Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Where there is a will... there is a way.

The Weekend!

I find it funny that the last time I wrote here was when I got accepted through the lottery to run the Chicago Marathon and here I am 5 months later to recap the race (sorry guys!).

Brittany, Anne, and I arrived in Chicago early am on Friday. We decided our first task was to get our bibs and explore the expo! Thankfully the marathon had organized a bus pick up/drop off from Nike town just a little east of where our hotel was. From the get go we were super impressed with how organized everything seemed to be at the expo and how friendly everyone was too! Gotta love the Midwest. I got my knee taped up  (surprise, I tweaked my knee a few weeks ago and it wasn't ever the same... more on that later). We spent the rest of the day running a couple of errands and then relaxing in our hotel room. Our main goals for Friday and Saturday were to rest and hydrate as much as possible.

I really love this pic of us! 


I slept relatively well Saturday night and had gotten lots of rest in the week leading up to the marathon so on Sunday morning when I woke up I felt refreshed and ready to tackle 26.2. Even though this was my 3rd marathon I still found it to be just as special. We took the train a few stops to the start area and I met up with Liz. It was an absolutely gorgeous morning with no clouds in sight. It was about 50 degrees and we truly couldn't have asked for a prettier day! Before I knew it will was just before 8am (the start of Wave 2) and we began to make the shuffle all the way to the start line. We were in the second corral of the second wave but it seemed like there were sooo many people in front of us. I was really thankful to have Liz with me those 15-20 minutes as she calmed my nerves and made jokes and reminded me it was just a Sunday long run and not to be nervous. Thanks, Liz!


As I crossed the start line I was a little overwhelmed. I reminded myself that I had put in the miles and that I have run this distance before. I tried really hard to get into a comfortable pace, not too fast or slow for the first couple of miles. As I mentioned before, I tweaked my knee a couple of weeks ago and since then it just hadn't been the same. I then was over compensating for how my knee felt and the pain moved to my hamstring (yay!). When I hit the 5K, yes the 5K split, I knew that the pace that I had planned to run for the day just wouldn't be happening. Instead of being discouraged, I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and decided that today was about finishing and nothing else. To be honest, when I accepted this so early on, the race became a lot more enjoyable. I tried to take in the sights and the first 10 miles ticked away very quickly. The crowds were awesome and I was smiling and enjoying the race. I saw a couple of girls with some shirts on from an Austin running company and chatted with them for a while. A girl next to us chimed in and said she was from Texas too! People always know I am because of the famous shorts! Ha! I knew that my old NYC roommate who moved to Chicago would be around mile 11 and I was ready to finally see someone I knew! Somehow I spotted her on the left hand side and yelled her name. It was a huge motivator to see someone who knows you well. It was definitely a boost I needed right after getting to double digits. I knew that I might see an old NYC friend at the halfway mark, but with the intense crowds we somehow missed each other! Bummer. At this point I was still feeling pretty good. Despite my leg being a little off I knew that I wasn't going to stop running. My goal at this point was to not stop AT ALL until I got to at least mile 20 then evaluate. I kept trucking along, slowly but surely. I repeated: where there is a will, there is a way. One foot in front of the other, keep going, keep believing, keep moving forward. I felt like before I knew it I was to mile 20 and then I thought to myself all that's left is a Central Park loop. I can do this. No walking, no stopping! At that point I had also passed my favorite part of the course that was mainly Mexicans cheering. Their cheers, music, good food smells honestly made me so happy. It reminded me a lot of my family and it brought a lot of joy to me despite the pain I was feeling after running so many miles! I knew that a friend of mine was also going to be towards the end of the course but we never communicated the exact location. As luck would have it at Mile 23 I hear her yell, "Leticia!" and there she was cheering her head off for me! It was just what I needed. I knew that all I had left was a little over a 5K! So close, so close, but yet so far away! The last 3 miles were definitely the hardest. The crowds from 23-25 were really really minimal which is so opposite of NYCM (Central Park). It was tough, I cannot deny that. But at this point without having walked once I was not going to give in now! At 800m to go I finally caught back up to Liz! The only hill with any sort of climb is seriously the last 400m of the course. This is just cruel. But as soon as we rounded the corner off the hill I saw the most glorious sign ever: Finish! I crossed not knowing my time but knowing that I had just run 26.2 miles WITHOUT STOPPING ONCE. While I didn't hit my time goal in any shape way or form (5:21:16 finish time), I surprised myself with running the entire thing and for that I'm grateful. 

