I ran 3.1 miles this morning.
No, it's not 26.2 miles (the distance of a marathon). But for so many who run 26.2, it all started with 3.1 - a 5K. When I run 26.2 this fall, it will be because of that first 3.1.

It was a 5K that gave me my first taste of a finish line. I was exhausted and yet I was so proud. I'd actually done it when 8 weeks prior running for 60 seconds was almost impossible. The joy and accomplishment mixed with exhaustion is almost un-explainable to anyone who's not felt it. As the distance grows, so do the exhaustion and the accomplishment and the joy.

It was a 5K that showed me running is a different kind of sport. Sure, there are the elite runners who actually stand a chance at winning, but for the majority of the people out there on race day, it's about their individual race, their individual goal.

And the running community? When I ran my third 5K, I was barely making it at the end. There was less than a half-mile to go and I started to walk. Another runner, a lady I didn't know encouraged me and said "you're almost there, don't give up now" and that was all I needed to pick up the pace and run to the finish, with tears pouring from my eyes. Find me another sport where that happens, where it's more about encouraging one another than beating one another. If someone falls, or steps to the side you'll hear a continues refrain of "are you OKs?" as other runners pass, slowing down for a moment in case the reply is "no." I've seen it in every race I've ever run.

So today, knowing I didn't have the time for the full 6 miles my training called for, I knew exactly how far I would run - 3.1 miles. Because it was 3.1 miles that taught me about the running community and what a finish line is all about.

3.1 miles for Boston.

Because finish lines are places of accomplishment and joy, not what happened yesterday.


  1. As someone who is trying to train for their first 5K, this gives me hope. My current ultimate goal is a half marathon in February and I know I need to try to step up my game, but I'm like you were at the end of your 5K. I just want to walk and I'm trying to find the motivation to keep going because I'm almost there.

    Thank you for this post.

  2. Beautiful post, Rebecca. I'm going to be running 3.1 tonight as well. We're all in this together, and they picked the wrong group of people to try to crush our hope and dreams.

  3. This is a beautiful post. I never realized how close the running community is. I've often wanted to try to train for a 5K... maybe someday!

  4. This is a great tribute to what really matters! Thank goodness those things will prevail. Best wishes for your marathon training...I am way to intimidated by the distance, but really admire people who can do it!

  5. I love this post! Beautifully written.

    And rock climbing is much the same for me. There is so much encouragement from other climbers, and it's about you and the rock; not what everyone else is climbing.

  6. This is a great post, well-written that truly captures what running is all about. :)

  7. Yes, the little bit I ran/walked helped me deal with the horror that I saw on TV. Thanks for being such a running inspiration!

  8. Love this! It was the first race I went to with my Dh that gave me a taste of the early morning anticipation and spirit of a large group of runners on race day. That day lead to me later running my first 5k and then a 10k the year after. Dh came right home and immediately wanted to go run after Monday's events. It really is a close community. I am super inspired by you training for the full!! Thanks for this post :)

  9. I don't run because my knees are so bad...so I envy those of you who can run and have the stamina to run a marathon...Kuddos to you! It takes lots of will and endurance.