Monthly Archives: April 2013

In 100 days, I will be racing my first Half Ironman triathlon!

The race consists of:

1.2 mile swim

56 mile bike

13.1 mile run

I hope to complete the race in 7 hours. A race like this has been my dream since I was little.

If you’d like to support me, please follow this link:

http://www.active.com/donate/vineman13/mkachigan

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I was eating lunch 3 blocks from the explosions at the Boston Marathon finish line. I will never forget the sirens, the mix of terror and confusion in the face of every passerby, everyone asking questions and no one having any real answers except to leave as fast as you can.

I am a runner, through and through. I watched the race because the spirit at a running race is one of the best that I know, and when a city dedicates an entire day to celebrating athletic achievement in the form of Marathon Monday — well, I just couldn’t miss it. There is something raw, and real, and honest about running 26.2 miles. I mean, why do we run, become tired and sore, then do it all again the next day? There is no reason or award, just a solitary triumph of going just a bit faster or just a bit further than the day before. It’s nice to see people honor that by coming together to cheer on complete strangers until their voices are hoarse. Or they wear silly costumes or hold funny signs to make runners smile when everything hurts and you question all that you stand for as an athlete.

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Any runner knows that the competition is really within yourself: between your heart that propels you forward and your body that doesn’t think it can go any farther. You can see it all over the runners’ faces, that silent war between body and heart. You can see the determination as they work their way up Heartbreak Hill; the utter joy as they round the corner onto Boylston St. to get their first glimpse of the finish line that they worked so hard for. 

Races fill us with faith and connect us with humanity. And the oldest races, like Boston, have the commitment of the faithful patrons that make the annual pilgrimage. The headline news is tragic, no doubt, but terrorism only works if we let it make us feel afraid. Those bombers chose the wrong sport to mess with because if long-distance running had a middle name, it would be “resilience.” And running is one of the most empowering things I’ve ever experienced. The finish line at a race is a scene of human achievement and happiness.  But it’s never something you accomplish completely on your own. Running is hard. Being motivated to run every day is even harder. But we continue on because we are fueled by a greater running community that is united by a common pursuit.

The attack was not on the elite runners, but the average runners that are the heart of the race and everything it stands for. The feeling at a running race is the exact opposite of terror. To target such a place is sickening to me.  I spent the 24 hours after the attack in sleepless sadness and confusion. And then I realized: the runners’ spirit is indomitable. Runners are still gonna run. Runners are the type of people that overcome a setback and come back even stronger. What happened at the Boston Marathon will leave a scar, but a scar is just skin that grows back tougher.

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Words can be enough.

“The more articulate one is, the more dangerous words become.”
― May Sarton

Words are powerful when you believe them. They’re enough to give a girl hope that maybe — just maybe — everything will be alright.


My copy of “As Often As Miracles” came in the mail and I read it cover-to-cover immediately upon opening it. Twice. It was a I’m-so-tired-I-should-sleep-but-this-is-too-good-to-put-down kind of read.

If you’re in your twenties and looking for love, this girl nails it.

 

Check out her writing here to see what I mean!