or your sisters of the marathon. Wow. Just wow. (((HUGS))) to you both.

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    1. Thank you for finding us Desiree, we hope you stay around a while!

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  10. So happy that Lacey was okay <3 Thank you for sharing this with us! It's hard to believe that it's already been a year.

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    1. Yes, I will always remember this day for so many reasons!

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  11. The strangers cheering and hugging your sister at the airport - that must have been so nice!

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    1. I bet that is just what she needed after the day she experienced. I often felt bad because she really didn't get to celebrate the achievement of Running the Boston Marathon.

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  12. So scary to think what a difference of a few minutes can mean....

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    1. Tell me about it. I'm glad she was as fast as she was!

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  13. Wow this brought tears to my eyes, so much emotion. I can't even imagine how you were feeling. I am so glad you were both okay, and made it through such a traumatic experience.

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    1. Thank you Courtney! It definitely was an emotional time that I don't think either of us will forget.

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  14. I am SO happy your sister was okay and that you stayed home! Reading this made me cry, its still really fresh for so many of us.

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    1. Thank you for reading. It still makes me very sad when I read this ( and I wrote it)! I will be watching for you on TV this year and will be cheering you on from my home!

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  15. OMG! This made me cry! I'm so happy your sister was okay!! I can't believe it has been a year but everyone is coming back stronger than ever!!! Hope your day is going well!!

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    1. Thank you! April 15 is already an emotional day for us for several reasons.

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  16. Wow... I have to agree 100% with your sentiment on this post: We never know how even the smallest or inconsecuential of decisions affect our future. Thankfully your sister was OK but even then, this tragedy touched all the runners who were there and all of us who weren't.

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    1. Ye it is amazing how many people where effected by this act. Like you said, it even effected those who weren't physically there.

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  17. Thank goodness your family was physically unscathed by this horror; emotionally I realize it is another story. I, too, had tears in my eyes reading of your sister's welcoming by strangers at the airport. We are Boston Strong, America Strong and Runner Strong. One large team cheering for each other over the din of that chaotic day. Give your sister a pat on the back for us!

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    1. Thank you for reading and for your sweet words!

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  18. Oh my goodness, what a sense if relief you must have had when you finally saw your sister. I totally broke down and cried when I read the part about people clapping at the airport! So glad everybody was okay on your end :)

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    1. Thank you so much for reading. We didn't mean to make you cry, but it really was emotional being there when she stepped off the plane with the medal around her neck.

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  19. Wow this sent chills down my spine. I watched a special report on TV yesterday about the bombings and was bawling. And I was PISSED. Is your sister running Boston this year?

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    1. She has chose not to run Boston this year, but she will be doing the second half of the Boston to Big sur challenge as she will be running Big sur at the end of the month.

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  20. Good God. I cannot even imagine this. I had chills reading this. After getting to know you two I couldn't imagine something happening to either of you. I'm so happy both you and your sister are alive.

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  21. Oh my goodness. I am so sorry that you and your sister had to go through that and I'm so glad you are both ok! Thanks so much for sharing your story on such an emotional anniversary for competitive runners, casual runners, and pretty much all of America!

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  22. They say that everything happens for a reason...you were not meant to be there that day. Sometimes looking back helps us move forward. I like to read my old posts like a virtual scrapbook.

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  23. What a post, I am just speechless. I can't imagine how scary this was for both of you! Glad you both ended up being safe.

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    1. Thank you! I really was frightened for my sister's safety even after I knew she was unharmed.

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    2. Thank you! I really was frightened for my sister's safety even after I knew she was unharmed.

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  24. I am so glad she's ok. Wow...6 minutes before...that's incredible. I love the airport story, it had me in tears!

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  25. What a STUNNING STORY!! Oh my goodness! It's so weird how fate works and in this situation, I AM THRILLED FOR YOU AND YOUR SISTER - you're such a great sister too :)

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  26. I've got chills just reading this. I am SO glad you both are ok. I cannot imagine what she went through and what you went through as well. You two are so lucky and fortunate to have each other as sisters. :)

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  27. I loved that story, I am so glad you shared it! It just shows the love you guys have for one another, so inspiring! Sometimes life works out in ways that at the time we may think aren't the best, but in retrospect we realize fate sometimes has a helping hand.
    I'll be (joinging you) cheering for your sister as she competes in Big Sur!! So amazing!

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  28. Thanks for sharing your story. So glad Lacey is ok.

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  29. It's amazing how the decisions we make can have such an impact. Thanks for sharing, I'm sure it wasn't easy to look back on the experience.

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  30. Wow. I can't even imagine how emotionally overwhelming that all must have been, even now as we're close to the Boston Marathon. I'm so glad Lacey is okay. Everything truly happens for a reason - there was a reason Lacey finished 6 minutes ahead and there was a reason you canceled your hotel. So, so scary.

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  31. What an amazing story. I'm so glad you are both ok and the part about the airport put tears in my eyes.

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