I just woke up from a comatose fatigue induced sugar induced comatose nap. Careful readers will know that I often work backwards from the present. I’m not sure what this will be like but it’s got to be put into words to be believed.
I left Thursday morning bright and early without my daughters to go to Los Angeles in order to run the marathon and visit my son. The ache and sad division in my heart was palpable. It stings now even to think about it. It did, however, help to solidify some things. For instance I know God’s words on my heart that things will always be like this.
Nothing changes if nothing changes. Right?
AnyWho… I got to Los Angeles. I had a great time with my son. I am always amazed with each visit and how far he has come and the growth he shows as he becomes an independent young man.
I stayed at a hotel in Redondo Beach on Thursday night. On Friday and Saturday nights, I stayed at the Fairmont Hotel in Santa Monica. This would be the hotel at the finish line of the marathon. The Fairmont was utterly amazing. The staff was as kind and helpful as they could be and the hotel was absolutely impeccable. If I were grading it, I would give it an A plus plus plus.
We went to mass on Saturday night and then back to the hotel fairly early so I could get an early night sleep, which I got at about 10 o’clock. My wake up call was for 415, but I woke up at 3:50. I read and prayed and meditated for a little while and then I got up and got myself ready and headed downstairs. I inquired about where the buses were at City Hall, and was happily informed that there was a bus outside a different entrance of the hotel that I could take to get to Dodger Stadium for the marathon. I did a 180, went out where I was instructed, and there was a bus, just waiting for me to get on it with two empty seats.
I paid for the VIP tent for myself. I must admit this was a bit disappointing. First of all, there was no coffee, a must for marathoners. There were no heaters in the tent as promised. “Breakfast breads” actually met Lenders bagels in their packages waiting to be consumed. My thought is that at the very least there should’ve been a variety of bread, such as croissants or pastries. There could have also been things to put on the bagels, like butter or jelly or cream cheese. This writer here planned on that being breakfast, so I was a little surprised and disappointed. Still, as first world problems go, it was all good and I ate what was offered. There were bathrooms cordoned off for us to and the lines were pretty amazingly long there as well. I ended up having to stop around mile three to use the bathroom, which was still a five minute wait.
The race began uppill and had lots of wonderful hills in the first six-ish miles. It was a difficult race for me because my training had fallen apart so badly at the early part of December. I was relying mostly upon my marathon experience and had no expectations for a finish time. For me, getting to the starting line and crossing the finish line or my sole expectations. The course was amazing with a lots of entertainment in bands along the sidelines. There was so much eye candy in the form of Los Angeles – landmarks everywhere it’s seemed and the people, I didn’t use my headphones at all. The crowd support was unbelievable. I finished the race and five hours and 15 minutes, by far, my longest marathon ever. In retrospect, I wonder what implementing a walk run method would have done to my time.
I crossed the finish line much later than anticipated which meant I would be getting to the airport much later than anticipated. I did not make the cut off to check my bag curbside. I had to check it in at the desk inside where there was a line and I ended up missing my flight at 3:50 yesterday afternoon. Then came the scary part. There were no flights that I was a guaranteed a flight on, for the rest of the day yesterday, or today. 😳 there I was standing there, extremely sore and fatigue from the marathon, with no immediate hope of getting home. I really wanted to cry. I stepped out of line to consider my options and finally went with the option of being on standby for the midnight flight last night. At 12 o’clock, I was the last one called on the standby list. I was thanking God and Mary because I prayed to both of them for their help. I really wanted to get home. So I made my way onto the extremely crowded plane and took my seat between two very tired and thankfully very small fellow passengers. Then my defective thinking kicked in… It goes everywhere with me and rears its head when least expected. Oh my gosh I thought, how am I going to sleep on this almost 3 hour flight to Dallas I wondered. And what if the chick near the window needs to use the bathroom while I’m sleeping? Alas, they were fleeting thoughts and I was quickly asleep. We landed a few hours later. I still managed to fall back asleep between touchdown and deplaning. I was exhausted. On top of that, I still wasn’t assured a flight home from Dallas. But at least I was finished with the hardest part of the trip which was getting to Dallas from Los Angeles. In my mind, I knew that I could always rent a car and drive myself home if I couldn’t get on a flight that morning. It would be a 6 Hour drive if that proved to be the case. I found my way to Starbucks, and then to the gates that I was again on standby for a 9 o’clock flight home to Lafayette. I was so happy and relieved when she called my name to get on the plane.
I made my flight! My suitcase was actually on that flight – thanks God! – and so I was able to get going pretty quickly. I drove straight to Starbucks – black coffee stat plus a pound to bring home.
So now – Saturday February 20 – had a run/walk last night. Still pretty fatigued in my lower body. I’ll continue to listen to my body. Mentally, I’m good – ready to get back to a fitness & nutrition regimen. The whole situation with my daughters is still very painful in my mind. When I share it with people close to me, the reaction is always the same. “Why???” The answer is that he didn’t want to be alone and for narcissists, they will get their way on certain issues no matter how many tears are shed because ultimately, it’s about them.
On a healthier note, it’s the weekend and I am very grateful.