Wednesday, April 17, 2013


By Holly:

I am a worrier. Most people who know me would never guess this about me. Dave is well aware of this issue, as are my parents. I’m not really sure when it started. I believe it was sometime in college when the stress of being away from home and the demanding studies of engineering were sometimes overwhelming. I graduated from college and became a bit more carefree, but I always seemed to have something to worry about it. I met Dave and then started to worry about him because he is the most important person in my life. Not in a totally unhealthy way, but definitely more than I would say the “normal” person would. I knew I needed something to help alleviate stress and worry but couldn’t find anything. I tried reading books- “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” was particularly good and it helped for awhile but the worry and stress would creep back in.

Then I took up running. I initially did it to lose weight and get healthy. 8 years ago this month I started training for my first marathon. I did lose weight and I did get healthy. But the most unexpected thing that happened was my stress and worry went WAY down. Running is my therapy. When you have miles on your own to think about things it’s amazing how you can solve all of that week's problems. I love it.

I love running marathons. Which is also odd for anyone who knows me, especially since I hate crowds. I remember my first marathon, Chicago Marathon 2005. It was crowded and getting to the corrals and to the start was a nightmare. There were long lines for port-o-potties. All things that in my normal life I would never put up with and that would normally cause me more stress and worry. But on marathon day, I am able to ignore this because I know we are all there to run a marathon and have a great time.

Then Boston happened. My carefree world has now been shattered. At first I cried, heck I’m crying now as I am writing this, but now I am angry. Dave and I love traveling across the country to see new places while I’m running marathons. I never once worried about Dave out on the racecourse, driving around strange towns and hanging out in seedy areas of the course. The old me would have been a basket case. Now after this week, all I can think of is Dave standing at the finish line with all his cameras waiting for me to come by so he can get that perfect picture. What if I was in Boston? What if it happens again? I am struggling mightily with these thoughts.

I feel for 8 year old Martin Richard’s family. He was there waiting to cheer for his aunt. Now he is gone. One of the highlights of running a marathon course is getting high fives from all the kids. I don’t know how I will high five kids in the future without thinking of him. Spectators on the course mean everything to a marathoner. They all carry us through the race. I can't tell you how many times a simple cheer has lifted me up. The thought of someone targeting them makes me sick.

But I am not going to give racing up. This is my escape. I have a marathon in two weeks in Cincinnati. Dave and I will be going. We have plenty of friends that will be there. I will run this marathon for all those injured and killed and I will high five those kids along the way and think of Martin. I’m sure many tears will be shed. I know I will be worrying about Dave, but hopefully that will lessen in the future. I know it will never be the same, but we can’t live in fear. As this week has taught us more than ever, life is short and NEVER EVER take it for granted.



  1. Holly, thanks for sharing this with us. We will b with you in spirit in Cincinnati and cheering you on. We'll keep you and Dave in our thoughts and pray for your safety. Here's an early "high five."

  2. Holly, what you said is true. The spectatours on the course do make the marathon more enjoyable. While I was running the Boston marathon just a few days ago, up to Heart Break Hill and onto the 25 mile mark, the spectators were helping not just myself, but everyone. Then the race just stopped. The news started to filter down as runners who had phones on them started to get messages, etc. I was in the group of runners who werestopped at mile 25, just before the underpass. The spectators / residents DID NOT STOP HELPING. They brought out water, blankets, coats even bin bags so that the runners could stay warm and i would like to thank the volunteers for staying calm and orderly as this i am sure helped the runners as well. Holly and Dave, RUN STRONG and RUN FREE!