I was at work yesterday and like many others was trying to follow along with this incredible event. I wanted so badly to be there that day. Last year I told myself, no matter what I would be there watching and cheering everyone on. That plan changed when I started a new job a couple of months ago and felt like it was too soon to ask for a day off. So, instead of being there in person, I tried to watch on TV and follow along on my phone as much as possible. Once the leaders crossed the finish line and I returned from my lunch break, I figured I should try to pay more attention to my patients and my job and less on the TV.
I was riding such a high from the excitement of it all. I again vowed that I would be there next year no matter what. I couldn't miss another Boston marathon.
Then, at 3:20pm the unimaginable happened. I got a text message from my boyfriend that said "explosions at the finish line of Boston marathon!!!" I had to read it a couple of times before I could even comprehend what it said. I quickly ran to a TV to turn on the news. My heart sank. I couldn't focus on anything else but the TV and what happened. Sorry coworkers. I immediately thought of everyone I knew who could have been there and those who live in the city. Thankfully I was able to contact them all and find out they were ok. I received texts and emails from friends and family asking if I was there. My emotions were all over the place. I felt this feeling of disbelief, shock, and sadness that I can't really put in to words. I felt defeated. How? Why? My heart still aches for those who put everything in to that race, and for those who's lives will now never be the same. It's just not fair. The finish line of the Boston marathon?! Really?! I hoped I would wake up and this would all be a bad dream...a nightmare.
I drove home last night in a daze. Still feeling on the verge of tears. Still feeling empty and confused. I wished so badly there was something I could do to help. When I am feeling emotional, I run...or listen to Dave Matthews Band. So, that's what I did. I went for a run and listened. I put on my marathon shirt, I laced up my sneakers and I ran. I ran for those in Boston.
This morning I started my day watching the news, trying to make sense of it all. I couldn't. I still can't and I'm not sure I ever will. As many other people have said, runners are such a tight knit group. Whether we know each other personally or not, we get each other and we support one another. It really is a bond like no other. So, I feel like what happened yesterday is an attack on my friends and running family, which is why it has been so emotional for me. On top of that, Boston is so close to my home, and a place I have called home. It is currently the home to some of my closest friends and family. My heart continues to break when I think of what happened.
I grew up in New England. I lived on the South Shore of Massachusetts until 6th grade and then moved to southern New Hampshire. Boston was always a city I held close to my heart, and will always be. I love it for reasons I can't even explain. My mom and I used to take trips to Boston. We'd stay in a hotel, eat our way around the city, walk from end to end, and go shopping. It was always my favorite vacation. It was a vacation many others could not understand because we only lived about an hour away.
When I started running, the Boston marathon became something I would love to run, but was a dream I never saw as reality. I have so much love for Boston, and being a runner, that would be the ultimate goal. It was a goal that until yesterday... I didn't believe would ever be possible.
Now, more than ever, I want to be there next year. However, when I say I want to be there next year... I want to be as a runner and not a spectator. I hope to run the Boston marathon in 2014 for all of those who were effected yesterday. When I'm not sure what else to do, I run... and that is what I'm going to do.