It's been almost two weeks now that I completed the inaugural Griffith Park Trail Marathon in Los Angeles. It was a great day, a great event and I wanted to share my thoughts on why I did it, how it went, etc., etc. But two days after the race, runners and their family and friends, the people of Boston, as well as the entire country, were attacked at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. It's taken me this long to be able to process what happened into words (relatively speaking); I can't imagine how someone that was there or has been directly affected by the events feels.
I'll start with my race.
Griffith Park Trail Marathon's website. I certainly wasn't marathon ready by any means, but I figured since it was on a trail and I'd be running slower anyway, I'd give it a try. The race had a very generous time limit (8 hours) and I felt that, even if I walked/crawled the entire time, I'd be able to finish in 8 hours. So I registered. But I didn't tell anyone (aside from my husband, of course).
Why didn't I tell anyone? Well, if I'm being completely honest, I was worried I wouldn't do very well. While I run the trails around my house a lot, it had been a while since I'd run that long on a trail. And I thought I'd fall off the mountain. Trust me, I know how irrational it sounds. As a coach, I tell people almost on a daily basis how important it is to be positive, to believe in oneself, you don't know how well you can do something unless you try, blah blah blah. But it's one thing to help others, and it's another beast to help yourself. Even we coaches can use some coaching at times. Anyway, I kept the goal to myself, but the goal was there. I was about to run 26.2 over tough terrain, 3000+ elevation gain and more.
I made my way up to LA on Friday, April 12. I got there about 1:00pm or so, had lunch and then set off to find celebrities. I drove around town, getting lost every 5 minutes, getting frustrated at the traffic (yelling to the air, "why do people live here?") and generally just wasting time. I did find the running store to get my race packet, but not before getting lost about 4 times. At one moment, I found myself in the driveway of some ridiculously rich house in Hollywood Hills and couldn't get out of the driveway because there was only about 3 inches of space for me to turn around. I texted John to tell him I was going to be arrested for trespassing. Thankfully, after about a 100-point-turn, I was able to get out of the driveway and back out onto a main road. Don't ask me how I ended up there in the first place, because I don't know. I blame the GPS app I use. By the way, I never did see any celebrities. Bitches.
write-up about the race. But we did have more horses to run around later in the race. Oh and let's not forget the plethora of horse crap we had to dodge throughout the route. After a while, you just kind of get tired of jumping over piles of poop or running around them and you just don't care if you run through it.
After the race, I had to get back to San Diego since I was coaching Sunday morning. My group did great that morning. Afterward, I just cuddled with my family and ate a lot of food for the rest of the day.
Then came Marathon Monday. Since the Boston Marathon started at 9:30am, 6:30am Pacific time, we were up early watching. I had a blast watching it with my kids, though my oldest couldn't see the elite finish since he had to go to school. After the elites had finished, I needed to get started on work. Our nanny arrived and I was off. I feel like such an asshole as I look back on it now. Going about my day not knowing what happened until later in the day. I didn't believe it at first, that someone bombed the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Why? Why would they do that?
The finish line of a race has got to be one of the most inspirational, happy places on earth. It symbolizes triumph, pride, accomplishment, and so much more. No one that crosses a finish line, regardless of the distance, is the same person as the one that started the race. Something happens to a person when they run a race. It's life-altering. Sometimes it's a big change that takes place, sometimes it's a little one. But there are changes to a person as they run a race. And running the Boston Marathon is even more important and life-altering because the majority of runners have already put in so much work to qualify and then train for Boston. And to have that triumph and celebration taken away so tragically, it's heartbreaking. It's heartbreaking that so many of those hurt were the ones that support us: the family and friends and spectators that cheer us on. It's not fair. This one just hit too close to home.
Seeing how this all unfolded on the news as the week went on was numbing. I just was appalled that this happened, at the hands of kids, and disgusted that people died and were badly hurt. My heart just aches for everyone involved. I am thankful that those responsible have been identified and the one suspect that is still alive is in custody.