Monday, February 24, 2014

My Boston Experience...Part2

That night after returning home I climbed into bed and laid with my husband. I physically felt so ill.   I told him I wanted to go to the hospital, that I felt I was so behind the 8-ball with my hydration that I simply couldn't catch up. But instead of going to the hospital my husband woke me every 20 minutes or so and made me drink 4-6 oz of fluid.  The next morning I got up and turned on the TV. Living here in the Boston suburbs it was on every network. I watched about an hour and I simply didn't want to see it any more. By then the home phone was ringing off the hook. My mother, best friends, in-laws all wanted to talk with me and I basically retold my story over and over.  It was mentally exhausting.  It wasn't until my talking to my mother-in-law and I said "Really, it's no big deal" she said "Deana you survived a terrorist attack" mind went blank....I started to sob and say "Omg I did".  I dodged a huge life changing event.

Pic via:
My Facebook page was blown up with messages...people commenting back and forth... have you heard from she ok.  Thankfully my sister posted on my page shorty after the bombings when she had heard from my mother that I was ok.  My cell phone had over 20 voice mails and 40 texts.  I never listened to my voice mails until 4 days later.  The voice mails were so hard to listen too.  One of my closets friends called frantically panicking, her voice shaking, you could hear her tears, "Deana where are you...we were tracking you on the computer....I know you crossed the 25 mile mark...where are you!"  I still hear that voicemail in my head and it sends chills up my spine.  People who I haven't spoken too in years were calling.  One friend in particular, with whom I had a, not so great parting of the ways, called after 3 years of silence in our relationship, which sent a whole other set of emotional baggage into play.  It was nuts and draining on so many levels.  But all in all the out pouring of people who cared about me was amazing.  People in my new town who at that time didn't know me very well, called, brought flowers.  They rallied.  The women of my book club all wrote me amazing messages and my friend Kathy delivered them to me to read.  Their words of encouragement were inspiring.

But over that week my mind started to process the many "coincidences" of the day.
1.  My hubs starting a project at work & not being able to come to the finish.
2.  My sitter saying she didn't feel comfortable bringing my kids to the finish.
3.  Putting my phone in my zipper pocket at the last minute, when I have never ran with my phone in a race.
4.  Having a $5 bill in my water bottle zipper pocket that's been there for 2 years.
5.  Walking Heartbreak see if I hadn't walked Heartbreak hill I would have been in downtown.  I trained for running focus was just to run/jog no matter how slow. But I didn't.

So are these coincidences or acts of divine intervention?  That was a question that haunted me for many weeks following the race.  I believe with all my heart the latter.  It's the "why" did God help me and not others I struggled with.  I also was angry...Angry at the men who took the safety and sanctity of running from me.  Running has been my release, my escape, my way of dealing with stress and depression, my joy. That joy was taken, tarnished.  I have never "feared" for my safety or the safety of my family at a race.  But now that has changed.

Friends, Kim, Tara & I posing on the finish.
This is the only time I  got to see the finish line was
the day before when I picked up my number.
I also didn't get to cross the infamous finish line. It's a marathoners right of passage. You pound the payment week after week imagining race day. You project your time and envision the finish.  On race day the last 1/4 mile of a race are electric. You run down the street to thousands of screaming spectators. People cheer for you even though they do not know you. The amazing thing about road racing is that in the moment those spectators are there with you...fighting for you to finish strong.  But I never got that satisfaction. The days that followed many people said "Well you were close enough, it counts."  I said "Until you run under that timer and have some random person put a medal around your neck, you don't feel like you finished. Something is left incomplete."  I have to give the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) props, I did receive a medal, but it still doesn't feel like I earned it.  The BAA also gave anyone who reached the 13.1 mile marker and didn't cross the finish line an opportunity to claim a number for this years race, which is an unprecedented decision.  I applause the BAA for being empathetic and giving those of us a chance to finish what we started.

So now as I prepare for this years race and have had time with my thoughts on my long runs. In part1 I talked about the race day a little.  Preparing for Boston last year was my lifeline.  We had just moved to a new state, a new town.  I was a newly full-time stay at home mom, which I have never been, I have either worked full time or part time my whole life.  Training each day was my soul purpose other than my wifely/motherly household duties.  I had no friends, running and working out was my everything.  So going into the race day I felt fantastically prepared!  This was my moment.
 I am sad to admit that I am scared for race day.  Safety...Um Yes...I can tell you that neither my husband or children will be at the finish line this year, and I am a-ok with that.  But not even that as much as how I felt last year vs this year, physically and mentally.

Prior to the bombings I was having the race of my life.  I felt great, I made it to the start line uninjured (which is a feat for some runners, including me). The weather was perfect (which I had yet to get perfect race day conditions at any of my other marathons), I was crushing my previous marathon times by 20 minutes!!!  Whoot whoot a personal best and I was having a blast. Each town you run through in Boston has it's own vibe which is palpable.  Literally it was one of the top 10 days of my life.  But if I'm being completely honest I'm scared I will not be able to live up to that again.  I want that....I feel I deserve that ending.  But we all know life doesn't give us perfect scenario re-dos and not living up to my own expectations is so scary to me.  My husband said to me the other day "why are you giving up?"  I guess I hadn't thought about it that way.  But in my mind I was...expecting the worst.  But I'm changing my attitude.  I'm going to do this and enjoy every little minute!

So thank you dear readers for reading and commenting....It's not as horrific as what some people experienced, but it is my story and it has shaped how I look at life now.  I try to be more present, enjoy the little things because it can be taken in an instant when you least expect it.

xo~ Deana


  1. I remember that day like it was yesterday! I thought about you all morning while at the airport getting ready to fly cross country. When I landed in Denver for my layover, phones turning on and the plane filled with Bostonia'sn began to panic, talk and cry.....My heart dropped that you would be hurt and those 3 precious kids of yours and loving husband in danger. I emailed as soon as I heard and what a relief when I heard you were safe at home.
    As you prepare for this years marathon we will be cheering for you even more than last! You are an amazing person and you deserve a FANTASTIC finish! Here's to you crossing that finish line and having the run of your life!

    1. Thank you Heather. I remember you checking in on me. It's not a time I am likely to forget.