As someone whose job it is to cover the news as it happens, I covered the Boston Marathon.
I was stationed at the finish line/medical tent area. The explosions went off right across from where I was standing for most of my day: If I had stayed put 5 minutes more I would have been in the thick of unspeakable tragedy.
Just five minutes.
Why did I decide to leave when I did? Maybe it's fate. Maybe it's good timing. But the real reason I left where I was standing is because of a dear friend whom I met through this blog -- through running.
On a day where so many people are dealing with the tragedy and death, it feels strange to say this, but I feel like running saved my life.
If I had never started running -- never started this blog -- I would have never met my friend.
I was just packing up to go when my friend messaged me. I replied back saying I was packing up, and I'd come meet him to say hello.
We were walking to the T by the time we heard the giant boom.
Just the day before, at the B.A.A. 5k, I had experienced what I've often heard people who have run The Boston Marathon talk about -- that special something that happens when you round the corner onto Boylston Street.
That "special something" is that pang of excitement I felt looking up from the course and seeing the Citgo sign; the ease with which you can strike up a conversation with someone who is running their first marathon-- or even first race; the feeling that you are just one of the many who are struggling to reach the finish line -- just a cog in the collective wheel churning toward the end.
Today, the city of Boston and the running community collectively struggled again, through a different kind of heartbreak than we are used to hearing about on the marathon course.
And, because of that struggle, I think many of us feel like we are part of something we can't explain. We are connected. The runners, the volunteers, the journalists, the doctors and medical staff who worked yesterday tirelessly in one fashion or another.
I have often told friends who have asked me when I will run The Boston Marathon that I am not sure I have the determination it takes to accomplish such a task.
But you know what? I was wrong. I do have the determination, because The Boston Marathon has something other races don't: Boston.
As a runner, there seems to be a collective feeling that one day, you'll run Boston.
Now I know I have to -- not just for me -- but for the city I love.