The Los Angeles Marathon was yesterday. This year, the organizers created a new course, “The Stadium to the Sea.” It started at my old stomping grounds of Dodger Stadium, then wound through the greater LA area hitting lots of landmarks and ended at the beach in Santa Monica. The new route went just a couple blocks from my house, so Mike, Annabel, and I went up to cheer on the runners at Mile 22.
I could never run a marathon. Now before you’re like, “yes you can Heather, you can do anything if you put your mind to it! You can be president and walk on the moon and ride a horse when you have your period!” let me just say – I don’t WANT to run a marathon. The desire just isn’t there, and that has to be at least 50% of running a marathon, right?
The energy at Mile 22 was really amazing and fun. The runners all knew they only had one more tiny hill before it was all downhill to the beach. The crowd was really into it, with a DJ playing music and the spectators wearing costumes and holding signs.
I realized when I was watching the runners that I am in my own marathon, but it’s mental. In two weeks it will be a year since Madeline died. I have counted every hour, every day, every week, every month. It’s really hard to think about how much time has passed since I last held and kissed her, heard her laugh, watched her smile…but it’s harder to think about how much more time there could be without her.
I imagine the marathon runners don’t think at mile one, “holy crap, I have 25.2 more miles to go! This is impossible!” I think if they did, they’d never be able to finish. That’s how I have to approach every day or I can’t get out of bed. It’s so easy for me to fall into the trap of thinking about the rest of my life without her. So I have to focus on things day by day. I have to remember that other moms and families have survived this marathon. Even my heroes.
It’s a marathon that’s all uphill, with no finish line in sight. I wish with all my being I was just a spectator.