Liz wanted to take that pic of me before the race and then we found each other at the end! Hooray!

All in all, this weekend was incredible. I had so much with friends, seeing old friends, seeing the city and finishing my 3rd marathon. I could not have to done it without ALL of your support, cheers, prayers, and well wishes. I am forever thankful to this community and thank you for being my biggest cheerleaders. While I was out on the course I knew you were tracking me and thinking of me and each time it made me smile. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

And to answer your top 3 questions:

Would you run Chicago again?- Maybe someday? I enjoyed the course, city, great crowds, etc. It was really tough to not be in 'home turf' and not have a ton of spectators that were friends. I realized HOW vital this was last year and I appreciate that support so much. 

What's your next marathon? N/A! I joked that I was retiring starting yesterday. Right now I'd really like to focus on the half marathon. That distance is way more manageable and I love running 10-13 miles. 

How do you feel? Mostly really good! My quads are hurting but other than that I do feel pretty good! I went on a recovery walk tonight in hopes of getting rid of some of the stiffness in those quads. I do plan to take a couple of weeks off from running in hopes to let this knee rest and get better! 

Again, thanks for the support! You guys are the BEST.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Chicago Marathon!

Oh hi old friends! I decided to revive the old blog today to share with you a little update on running and to talk about my Fall marathon! I remember vividly in August 2013 being at dinner with two friends and swearing that I would NOT run a marathon in 2014. I felt like I would fulfill all my marathon dreams after finally getting to run NYCM in November. When I got ITBS early last September I knew that my PR dreams for NYCM were quickly diminishing and I'd be lucky if I even got to the start line at all. As you all know, I did, but it was not the day I had hoped for since I went in on minimal training and 7 weeks of intense physical therapy. Despite being one my favorite days in my four years in NYC, after I was finished I knew that I wanted to give the marathon distance at least one more shot.

I got a taste of the Chicago Marathon after an October trip during marathon weekend last year and it was incredible. I knew that if I wanted to run another marathon it had to be Chicago. There was no doubt that this was the marathon I wanted to run, and nothing else interested me for the fall. Unfortunately, because of its popularity this was the first year it went to a lotto system. I had three close friends who also wanted to run and we were super anxious about us all being able to get in, especially since none of us even knew our chances since we were the very first round of lotto entrants. In the end as luck would have it the lotto worked in our favor and we all got in! I'm so thankful for the girls I'll be traveling with and couldn't do this without their support. So thank you: Katie, Brittany, and Anne. You gals are gems in my life.


Celebrating with Brittany and Anne after we registered earlier in the day! 

There are a few reasons why this particular marathon is incredibly important to me. I feel like the third time will be the charm. In 2012, I trained my butt off, was incredibly prepared mentally and physically for NYCM... and it was canceled because of Sandy. While Richmond turned out to be an awesome day time wise, going into a course completely blind and with no spectators was hard. In 2013, I wasn't able to train the way I would have liked, but still had such a fun day and getting to see sooo many of my friends cheering was awesome. So this is my 3rd go around with the marathon distance and I hope for a strong and injury free training cycle, and to run the race I'm actually signed up to run :)  I hope on October 12th  I'm able to celebrate 16 weeks of hard work with a new PR! I'm so excited to get going with this training cycle (starts June 23rd) and hopefully run a smart and strong race in 5 short months! 

I had my last long run for the Brooklyn Half (more on this later this week) today and while on those two solo loops of Prospect Park I had a while to think about my upcoming goals and even came up with my mantra for this training/race cycle: Don't Be Afraid. Don't be afraid to get out of my comfort zone. Don't be afraid to have some hard days. Don't be afraid by the daunting long runs every Saturday morning. Don't be afraid to run some hills. Don't be afraid to be open about my goals and ask people to keep me accountable to those goals. Don't be afraid. One foot in front of the other, one mile at a time. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

A year in pictures!

This was my first instagram pic of 2013. Fitting since this year was awesome.

In January, we did a Bridge to Brunch run with some of my favorite runner gals!

In an effort to do an indoor winter activity, I joined a skeeball league with some other Texans! 

In early March we celebrated Fairley's 1st birthday and Tonya came to visit from Texas!

