Monthly Archives: April 2013

Getting back in the swing of things

Day by day, I am getting there. Everyday more and more stories of individuals committing to run the Boston Marathon next year, victims being reunited with their rescuers, and amazing “pay it forward” gestures, are helping me get there. What happened last Monday was not about me, it affected me and sent me reeling, but it is about coming together as a community, celebrating heroes, and realizing how deep caring and love for one another and our city goes.

Last week was also school vacation week. Which means that this week has included lots of getting back into school routines, errands, trying to eat more healthily and making my way back to running.  The gorgeous weather yesterday and today definitely helped get me in the running spirit; I was beyond excited to run with a friend after school in a tank in shorts. I can’t remember the last time I ran without my super warm running tights. Oh, and my sweet new sneaks helped in the motivation department as well 🙂

ImageIt felt good to run. Actually it felt amazing. My legs were ready, I was ready. I am ready for my next running challenge, my next goal. For today that goal was survive my training session.  I did it, though the jury is out on whether or not I’ll be racing my first graders on the field tomorrow or too sore to do anything more than a hobble across the playground. 

Now for the healthy eating part of “getting back into the swing of things.” I figure if I eat healthily for most meals, a nightly treat can’t be all that bad. I rediscovered quinoa last night, and might have found another way I like to eat it (other than covered in cheese and breadcrumbs). Progress. Healthy dinner followed by ice cream, it’s all about the balance, right? And slowly but surely, with lots of balls in the air, I’m finding my balance again.

I want to do something for those who were hurt, killed and affected in last week’s tragedy. But I figure I need to get myself back on track before I can do anything for anyone else. Kind of like the airplane safety message of “secure your own oxygen mask before helping someone else.” First step, getting back into the swing of things.

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I am lucky. I have to continue to be grateful. At 2:50pm last Monday, my family and friends were a block and a half away from the horrific explosions. I was 3 miles away at the time. The chaos, confusion and sense of fear that ensued when I reached 25.5 miles were nothing compared to the physical and emotional pain of the victims, runners, spectators, first responders and volunteers who were on Bolyston at 2:50pm. And yet, I am still shaken and so sad. Since getting back to Boston on Sunday afternoon, I’ve felt like I’m going through the motions-almost sitting back and watching someone else live by life. This sounds dramatic I know, but go with me for a moment.

Going to mass at BC was amazing, uncharacteristic of me, but so calming and gave me a sense of support now that I’m back from being home with family. Walking into work on Monday, I started shaking with anxiety. I don’t know why, I love my school, love my coworkers, love the kids. It was a rocky day for me, but the hugs, smiles and support I received from friends and coworkers made a world of difference. 

I’m moving in the direction of my “normal life”, but I know it is still a little while away. I need time. Boston needs time. The tragedy,  and sadness endures, but as time goes on images of people coming together, stories of people doing whatever they can to help others help. Reading the story of a victim, who immediately after losing her leg decided that she wants to run the Boston Marathon for the first time next year, inspires me. Getting back into running myself a few times last week at home, helped. My amazing friend who tolerated my slower, recovery pace, helped. And my run tomorrow will help–as will the spectacular weather that is forecasted.  Living in this amazing city, being surrounded by brave, determined, selfless people helps. Bostonians are strong-don’t mess with ’em.

While I’m not sure I’m worthy of the “Bostonian” title yet, 6 years of living here means this place is a part of me. And a big part. Boston Strong. And a little Boston sunshine from a warmer day than today…

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For Here All Are One

I have missed writing here. And I will write again soon. But for now, I’m so thankful that we are safe tonight and bravery trumped cowardice. My heart is still aching for those victimized and affected on Monday, April 15, 2012, and they will never be forgotten. For tonight though, I hope we all can sleep a little bit easier knowing there is no terror in the streets of Boston and our home is safe. The city of Boston stood together today, everyone in their own towns, in their own neighborhoods, in their own homes, but together in spirit and in faith. The amazing and brave first responders, members of SWAT, FBI, BPD, National Guard and other law enforcement agencies, have given us some peace amidst a week of turmoil, confusion and sadness.

I’m hoping soon I will have the energy to write a post about the great day that Monday was prior to 2:50pm, and all the inspiring individuals I encountered, but for now I’m thinking of the inspiration and bravery shown in the streets of Boston today. Sleep well, Beantown.

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For Boston

In the words of my alma mater, “For Boston, for Boston, we sing our loud refrain.” The more than 27,000 thousand runners and countless spectators of yesterday’s marathon were out for Boston, for the city, for the marathon, for the charities they ran for, for the runners they love. To say I am heartbroken is an understatement. This isn’t the post-marathon post I planned, but nothing else seems right at the moment. Hopefully sometime soon I can share the excitement and motivation of miles 1-25.5, but for now this is what I have.

The chaos and tragedy that ensued from 2:50pm yesterday consumed me, my family, my friends, and countless runners and spectators who came out for what was supposed to be an exciting day full of running, cheering and celebration. On a personal level, I have never experienced the shock and terror I did when I reached the halfway point between mile 25 and 26. I found out from a third party that my family was okay, but had no way of reaching them physically or by phone. I was alone in the city. But I was not alone in my confusion, sadness, and devastation over what had happened. Yesterday extended so far beyond me, because I was lucky. My family and friends were safe and by evening we were together.

