Nepal vs. Baltimore

The sensational news these past few days. We go between the struggles of watching the earthquake in Nepal, to riots in Baltimore. I said to Chris while we were eating dinner last night that I feel like I am in the early 1960’s. Why is there so much struggle with race, color, and violence? Such different issues in different parts of the world. In Nepal they did not ask for an earthquake and yet look at how the world is coming together (as often happens with natural disasters)? I received a notice from my company to donate, Facebook reminds me, there are mentions all over social media to donate and support the victims of this massive earthquake. We donate because we care. We donate because we know one day we could be in a similar situation. We donate because that is what we do — we take care of others.

Why then do we then see the juxtaposition of rioting, looting, fires — a war zone in Baltimore? How is it that we can see such generosity and such anger? Both situations have a result of pain, but different triggers of that pain. I am not going to even give my opinion one way or other as to the situation that occurred to cause this anguish. I had not actually followed what happened. What sparks my interest are the actions of those that are reacting. How is that living a non-violent approach? The police officers in the earlier incident could have very much been in the wrong, and it could also be a misunderstanding. It makes no sense to me that the result is that individuals feel they can damage liquor stores, throw bricks at cops, and burn and destroy public property. It completely diverts from the actual original issue. Others no longer see what actually happened. The issue is lost because all the people can see (my view completely) is their reaction.

It reminds me of a kid that does not get their way. What do they do? They throw a temper tantrum. They lie on the floor and keep their feet and whine and moan. Sometimes they use violence by kicking their parents or a sibling. Sometimes they might punch a wall, break something, or destroy an object to prove their point. Basically, I watch what is happening in Baltimore and what was happening in Missouri and I think stop it all. Stop acting like children. Stop with the news frenzied temper tantrums. Grow up, use your words, and make change in other meaningful ways. Ways that have a lasting effect.

We all have those days when we want to pitch a fit, but deep down we never want to steal, destroy, or hurt someone else. We want to be seen and heard. The individuals in Baltimore may be acting out because they feel an injustice has been done. They want to be seen and heard. Yet, there is a part of me that feels they do it because they can. They do it so they can try to prove a point, but in turn they lose a lot of credibility. In the words of many parents, I just want to yell: “Use your words.” We have got to stop this violence and instead put our focus on Nepal and other areas of the world that truly need our help.

Boston Marathon admiration

It is hard to believe that my day yesterday was so crazy that I missed the entire Boston Marathon coverage. After living in Boston for 4 years, I got addicted to the camaraderie and dedication of Bostonians for those running the marathon. In Boston they have an entire holiday (Patriots Day) where you actually get paid to take the day off and if you feel so inspired go and watch the marathon. Of course Patriot’s Day has nothing to do with the Boston Marathon, but it does have a nice way of working out for Bostonians. We did it a few times. If you get there early enough there are actually restaurants on Boylston Street (where the finish line is) and you can have food and drinks and sit on the sidewalk patio of a restaurant and watch the race in style. I can remember in the early days of Chris and my life together (maybe before we ever really knew where we would end up) we sat together, had brunch and watched the race.

Regardless of whether you are in Boston or not, or whether you watched the race or not, there is a charged excitement and energy around races like the Boston or New York Marathon. Just as there is with the Olympics or World Cup. These are races that show the triumph, drive, and legacy of professional and everyday runners that give it their all either year around as they train to medal in such races, or for those that are trying for their personal best. For me there is something gratifying about someone who works so hard to compete or even try to finish running 26.2 miles. When I saw that the man who placed first was just over 2 hours, I was reminded that he ran 26.2 miles in just over the time it took me to run 13.1 miles. He can run the same amount of miles in half the time that I can – AMAZING!

What inspires me about races like the Boston Marathon is the amount of hours of dedication it takes for these runners (elite or not) to prepare for such a race. Hours, days, weeks, months, maybe even a year back to last year’s race. It might mean giving up on drinks with friends, time with children or other family members. Possibly it means very early mornings to get in those long runs, or being outside in rain, snow, or sleet, or maybe if you live in a warmer climate dealing with extreme heats and dryness. Whatever the weather situation, the time of day, or the toll it takes on your body, training for a marathon is a dedication that not everyone can or wants to do. We are all capable of more than we do, but sometimes there are moments in life when we show that we can push ourselves beyond limits we never were thought were possible. There is also a kindness that other runners spread during a race – see this link for stories of how runners went above and beyond during or after the Boston Marathon.

Running is a sport like no other. This year’s race was cold and rainy. It shows how many people will come out and support you rain or shine while you spend from 2 (elite athletes) to 6 hours to finish running 26.2 miles. Dedication. Perseverance. Friendship. I admire everyone that ran Boston yesterday.

My first half marathon

At the 9th mile

At the 9th mile

Yesterday I ran my first half marathon! I cannot believe I am actually saying this, but I enjoyed it. I was a bit emotional at the start line because my stomach was not agreeing with me. I was worried about that, as I do not usually run so early in the morning, but once I got started I was fine. There was a slight drizzle, and a cold 42 degrees, but as the minutes passed, the rain chilled out. I was definitely grateful for my Nike running jacket, to keep the moisture away and keep me warm.

stopped train...

stopped train…

The strange part about the race? Trains. Yes, trains. About 1/4 of the way through the race, all runners were stopped. We had to wait at least 10 minutes to wait for a cargo train that was STOPPED on the tracks. You know what it is like when you are in a car waiting at the train tracks for a train to move, then when it does it starts going slowly. Except it was freezing, drizzling, and we had just started our race. It was a bit unbelievable.

After passing the Finish Line. #pooped

After passing the Finish Line. #pooped

They have yet to post the times of the race. They said they would fix our times due to the train that stopped the race, so it is taking them longer. The clock said 2:02 when I crossed the Finish Line, so I believe my time was just over 1 hour and 50 minutes with the adjusted train time.

What would I do differently next time? Set up a play list so I would not have to scroll through Spotify on my iPhone while running.

#whatraceisnext?