There is something to be said about making the decision to commit to a training program that spans several months...to push yourself to train in all kinds of weather conditions....to participate in various distance races to improve your speed, stamina, and grit. It takes focus and determination to see beyond the hundreds of miles and pounds (dollars, euros..etc) to get to what awaits on the other side of that 26.2 mile marathon finish line.
Words cannot express the waves of elation, joy, fatigue, determination, relief, and other emotions that envelope a marathoner as they see the finish line ahead and the expectation of accomplishment and pride they are about to experience.
Sadly and tragically thousands in Boston yesterday did not get to experience their goal. Their experience has been tainted and darkened by the bomb blasts that shattered the spectators cheers and people's lives. There is no way to make sense out of a senseless act!
I watched from thousands of miles away and from another country the news reports of a race, in my country of birth, that 4 years ago my husband ran. In 2009 I walked down that very street to take my place amongst the crowds to witness the most amazing and prestigious athletic event. Not because of the "big names" of the elite, but of the caliber of those who qualified to run and their supportive families, friends, and regular Bostonians.
I too am a marathoner....I too feel a part of me has been bruised. I feel a gut punch to my soul, a numbness that just plain hurts. There is a community of runners...an understanding of what we go through when we train. When we pass each other on the road, a shared nod of the head is all that is needed to say a silent "well done".
As a community we feel the pain of those spectators and runners who have been hurt and more tragically, lost their lives. Today as I went for my run....I carried those thoughts and my prayers with every foot strike. I made my run a tribute to all those runners who lace up every day/any day, who run with their soul, to places not measured in miles, but with their hearts. My sport gives me a sense of peace, may we come together and bring each other a bit closer...and may we all continue to run strong!