Others weren’t so lucky. For all the motivation and inspiration that marathoners exude, nothing could’ve shielded the innocent victims from this heartless act of terror. The sadness throughout the city was so deep, and was felt by the youngest of children. My friend’s son, after hearing the explosion and seeing the faces of people around the city asked, “why do people look so sad?”. Sad. Angry. Helpless. Grateful. It is truly unimaginable to think how someone could do something that impacted so many people and took children from their parents, parents from their children.  While I am still in complete shock, I am trying to hang onto the love I have for my family and the words of a friend, “someday, someway, you will see how you impacted April 15th; how what you did on that day will have an effect on someone else.” This hope, and the hugs and smiles from all my favorite kids, is all that’s getting me through. May you have what you need to get through and may we all find some way to help those who were so deeply hurt by the events of yesterday.

Beef, Pork, Rice…and the Boston Marathon Expo!

As I drove into the city with my friend Elizabeth and we walked over to the Marathon Expo, I started feeling like a little kid on Christmas Eve. So anxious and excited and just wanted to be there so badly! Getting our numbers, t-shirts and bags for race day was pretty quick, and then we entered the expo. Wow. Holy running apparel, headbands, gu, protein bars, sneakers, treadmills, free snacks, oh and beef, pork and rice. Who knew these three foods were marathon expo worthy, let alone worthy enough to each have their own booth. I might be slightly bitter that I only got a cookbook from spinning the prize wheel at the rice booth (and Elizabeth got free rice). To cheer myself up, I settled for a delicious Hawaiian sweet roll. This counts as carb-loading, right?

 

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Walking around the expo was SO COOL. So many runners, old, young, moms, dads, serious athletes, people who came to Boston from all over the world. Lots of motivation and I bet lots of speedy runners! In addition to scoring lots of free snacks, eating my way in random samples of energy chews and protein bars (excellent idea I know), we got to sign a banner that soooo many others had covered in messages, bib numbers and names.

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Such a fun way to spend the afternoon and to start getting pumped up for Marathon Monday. I was heartbroken when we had seen every booth and it was time to leave.

ImageNow time for eating pasta, icing and resting legs, and getting my playlist together. Three days and counting!

Dreamfar or Go Home

I am a physical therapy believer. After Jamie, who runs the  Dreamfar organization, heard about my injury, she got me into physical therapy and WOW. One session yesterday and I was able to walk with no pain all night and all day today. Second session today and I was practically skipping out of the place. Well, I wanted to, and would in fact love to get a tiny run in before Monday, but I’m not going to because I want my body to be rested and healed as much as possible for the race.

I learned quite a bit about leg muscles today and also that for whatever reason, the range of motion in my left leg is less than in my right. And all issues, from shin splints to hip soreness to this calf pull were in the left leg. Huh.

Anyways, I got a lovely visit today at school from Jamie, and she delivered this. I am SO excited and for anyone contemplating watching, you certainly won’t miss me in my fluorescent orange!

ImageToday was clearly meant to be a day of lots of learning. PT and my daily education from 6 year olds. Today’s lesson was presented in the form of a question. “Ms. Sacco, if you burp in the quiet test does that mean you’re out?” Apparently the quiet game is still popular, but the jury is still out on whether or not burping constitutes an out. The arm farting that was going on this same lunch table was a definite out in the game, or so I decided. Whatever your goal is, whatever competition you are in (even if it is the quiet test), Dreamfar or Go Home!

“Urkel? As in Steve?” and why you shouldn’t google your ailments

Today has been a bit rocky. Waking up this morning, I was panicking that the marathon wasn’t going to happen and that there was something disastrously wrong with my leg. Yesterday my calf was bothering me, and I just assumed it was sore from working out and got to business foam rolling. And massaging the muscle. Ouch. After noticing that my calf was swollen and hurt to the touch last night, I started googling. Word of advice-if you have a medical ailment DO NOT google. Unless you want to find “doomsday scenarios” (as a wise friend put it) and think that you are dying a slow and painful death. I read enough articles last night that when I went to the doctor this morning, he asked what I thought my diagnosis was. Good thing I was wrong-I won’t even tell you the worst-case scenarios I was thinking about. I pulled my calf muscle. Sounds pretty tame, and hopefully it is, although it hurts like heck. Fingers crossed some icing, heating (not one after the other), wearing my fabulous neon compression socks to work, and resting my leg will help things so that I am in running shape for Monday!

So, this morning was a bit rough. After talking with my parents and a friend, I’ve decided that the only thing to do is to force myself to be positive. I’m going to run Monday. And it will be great. And I got this awesome jacket to boost my spirits a bit too.

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Speaking of lifted spirits, a few choice lines from my favorite first graders and one from my roommate have made my day. According to one of my kiddos “George Washington is on the dollar. Actually, he’s the person who makes dollars.” Did you know that? I learn something every day. Tonight, don’t ask me why, but I asked my roommates how to spell Urkel. And her response, well, you don’t need me to type it again, is the title of this post. Do you know any other Urkels? Clearly I need to get out more.

Have a wonderful Tuesday night, and if you’re thinking of googling something, step away from the keyboard!