In March, I ran the DC half for the second time! The year before we were in shorts! 
Crazy east coast weather. 

In April I spectated the Boston Marathon. A memory I will never forget. #BostonStrong

In May, we went to NJ to spectate and cheer some friends in the NJ Half/Marathon! So fun!

We had our first, #runnerhappyhour! Thanks for leading us well, Beth! 

In May, I attended Fitblog for the second year in a row. An incredible event hosted by Fitness Magazine. They are so kind to us. A great day learning about fitness, nutrition, etc. 

I had a mini reunion with my dearest childhood friends back in Texas!

My family came to visit me! We had a blast as always!

I PR'ed the Brooklyn Half. An amazing, hard fought day. 2:05:12 (Pace: 9:34/mile)

Summer 5K Series in Brooklyn

Marathon training with some of my faves... and then eating all the bagels.
Katie got married! I attended her beautiful wedding in Virginia Beach! 

Tonya moved to NYC!!!! And we celebrated her 30th birthday with some BBQ and Blue Bell in New York... obviously. 
In October, I took my first (but not last) trip to Chicago to visit my friend Liz! An amazing city!

Quick trip to Austin, Texas to see this gal get married! Love these women. 

Picking up my bib for the NYC Marathon!
These two are my favorites. I love them beyond words. Their friendships have blessed my life in so many ways this year. 

I stayed in NYC for Thanksgiving and had an incredible view of the famous Macy's Thanksgiving Parade! Despite missing my family, my NYC family made it a perfect day. 

Celebrating 3-0 with my runner friends at Jacob's Pickles!

Love them so much. They made my 30th Birthday a night I will never forget!

Here's to 2013. You've been good to me. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I ran the New York City MARATHON!

I want to start by saying that Sunday was truly one of the best days of my entire life. I have never felt the excitement and adrenaline from anything else and I am so glad I finally got to run my dream race. I also want to say thank you to ALL of you who cheered, sent messages, prayed, made signs, stood for hours to spectate, and made this marathon the best ever! I had heard it before but I can say with confidence, there is nothing like the New York City Marathon. No marathon will ever compare to Sunday. My heart is so so full right now. I am still smiling like a fool!

L-R: Katie, Anne, Me, Brittany, Sarah, Beth 

The morning started bright and early with a 5:45 am wake-up call. Katie, one of my dearest friends stayed with me in Brooklyn to head to Staten Island together. As luck would have it because the 4 train decided to run local we were late so were able to run into all these lovely ladies. It made the morning go by quickly and it was so fun to see and chat with all of them before the race. Definitely helped calm the nerves! We arrived to Staten Island, and after going through security we eventually said our goodbyes and headed to our respected start villages. I was the only one who was in the Green Wave, so I had some 'me' time for a bit before I needed to head to my corral.

By 10:10 were in the corrals and being lead up to start in the bottom section of the bridge. The cannon went off promptly at 10:30 and about a minute later I crossed the start line. I was on the bottom of the bridge and despite it getting bad 'reviews' I honestly didn't mind. I could still see everything and the fact that the wind was pretty terrible I didn't mind running on the bottom. The climb didn't seem super tough, but that was probably just the adrenaline and excitement of it all. I knew coming off the bridge I was going to see my good friend Morgan right about the 5K mark so that gave me something to look forward to! 

I saw Morgan and her cute dog, Berkley and gave them a wave and kept on moving. I settled into a comfortable pace in Brooklyn and felt great. I really loved Brooklyn! Everyone was so pumped and it was great to hear crowd support. I can say that my outfit of choice for the day was a huge success! SO many people yelled " Go Texas, Hook'em!" which of course made me so incredibly happy. I was feeling good and knew that 4 miles later I was going to see my good friend, Katie who would have my first GU to take and some water. I was loving 4th avenue and counting down the blocks to get to her at 4th Avenue and 10th street. I saw her from afar and she had this sign: 

You guys, I have the best friends ever. Katie was so excited to see me and so was I! She gave me a quick pep talk and I continued on! The rest of Brooklyn was amazing and the crowds just got better and better through the course. I was still absolutely loving the race, the spectators, the signs, the cheers. I knew I wouldn't be seeing anymore friends until Queens so I just focused on moving forward and willing the miles to tick away. They did and before I knew it I was almost to the Pulaski Bridge where I would be looking for Kristin, who was going to have this sign:

Seriously, I wanted to see this sign SO badly but I could not spot her anywhere. Sad day. This is where the day turned really sad because as soon as I stepped on to the Pulaski Bridge both of my quads cramped.. terribly. I could not believe I had cramped this early on in the race. I just shook my head. I stopped for a minute and then kept running despite the immense amount of pain I was feeling in both legs. I literally couldn't believe it was happening, but through it all not once did I ever think of quitting. I was determined to make it out of Queens and into Manhattan no matter what it took. I went over the Queensboro bridge and despite the climb seeming like it took forever it wasn't too terrible. When I turned the corner that led to 1st Avenue the crowd was just 100% INSANE. I knew that I was now at 60th and I just had to make it to 97th to my friend who would be waiting for me with a GU and water. In the meantime I was able to see, Jen volunteering at Mile 17! Again, despite the pain, seeing her made me so happy! Right after Jen, a random spectator had a banana and I took it and was so thankful. I was wishing and praying it would be help with the cramps. I finally reached 97th to my friend and fuel and powered forward. I winded up seeing several friends along 1st Avenue, including, Ashley aka Running Bun who snapped a few photos for me including one of my all times faves: 
That's my dear friend Melissa to my right!

Somehow I'm smiling but geez louise I was hurting so bad. Seeing friends along the course is really what pushed me through. I knew I just could not give up and couldn't quit even though my legs continued to try to tell me to stop, to give up. I remember seeing a sign in Brooklyn that said: "Finishing is the only effing option.". Word. I remembered that and I knew that was what I had to do no matter how long it took. Melissa left me to tackle the Bronx, gave me some words of encouragement and told me she'd see me at the Finish Area Family Reunion. The Bronx brought some more rough moments despite trying to plow up the Willis Avenue Bridge I just couldn't anymore. I stopped and walked it to conserve some energy for the rest of the race. On the bridge I saw, Emily, who was SO happy and smiley :) (You looked great, woman and congrats on a great race!) When I was leaving the Bronx behind I got a little teary eyed because I knew I was back in Manhattan and I knew that the finish was finally within reach! Thank you, Jesus! I probably was crying more tears of joy than anything. My next goal was to make it to 127th and 5th Avenue where two of my best friends from college would be. I know Candace would have her little girl with her so knowing that made me soooo happy! She also made a video for me where she was saying 'Run, Leticia, Run'. 


Yet again, I cannot thank my friends enough for their support on Sunday! I would not have made it without them. I forgot about the miles and just remembered the friends I'd see along the way. I stopped for a quick hello with the three of them and then continued on to 5th Avenue. Living in NYC and running up 5th Avenue many times I knew that an incline to Central Park was what awaited me. It was hard, friends. I was so frustrated that my legs would just not cooperate but again I kept repeating a mantra that an Austin runner told me, 'Keep Moving Forward'. I remember vividly getting to 94th Street and 5th and telling myself I was running the rest of the way, no more walking, I was finishing this and getting that medal. I entered the park and the cheers continued. I was so excited to finally be there! I winded up seeing my old roommate, and fellow Texan, Elise right at Mile 24. I gave her a thumbs up and was so grateful to have seen her at that point. I hit Central Park South and again the crowds were overwhelming. I was so happy, so grateful, so tired, and so ready to be done! I turned into the park from Columbus Circle and kept pushing as hard as I could. I remember seeing the 400 yards to go sign and I think I yelled 'YES' out loud. Made it up that last climb and finally saw the famous finish line!

Done! My time (5:37:13) was nothing that would make a record book and in that moment I could care less. I fought hard for that finish line, really really hard. All I knew was that I had accomplished a dream of mine by completing the New York City Marathon. Physically, my body had the toughest day it's ever had in a race over the past two years. My quads failed me hard at mile 13! Like seriously? But mentally I had the best race I've ever had in my entire running career. Never once did I stop believing. Never once did I contemplate quitting. I was so determined to finish no matter what and that's just what I did. One of my biggest goals for that day was to smile a lot... and I did that all day long. 

Thank you to my family, friends, the runner community, Finish Line PT, my physical therapist, Alison, my running coach Michele, and so many others for making this dream of mine become a reality. My heart is bursting with joy and I loved every (painful) moment of this race. I will never forget it. I am proud to say I'm forever a Finisher. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

4 years.

