SILVA: Tragedy at Boston Marathon reveals runners' strength

jsilva@modbee.comApril 29, 2013 

Silva Marathon

Jim Silva following completion of the Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon in June 2012.

— I've written before about how supportive and inspiring the running community can be, especially during my recent experiences with Team In Training.

Runners are, by nature, positive and enthusiastic people. And recently, we've found out, they're strong, too.

With the bombings at the Boston Marathon, we found out just how strong.

There were many inspiring stories coming out of Boston. And there were amazing stories across the country of runners coming together to support each other and honor those in Boston.

The violent act that killed three and injured so many was tragic and sad, and it had many of us asking how it could happen. But I think acts such as this only make us stronger — and more resilient — in the end.

Runners' strength, I believe, comes from their ability to disassociate from pain.

Before my marathon three weeks ago, I got a chance to listen to ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes talk about running a marathon (and he's a good source considering he's run more than 500 of them). He told our group that in a marathon, there is always a point where you are going to be in pain. There's no getting around it.

You start a marathon knowing that, and maybe that's why we do it: Because we know it's going to hurt. Because trying to prove that you can overcome the pain and complete the distance is a great challenge.

In a way, running is a great metaphor for life. You know there is going to be pain — there is no going through life without it — and yet we are able to enjoy the journey.

The tragedy in Boston was one of those painful times of our lives, as a people and a nation. Yet we have endured and will move on. The pain will not stop us from enjoying our lives. We will complete our journey — despite the pain. That's what runners do.

I now feel completely recovered from the marathon three weeks ago. I'm back to running and lifting weights, slowly trying to build my body back up to pre-marathon shape. My two marathons have taken their toll on my body, but this second time around I recovered much faster. I was back running — albeit short distances — just a few days later.

I still don't have any big events on my calendar. I just want to continue to get stronger and fitter — it's a personal process that I hope will never stop.

Whether I ever run another marathon … we'll just have to see. But I know that I will continue to run and continue to make exercise a big part of my life.

My fitness mission continues. I hope yours does, too.

Reach Jim Silva at On Twitter: @mission26point2.

Modesto Bee is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service