the power of the marathon

here i sit, the day after the tragic events at the boston marathon.  i have plenty to say.  and at the same time, at a loss for words.

i found long distance races at a very sad point in my life.  my father had died after a long battle with cancer, and i needed to turn my attention towards something positive.  i registered for a long distance triathlon, dedicating the race to him.  my emotions on that race day were overwhelming.  i felt my Dad by my side the entire time.  his presence was comforting, encouraging, and gave me the perseverance to overcome the day’s challenges.  he was cheering me on every step of the way, just like he did when he was alive.  since then, i have run marathons and participated in more triathlons, including the boston marathon.  there is something about endurance races that appeal to me, emotionally.  i feel him.  i feel me, in ways i don’t during my day-to-day routine.

marathons are physically challenging, obviously.  that’s the easy part of trying to describe a race.  emotionally, though, long distance events can be both euphoric and depressing.  sometimes both extremes at the same time.   and each race is different.  but the constant is the support from my friends and loved ones.  it never, ever ceases to amaze me how supportive those around me are before, during, and after a race.  the calls, texts, cards, flowers, and hugs are incredible.  and very much appreciated.  not to mention having that feeling of Billy with me.  it is wonderful.  a marathon is a powerful thing.

so, when the tragic events happened yesterday, i went through the gamut of emotions just like anyone else.  but once again, what struck me was the outpouring of support from my loved ones.  they know what the boston marathon means to me.  they know it holds a special place in my heart.  it was overwhelming – in the best ways – to hear from so many people, showing their concern and love.  i am so, so, so fortunate.  i feel blessed that marathons have brought so much happiness to my world.  i only wish that everyone yesterday was so lucky.  my thoughts and prayers are with the runners and spectators that were affected by yesterday’s events.

today i reflect.  sadness.  gratitude.  hope.  may peace and courage overcome fear and hate.

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