On Saturday, I celebrated 4 years of my 'journey'. I still remember the first workout I went through with my trainer, Albert. It was rough. I actually specifically remember the fact that I thought 10 minutes on the elliptical might kill me (it didn't). I was so out of shape, but also so ready to finally take hold of my life, lose the weight and live a healthy life. So today, I stand here 100lbs lighter (what?) filled with so much energy, focus, and determination.

I remembered and reflected over the last 4 years as I ran for over three hours and capped off the day with 18 total miles. After being injured for the last 6 weeks this was just the run I needed leading up to the NYC Marathon. I ran along the East River, down in Battery Park, and up the West Side Highway taking in some of my most favorite sites: all the bridges, Statue of Liberty, etc. I listed to a Mumford and Sons Pandora Station and forgot about the pace, but just focused on putting one foot in the front of the other. I have come a long way in four years and a lot to be proud of!

I almost can't believe that in 11 days I'll run  my 2nd marathon! I never could have dreamed this life up myself, but am so thankful these days now. For the past 2 years, every day I've dreamed of running this race, and I can't believe it's so dang close! Running has truly changed my life for the better and the community I've made through it can't be compared to anything else. I have made a commitment to myself to stay on track and keep up an active lifestyle and never plan to return to who I once was. Thanks for your support a long the way!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Brooklyn Half Marathon: PR City

I started training for the Brooklyn Half the week after my very less than stellar performance at the DC Half Marathon in March in which I finished in a blazing speed (just under 2:15). Someone remind me to never run a 'fun' half with no serious training. That was very stupid in my opinion. I trained hard and smart the past 8 weeks and knew that I had put in the work to run a PR. That was my biggest goal going into yesterday. 

My good friend, Liz, came in from Chicago to run the half and I was excited to have a friend to travel with to the start and chat with in the corral before we got started. We took the subway as it was an easy option since I live a block away from the 2, 3. We arrived to the start right around 7am. Before we knew it, it was 7:35 and time for Wave 2 to get started. Liz is faster then me so right before we crossed the start we said our goodbyes and knew we'd see each other again after 13.1! 

I crossed the start line to listening to Rihanna's "Diamonds", one of my favorite songs. I was smiling, and was so ready to run this race. The first half mile is a complete downhill... that helped my smile. When I got to the bottom of the street and made the turn to make a slight climb up Flatbush I could feel that my mouth was already dry. CRAP. We left my apt at 6:20 and it was now 7:40ish and I hadn't had any water in over an hour. Stupid, stupid mistake. Right past mile 1 there was a water stop. I contemplated stopping or not but I knew that stopping for 10 seconds would be better than not stopping and risking something worse happening later. My first mile was 9:24, a little fast but basically on pace. We ran around Grand Army, and then back down Flatbush. The downhills in the race are kinda awesome. Mile 3 clocked in at 8:57... too fast for me. I told myself to tone it down a bit or I'd pay for this later in the race. We entered Prospect Park, and a familiar route was upon me. I've run several races in this Park and I knew what was ahead of me. There is one long climb, but asides from that hill, P.P. isn't too hard. 

That hill is in between miles 5-6. When I reached the top of that hill I just felt 'off'. I was on the verge of throwing up (TMI). I contemplated pulling over, but instead I tried to push through it. I didn't feel great. Had I gone out too fast? Was I dehydrated? What if I don't finish? Instead of letting those feelings defeat me, I knew that the toughest mile of the course was over and decided there was nothing that would keep me from Coney Island and my medal. Mile 6 clocked in at 9:47, my slowest mile of the day. I knew that since I wasn't feeling 100% I'd just take water as I needed it and tried to keep my goal pace. I exited Prospect Park, and the song, "Feel Again" by One Republic came on and it just made me realize that running makes me actually feel so alive. (Yes, I'm cheesy, sorry!) I got on Ocean Parkway and I knew I was just going to give it everything I had those last 5 miles. I literally said to myself, "Leticia, you don't get up every morning, run paces that are uncomfortable in training to not PR today. YOU GOT THIS! Let's go." Michele (my amazing running coach) has taught me to be a good mental runner. I can do anything as long as I believe it's possible. 

