Today is the day before the LA Marathon. This is a picture of the LA Convention Center, where the expo for the event is held.
In 2008 I ran my first long distance race — 1/2 of the LA Marathon. The reason my personal trainer (who is a GOD) is not my running coach is that he isn’t and wasn’t plugged into running enough to know there are 8-zillion half marathons every year, I didn’t need to run half of a full marathon. But that was then.
On this same day — the day before the marathon in 2008 — I went to the expo — a huge trade show for runners. It was not unlike Dorothy walking into The Emerald City. There was so much to see and do. It was the first time I even knew such a thing existed. Such extravaganzas probably exist in every field of “hobby” interest, but we don’t know about them if we’re not in the hobby. (When I was in grade school my best friend and her family were totally enmeshed in some kind of junior soldier thing. I went to lots of marching demonstrations with her. I obviously don’t remember what it was called. And I never did anything like it outside of that experience.)
Walking into the LA Convention Center today – knowledgeable of what I would find and who would likely be there – I was reminded of my first full-of-wonder visit. What a great moment.
And the next day (tomorrow) was the day of the 2008 LA Marathon. It was the longest run of my life! That year the marathon started at Universal Studios, ran past the Hollywood Bowl, ran thought a bunch of other neighborhoods, and then ran by the Coliseum, which is where I stopped — at the water stop at Mile 14. They played Randy Newman at the start. We ran up a hill and then down a hill on Highland, right past the front of the Hollywood Bowl — I never to go the Bowl without remembering how wonderful it was to RUN past it on foot. It was a perfect day.
Two years later, in 2010, I ran the full Marathon on a new course — Stadium to the Sea. We started in Dodger Stadium and ran to Santa Monica over a course that rambles all over LA. Standing at the start I was again facing the longest run of my life! What would happen? Could I finish? Would I finish? I was scared – really, seriously scared.
And then, I finished a marathon. What am amazing thing.
Tomorrow a new tide of humanity will take on the challenge. What a great undertaking.