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Boston: One Year Later

As a runner, it was extremely difficult to watch yesterday's events.

Having had just run the Boston Marathon the year before, it hurt even more.

Had it been another race, even one I had run, I don't know if it would have hit home SO hard. But this race is one of iconic value to me. I had heard about it and envisioned running it for the past 10+ years. It is a landmark for runners and an honor to be able to run it. I had worked so hard to get there and last year... last year, we were there.
I was RIGHT there.
Taken when I ran down Boylson the year before.
  In fact my whole family was there. 2 days before the race, Ross, my dad and the boys even went down to the finish line (something I would highly suggest you do if you run Boston in the future). The finish line was set up and I got to see what I would be running to. The culmination of my day. And it was, actually, one of my favorite parts of the trip.
Linc checking out the grandstands
Me and Hunter eyeing up the actual finish line itself
The boys racing to the finish - since they wouldn't get to on race day.
Me & my dad - the reason I got there.
 When I initially saw the footage of the explosion, I thought, "Wow! I might have still been in the finish shoot with Heather." We had finished at 3:59, but taken our time stretching and decompressing, as the heat from last year's race had really affected us.

Look how happy we were to have run it!
 Then it hit me. I finished in 3:59, but I was in the 2nd wave and my clock finish time would have been 4:19. At 4:09 (the time of the explosions), I would have been around Fenway and Ross, my parents, my cousin and my kids, they would have been, well, they would have been... RIGHT THERE. Directly across the street from the second explosion. Waiting for me to come down Boylson.
This was their vantage point as they waited for me to come.
This one killed me, since the bomb affected most people "low to the ground."
 And that has gone over. And over. And over. In my head. I don't know why it is so hard to shake, but it has. If the bombers had bombed last year instead of this one...

But they didn't. And for that I am glad.
Post-race celebration at Fenway!
 But that doesn't stop my sadness for everyone that it affected this year, and have found the only way to start the healing process is to  remember to take the good out of a bad situation.

If I look back at my Boston experience and think about it. We had horribly hot weather and the people of Boston and surrounding communities showed out in full force and full support that day. I have no doubt that force and support was overwhelming yesterday.
I looked at the positive posts and news reports about the first responders and that gives you hope and awareness of the day.

Additionally, the Boston Athletic Association and its volunteers deserve kudos upon kudos about their ability to react and respond to the situation. I have heard nothing but praise for the BAA in their preparations, and, to be honest, after running the race, would expect nothing less than what I had heard about them from them. It is a topnotch organization and... well, the terrorists I am sure weren't counting on that. ;)

But it goes beyond the trained professionals to the people of everyday. To the spectators who ran towards the blast, instead of away from it. To people banning together - not falling apart. To aiding one another in any way they could. Here is one of my favorites. 
Residents bringing out orange juice and offering a bathroom to displaced runners.

And it goes to the American people. Supporting one another and drawing from within to make this situation better.

When the terrorist plan these attacks, I don't know what they are thinking - or what their goals are. I am pretty sure that they aren't looking to unite us. But in more ways than one, I think they do.

And although I usually try to pull my blogs together with some sort of take-away. Some sort of bigger thought that makes me feel better or to "pass along", but I don't have much. I was just hurting and wanted to get it out. If there is one thing it would go back to what I recently said to a friend who's family had been diagnosed with cancer, "I know that you don't want to hear this, but you will come out stronger. It just really, really sucks going through it." 

And that is kind of how I feel about yesterday.

Thanks for reading.