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We all dream of running Boston

This is not the blog post I thought I would write today. I expected to write about how I ran the Whidbey Island half marathon yesterday in 2:12:01, setting another PR by two and a half minutes. I was going to tell you how great I felt about running in a steady rain on a course that was even hillier than I thought it would be, how I was passing everyone around me in the last few miles, and how I ran mile 13 in 9:17 — one of the faster miles I’ve ever run and certainly the fastest mile I’ve ever run at the end of a long hard race.

I woke up this morning still basking in my slow happy glory, and eagerly turned to my Twitter feed for news about the Boston Marathon. I “watched” the elite runners finish and then I turned to other business for a while. Later I returned to Twitter…

I’m sure that we — all of us — are shocked, outraged, and deeply saddened by the events in Boston today. There will be many thousands of words written about it, and I don’t want to needlessly add to the fray.

I just want to say one thing.

I will venture to guess that almost everyone who puts on a pair of running shoes and goes out the door has, at least once, been captivated by the allure of the Boston Marathon. It is one of the very few sporting events with global visibility and appeal. It is the stuff of our most noble dreams.

I have never attempted to run a full marathon. I’m only just now beginning to seriously think about making the attempt. But I can tell you what my Boston Marathon qualifying time needs to be. I know because I’ve looked it up. At my age, I’d have to run a 4:10 marathon just to be eligible to register. It is utterly out of my reach. And yet… this morning I scanned the Whidbey Island full marathon results and noted with great pleasure how many people had run Boston 2014 qualifying times.

I want to be like them.

We all dream of running Boston.

I am devastated at the thought of the runners who had just completed the Boston Marathon, and moments later had their legs blown off or worse. The tragedy is unthinkable.

I am so angry, so sad, so grief-stricken, and so deeply and utterly a runner.

I ran my race yesterday, one day after what would have been my late husband’s 66th birthday, and on the 20th anniversary of my mother’s death. Those were small milestones, small but poignant victories for me. It’s not so easy to stop a determined runner.

So I have decided. This October I am going to run my first marathon. I am going to run it because I, too, dream of someday running the Boston Marathon.