As I sit here, waiting for the words to come, trying to understand what has happened and why, my heart is filled with such sadness. But there are no words.
I've never run a marathon. But I do love watching marathons on television. I love watching the elite runners come in. And more importantly, I love watching the people come in for whom running the marathon is a major accomplishment in their lives. It makes me cry every time.
In 2009, my sister and I trained for the Cowtown Half Marathon, side-by-side on the treadmills at our gym. But we don't run at the same pace, so, on race day, when the gun went off, I gave my sister a high five and said, "I'll see you at the finish line."
As I waited for her, and saw her distinctive gait coming towards me, I started crying. Emotion overwhelmed me. I was so filled with pride at her accomplishment.
So it should be no surprise that last year, when my sister signed up to run the Chicago Marathon, I knew it would be emotional for me. I teared up as I cheered from the sidelines at mile 8, and because I also had the honor of running the last 12 or so miles of the marathon with her, I frequently fought back tears as I ran with her during the race. And it was me that had to hold it in as she crossed the finish line, not her.
And now that this has happened, during the most honored of marathons, a part of my world, every runner's world, has been changed. Running is where we go to escape. Running in a race, regardless of the distance, is where we get to be with people who share that special joy that comes only from running.
Running is sacred.
Except nothing is sacred.
But we must continue to run. We must run because it is what we do. It is what we have to do. It is what makes us whole.
So, Run Along Now.