Thursday, April 18, 2013


I imagine that every family has an odd-ball cousin or uncle or nephew or whatever who doesn't quite fit in. Maybe that person smells bad, or doesn't understand normal social conventions, or whatever.

I feel like I'm that odd-ball cousin of the running family. I enjoy running, but I don't really think of myself as part of the "Running Family." I'm sure my runner friends will disagree with that sentiment, they'll say, "You run, you're in the 'family.'"

But seriously, when I'm running on the roads and oncoming traffic gets over to what I consider a safe distance from my body, or slows down to a near-stop to allow me to run next to them, I always give them the "live-long-and-prosper" made famous by Mr. Spock. Yeah, I'm a nerd runner.

I play the drums while I run. Seriously, if you watch me running, quite often I'm playing the drums with my hands/arms while running. It means I'm not streamlined or efficient in my motions, but why do I care?

I'm slow as Moses. I ran my first (and so far only) half-marathon in 2011. I finished in 2:38. That's 13.1 miles in 2 hours and 38 minutes. To me, it felt Herculean. However, to qualify to run the Boston marathon (if you're under 35), you have to post a sub-3:05 time. That means, I'd have to run 13.1 more miles in about 30 minutes to qualify for Boston. I may be the slowest runner of all time.

But, check this out. I'm perfectly okay with that. Seriously, I don't mind being the awkward cousin of the running family.

We all know what happened on Monday. The bombings at the Boston Marathon actually made me sick to my stomach. Knowing that a lot of people try so hard just to qualify to run that marathon, and then to DNF or be injured in a bombing makes me sick.

But here's what I've learned about runners. Don't ever tell us it can't be done. Never.

Some people might see this tragedy, and think, "I would never put myself in that sort of danger."

That's not what runners do. Never, in my whole life, have I wanted to run a marathon more than I have wanted to this week.

Had I been at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night, I would've belted out Sweet Caroline at the top of my lungs, because some things are bigger than sports rivalries.

I may never actually Run for Boston, meaning, qualify for the Boston Marathon. But, for the rest of my life, I'll be Running for Boston, because I'll never give up. As my good friend Dave said, "we can't live in fear or it allows the bad people to win."

So, keep running.


  1. Great post, Alex! And I've seen a lot more awkward cousins in the runner family than you. :) And that's what makes our family so much fun to be a part of. Keep on running....for Boston and for you!

  2. love this Alex! us short-legged friends will stick together! : ) I feel like a "slow" runner also even though my pace has improved almost 90 seconds per mile since I first started running...way to be a great runner and sticking at it through thick and thin....YOU are one of the FEW FEW people that I would ever consider running a full marathon with...since we run the same! : )