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Dear B.A.A.

Posted by Elizabeth Comeau  November 18, 2013 06:42 PM

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Dear B.A.A.,

It was announced today that you'd let a limited number of people apply to run the Boston Marathon. You'd "issue a limited number of invitational entries for the 2014 Boston Marathon for those who were most impacted by the events of April 15, 2013," you said.

I am proud to say I'll be a charity runner come April, running for a worthy and important cause on behalf of The Forsyth Institute.

I'll also tell you that if I wasn't already training for Boston, I'd be one of the people trying to write you 250 words to accept my application to run.


But 250 words is simply not enough to explain this knot I still get in my stomach when I think about that day.

Two-hundred fifty words cannot explain how awful I feel knowing that the last tweet I sent out before the bombs went off that day was a photo of a volunteer wheeling an empty wheelchair back to the medical tent. I added a caption almost as an afterthought just moments before the explosions. The caption simply said: "Volunteers have wheelchairs ready for runners, but not many coming across the line today need them."

No, 250 words cannot explain how, as a journalist covering the medical tent and finish line area I knew I had a job to do, but that I also felt completely and utterly worthless in that job because it simply wasn't enough to just get the facts out.

I don't think I could tell you, in 250 words, what my friend and I talked about when we left Copley Square, walking over the Mass. Ave. bridge with what seemed like the rest of the city: I've tried to block that conversation out entirely.

I cannot tell you in just 250 words how I still cry at random sometimes when I run, because I feel so eternally grateful that I am able to run and that I wasn't harmed that day. And I certainly can't tell you how guilty I feel for feeling grateful for not being harmed that day when so many others didn't walk out of Copley Square in one piece.

Would you believe my 250 words if they told you how, riding out of the city on my husband's motorcycle that night, clinging to him like a scared child, all I kept repeating to myself was "I will run Boston," over and over and over all 30 miles home from the city?

No, 250 words is simply not enough to say everything I feel about that day.

I could write the breath out of my lungs and it would still not be enough to explain to you how I feel.

And so I run, because my strides will tell more than I ever could with just 250 words.

Instead, my feet will hit the pavement for 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston come April, because you and I both know, those footfalls will speak louder than my words ever could.

Staying fit is an important part of staying healthy. This blog will offer exercise tips from experts as well as share the personal journeys of Globe staff members committed to fitness. No matter your age or energy level, we invite you to join in and share your own story. How do you find time to work out? What are your daily challenges? Let us know and read along -- and together, we can all get moving.

CONTRIBUTORS

Elizabeth Comeau is a social media marketing manager at Boston.com. She will be blogging about her personal fitness journey and using a device called a FitBit to track her weekly goals and progress (see below). Follow her journey and share your own. Read more about Elizabeth and this blog.

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