Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Heavy, heavy thoughts this morning. 

I'm no stranger to anxiety, but watching the news since Monday morning has my heart pounding. You'd have to be hiding under a rock not to have heard about the Sunday night shooting on the Las Vegas Strip.

Have you ever been to Las Vegas? I have been there once with my sister and had a fantastic weekend. So much so that I've been looking forward to going back in November to run the Rock 'N' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon. This is a race I've wanted to do for a while. It's of one of those runners' bucket list races. Running on the strip? At night? Yes, please! Meeting up with the #holottafun ladies? Bonus! Connecting with other running bloggers? Jackpot!

I wrote about my running slump this past week. RA is making me achy and tired, and training isn't going well. My husband and I have yet to book a flight. I hadn't seriously considered pulling out out of the race, though.

Now, after current events, I'm not so sure. Now, I'm struggling with my decision to go.



We are living in a turbulent world. There has been so much violence and so many mass shootings in the last couple of years that it's hard to get my head around it all. We have a buffoon in the White House who believes in agitating people instead of working for solutions. Even in my own job as a pediatric nurse practitioner, I'm seeing an increasing number of people who are demanding and difficult. I've had to call security a few times this past year after being threatened by a parent. It's unnerving. 

I grew up with the belief that people are generally good and kind. I have nostalgia for the days when we could board a plane without having to be herded through lines like cattle and meeting family and friends at the gate, greeting us as we arrived. Now as I wait in the security line to enter Wrigley Field to watch my beloved Chicago Cubs, I recall the days of just walking into the ballpark without a care. I still can't get used to seeing the giant snowplows strategically parked at the entrance to the big Chicago races, security personnel swarming to screen the runners. 

I understand that this is all necessary to keep us safe. This is the world we live in. We can still move freely. We can still have fun. 

But what's to stop another person from opening fire on a crowd again? I can't help but fear running on that same Las Vegas Strip in November. There was an FBI profiler on the news this morning and she said that this wasn't an impulsive act, that the guy had to have planned it in advance. That he had to pick out that specific hotel room for its location.

Everyone tells me it will be safer than ever after this. While I want to believe that, I see how easy it was for this guy. The strip is lined with hotels. What's to stop another crazy from doing the same thing?

People say that we need to live our lives as usual, that we shouldn't let these incidents stop us from having fun. That by avoiding events, we're giving power to the people with the guns, the cars, the weapons of choice.

Hence, the struggle. Already feeling overwhelmed with a poor training cycle, I wasn't so sure about going to run this race. It's so out of my comfort zone. A crowded race course. A start time in the evening. A destination race, away from home. Now, after the shooting, I'm not so sure I want to go to Las Vegas. I try to reassure myself that security will be tight that weekend. Maybe the hotels lining the strip will perform background checks on patrons. Maybe there will be metal detectors at the entrances to the hotels. 

For now, I wait to see how this plays out. I've never let something like this affect my plans. But there have just been too many of these incidents. This current one happened a little too close to race day for my comfort. Not to mention my husband, who was already reluctant to take this trip.  

Should I stay home or should I go?

What do you think? Would you let a catastrophic event like this change your travel plans?

I'm linking up with Marcia, Erika, and Patti for Tuesdays on the Run; Deb Runs for Wednesday Word; Debbie, Susie, Lora, and Rachel for Coaches' Corner, and Nicole, Annemarie, and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday.





79 comments :

  1. Go. If we stop living our lives, they've won.

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    1. That's my take, also. I will not let thugs or terrorists rule my life.

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    2. I've always said that. I'm not sure why I'm feeling differently this time. Maybe because it's a little too close for comfort.

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  2. The first thing I thought of was "okay now there is going to have to be metal detectors and security lines to get in to resorts in high profile areas". After the Boston attack, I was convinced something was going to happen at a bigger race like Disney or such. Not to blow it off in anyway, but what are the chances of something like this happening in Vegas again next month? (maybe I shouldn't ask that???).
    In any case, I can see your apprehension. If you want to go, you should still go. If it's not worth being stressed out and aggravated,than skip it. Your friends will understand and will love you anyway.