Miles 8-13 are honestly pretty boring. It's a straight shot down Ocean Parkway all the way to Coney Island. I would check my watch from time to time. I stopped a couple of times for water. Every time I glanced down at my watch, my pace was on track. I knew that a PR was definitely in reach, I wasn't sure by how much but I knew if I held on it was mine. At mile 10, I looked at my watch and knew that as long as nothing bad happened in the final 5K I was pretty much a shoe in for a PR. The final three miles flew by. Before I knew it I saw the 800M to go sign. Two more 'laps' if you will. I turned the final corner, heading to the boardwalk, up the ramp, and could see the finish. I didn't even look at my watch. I just gave it all I had. I crossed the finish line. Hit stop on my Garmin and read the time: 2:05:10 (unofficial). BAM. I had done it. I was so, so, happy!

Mary Wittenberg, the CEO of NYRR was right at the finish after I got my medal and she gave me a big handshake and said congratulations! That was a cool moment for me! When I finished I was so exhausted but I looked right ahead and saw a familiar face! It was Jen! She had also PR'ed and we walked down the boardwalk together, grabbing some water and snacks. It was so nice to celebrate a PR immediately with a dear runner friend! 

My PR before this was a year old, as it was from last years Brooklyn Half. I needed this race. I needed a confidence booster going into marathon training later this summer. Every part of yesterday was fantastic. Even when I didn't feel great, I tested my mental ability to not give up and push through when it's really really hard. Yesterday, was half marathon #7. It was Lucky #7 for me. I'm still smiling! :) Thanks for all your texts, tweets, and well wishes! This runner community is one of the greatest things to happen to my life. I am forever thankful, encouraged, and motivated by ALL of you. 

Brooklyn Half Finishers: (L-R) Jenny, Carla, Allison, Beth, Me, and Liz

Final Stats:
Net Time: 2:05:12
Pace Per Mile: 9:34

Hope you had a great weekend! 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Watching the Boston Marathon from Boylston Street

Before I went to Boston this weekend I thought that today I'd be writing a recap of how amazing of a day Marathon Monday was and how it was so awesome to see all my speedy friends run and finish what most people aspire to do someday. The day was indeed perfect until about 2:50PM. 

Christine, Carla, and I arrived to Boylston Street, just south of the corner of Hereford around 11:30am. The iconic 'Left' on Boylston to head towards the finish line was an amazing place to watch. We saw the elites zoom past (literally) followed by many many others who were approaching mile 26. We screamed, we cheered, we had so much fun watching everyone! We were able to easily spot all of our friends and cheered for them as they were so close to being done! 

Around 2:30, we were around the corner on Newbury having a late lunch. We were sitting at a table and I could actually still see Boylston. I looked over a couple of time before and continued to see a stream of runners go by. I smiled knowing they were all seconds away from crossing the finish line. As we waited for our food I was chatting with Christine, as my phone was nearby charging. We both felt and heard the explosion but in that moment neither of us mentioned it to the other. It was one of those things that we felt but didn't panic. About two minutes later I looked back towards Boyslton and just saw a crowd of people running towards us. In that instant my heart just started beating fast because I knew something was not right. I knew what I had felt a couple of minutes before had to have been something bad. I grabbed my phone and texted my sister to look online at the news and tell me what was going on. At that point she said nothing was online and that it was just news about the winners. I opened my twitter feed to see this:

Do not go near the finish line at the -- 2 explosions in buildings

I was pretty much speechless. None of us knew what to do or think. I immediately started getting texts/tweets as many knew I had been near the finish line supporting my friends. In the minutes after I tried to piece together in my head who had finished around that time. I knew all of my friends had been done for 20-30 minutes so no one would have been in the direct vicinity. I didn't know the severity or how many people were impacted. All I knew was that I was in the middle of chaos. It is a day I will not soon forget. Eventually we made it back to Christine's cousins apartment and then back to South Station to head home to NYC yesterday afternoon.

All of my friends are safe, I am safe.

The events that unfolded yesterday are senseless tragedy. They make no sense. It's a reminder that hate and sin is very real in this world. It saddens me, that's for certain. But what does not sadden me is the resilience of runners. This community loves each other. This is a sport where it doesn't matter if you are a 2 hour marathoner, or a 6 hour marathoner, what matters is that we care and take care of one another. I am forever thankful and proud to be a part of this community.

On Saturday afternoon with our favorite Boston Marathoner, Celia, (to my left) at the finish line. I never would have imagined that a finish line that is so meaningful would be wrecked with severe and utter tragedy two days later.