How is it that I have found myself two weeks away from the 118th running of the Boston Marathon?
After last year’s bombings and as a runner in last year’s Boston marathon, I wanted little more than to flee the city and to come home. I wasn’t sure I would run Boston again, let alone this year.
But I am a runner, and we are nothing if not resilient. I had somehow finished and managed a qualifying time at Boston. And though I had been on the fence about registering, a girl friend called me early one September morning – “it won’t be the same without you.” Did I really want to do this again? I thought of those bittersweet moments and days following the bombing. I thought of how I hadn’t really finished what I started. I needed to create new memories in Boston. I didn’t want memories of a bombing to be my one and only last memory from Boston.
In the months following, as one of the lucky ones who finished, was unhurt, who lost no one close to her, life goes on. I ran, I signed up for ultras, relays and various other races. Boston was just another spring race on the horizon.
And now I am 10 days away from boarding a flight to Boston. Truth be told, I have mixed feelings about returning to Boston. If all else goes well, I would like to be able to race Boston. But more than ever, I want to run with gratitude, with a deep appreciation of all I have been given, and not to take it for granted. I will remember those who weren’t so fortunate, those who have lost so much, and are still struggling to cope, still healing.
I will run to remember and I will run to create new memories.