There are so many things that have happened in the past few days that have completely changed my view of running.
Race weekend in Roanoke, Va., for the Blue Ridge Marathon is full of amazing stories -- the support for Boston by everyone, grabbing a photo with Bart Yasso, Frank Shorter and Bill Rodgers, meeting some awesome friends I've known through Twitter, interviewing with a local TV station about #RunChat, witnessing a runner completing the marathon backward for charity and, of course, finishing 13.1 miles to get to 26.2 for the week for Boston.
I could go on and on.
All of these things have made me realize that the running community is stronger than ever before. Everyone felt closer to each other this weekend. Boston was on the forefront of all conversations, but after the race was over there seemed to be more smiles and hugs and celebrating crossing the finish line.
From a personal standpoint, I feel stronger mentally after this week. Despite yesterday being my worst time on this course after a conservative start, I'm stronger physically. I'm stronger because of great new friendships that will last forever.
I can't even begin to explain how it feels to part of the running community right now. As Bart Yasso said at Friday's pasta dinner, running is all about "acceptance and community" around the world. There's no way I could have stated that any better.
There is certainly more to say about this weekend, but for now I feel like I'm still taking this all in. My head is just spinning and spinning thinking about the weekend and running and what's ahead.