Wednesday night, nine people at a bible study at the Emmanuel AME Church in Downtown Charleston were murdered in a racially motivated hate crime. The murders made the world news and shocked our city. I’ve had a heavy heart since the tragedy and it’s been a struggle to stay away from social media and the media, to take a break from seeing the coverage, reflect, and remember the victims.
I’ve only lived in Charleston for 3 years, but it’s home and like a small town. So many of us have connections to the victims or to Emanuel AME. One of the victims, Cynthia Hurd, was the branch manager at my public library, and another victim, Tywanza Sanders, went to high school with one of my college friends. Emanuel AME Church is a historical church in the heart of downtown- I’ve run and walked by it so many times.
The day after the murders, my friend (and fellow blogger) Melissa had a *great* idea to run 9 miles, one in memory of each victim. I don’t want to attend crowded religious services, so dedicating my running miles and yoga practices to the victims, and spending quiet moments reflecting on their lives, is how I prefer to remember them.
Charleston has come together in the face of tragedy. People are also being nicer to one another and hugging their families and friends a little tighter. Kids in neighborhoods are selling lemonade and sno-cones and donating the proceeds. If the murderer’s goal was to start racial tension, he has certainly failed.
Hate cannot bring down a city that loves. We are Charleston Strong.
I overslept on Monday (probably just needed the rest), so I hit Planet for six miles on the treadmill that afternoon. It was my first time at Planet Fitness, and aside from not knowing how to plug in my headphones to listen to TV, it was a good experience. Planet Fitness sometimes gets a bad rep in the media, but I haven’t had any issues- I went three times this week. It’s kinda nice to have the treadmill option on the really hot days.
On Wednesday, I went to the Summerville High School track with a group of friends for mile repeats. My Garmin said it was 97 degrees, 50% humidity, and felt like 110, but it really wasn’t that bad because the humidity was low, we had a breeze, and it was cloudy. Honestly, last Saturday’s Run the Runway 5K felt a lot hotter.
We ran 5.1 miles with 3 mile repeats. Summer track workouts are the best because you’re running with others (safer), you run laps so you are never far from your water or cold towel, and you get breaks/recovery between the intervals.
On Sunday, OnShore Racing ran 9 miles starting at 9 AM in memory of the Holy City 9 who were murdered in the Emanuel AME Church shooting.
We had a nice crowd even though it was Father’s Day, and I finished the 9 miles in just under a 9 min/mile pace. We normally run 8 on Sundays so we just added an extra lap around Hampton Park. I was hoping to hear the church bells at 10 (most of the downtown churches planned to ring bells in unison to honor the victims), but I guess I was too far up the peninsula to hear. It was a great reason to run.
I hope everyone has a great week. Please continue to remember the victims families, everyone affected by the murders, and the Charleston area.