'Just in a haze'

Time stood still for Lisa Kresky-Griffin. In the finishers' chute with a friend, the jolts came in succession. "Everybody jumped. Everybody flinched," she recalled.

They immediately left for their nearby hotel, where she watched the carnage unfold on television. Kresky-Griffin was grateful that she and her husband, Jeff, had decided in the morning to meet farther up Boylston, away from the finish.

She turned on her cellphone to call her husband, and a text from Jeff sprung up: He'd changed plans and would wait for her near the finish after all.

"Everything got quiet and fuzzy, and a bubble just came over me. People were coming in, shocked and crying, in their tinfoil blankets, and I heard nothing."

She tried to reach Jeff, without success.

"I just ... I was just in a haze," Kresky-Griffin said, pausing to find the words. "I don't remember a lot of what was going on. I just remember: 'I need to find my husband.'‚ÄČ"

Kresky-Griffin doesn't remember how much time elapsed before she finally reached her husband. He hadn't been at the finish after all, but down the street about 60 feet away from the second bomb. He was shaken but uninjured.

Wearing their Boston gear the next day, she and some friends went to Boylston Street and its "eerie calm."

"I needed to pay my respects to people, to take it all in and really understand what had happened, because really, we were whisked away."

'This is their day'

Supporting Boston was on Kresky-Griffin's mind weeks ahead of Monday's race. "We're going to do our best to make it right," she said. "We can't fix what's been done, we can't change that, but we can stand strong together and unite as one."

Kresky-Griffin still feels overwhelmed at times, trying to comprehend all that occurred. Nevertheless, she is excited to be back.

"The people of Boston deserve to have a day to shine. This is their day. For all the victims and the families, I run for them. I know I'll be thinking of them every step of the way."