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    1. Who knows what the chances are of it happening again? I personally believe Las Vegas was ripe for someone like this. I wonder what the hotels will do to vette their guests?

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  3. I so understand your fear and anxiety. I did see some comments on the Vegas R'n'R Facebook page....many said this race needs to continue as planned as a tribute and a memorial. I'm still a nervous wreck boarding an airplane, and 9-11 was 16 years ago....but I refuse to give these violent people that kind of power over me. Take care....I'd really love to see you there for this big girls weekend ;-)

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    1. Funny thing about flying after 9/11--that never bothered me. This does. A large crowd in a valley of high rises? Sitting ducks. Give me time to sort it out.

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  4. I'd try to make a decision based on all the other factors. If you're still on the fence, go with your gut. Chance are, nothing will happen, but if you're going to worry about that until you cross the finish line or board the plane back home, it's not worth it. ((hugs))

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    1. Exactly! I haven't been training well and was already on the fence about going. I'm not going to do anything to jeopardize my life or my health.

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  5. As someone who was there when the event went down (not at the concert but witnessed the emergency response) - I understand your fears. I do have to say that the first responders, LE officials and ER teams did an amazing job. It was incredible the way that they contained the situation as quickly as they did. That being said, you can't live your life in fear. There is no way to say what will or won't happen. As far as traveling to Vegas - the race is over a month from now and while there will be heavy thoughts I am sure while you're there, it shouldn't deter you from going unless you really think it will dampen your mood the entire time you're there.

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    1. I think I need time to absorb it all. Not sure I want to do this.

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  6. I think the City of LV needs us. Regardless of what happens to the race, I plan to visit and give my love to the city. What happened is beyond comprehension. But I also refuse to hide at home.

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    1. There won't be any hiding if I stay home! But I'll see how I feel in a week or so.

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  7. The world is a scary place, all the time. I saw that R'n'R was looking at safety after the horrific events.

    I think you should go, Vegas will be safest in the next few months, than it ever was. Don't let a man scare your spirit!

    I have a concert Friday, and Roger asked me if I was still going after the shooting, and I said Yes, because anything could happen, I could trip and fall getting up from my desk and break my neck, I could get hit by a car going to lunch... if anything happens at the concert, I will go out living my life without fear.

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    1. They always say that things will be safer after an event like this but how do you ensure that when you have a 1000+ room hotel? I feel like I'm pretty fearless, but I sure don't want to put myself in harm's way.

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  8. But I also want to say, do whatever will make you feel best and happiest...whatever that is for you!

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  9. It's definitely hard when things like this happen, but I've also realize that I'm equally as likely to get hit when I go out for a normal morning run or to get in a car crash. So if used to let my life be dictated by these people. I know you'll do whatever is right for you but I hope you can choose from a place of feeling good because definitely win our bodies aren't feeling good it's much harder to make decisions.

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    1. Since I was already on the fence about this race, the decision isn't as difficult as it could be. But it is....

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  10. I've been to Vegas countless times and have done the RnR half marathon. Don't let fear hold you back. If we all did that, we'd do nothing; go nowhere. This was a random act that could happen in Vegas or at your local movie theater. We all still have to live life. And, if anything is going to get you our of your slump, it's running on the Strip!

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    1. You think? If my husband was all in, it might be easier for me to talk myself into it!

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  11. It's been a scary several months :( This isn't a comforting thought but I've just come to embrace that we aren't safe anywhere. The grocery store, the mall, the movie theater, driving down the road. And once I've accepted that and accepted that I'm not going to just stay holed up in my house, then it all become a question of degree and risk management. So I'll wear my seat belt and I will try to be hyper conscious of my surroundings but other than that... I will just live my life in the best way possible. I would still go and have as amazing a time as I could. But if the thought of going increases stress and anxiety levels through the roof, you wouldn't be able to have a good time anyway. So I think it will be different for everyone as to whether the trip is going to be worth it.

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    1. If the race were here in Chicago, no problem, I'd do it. Traveling puts a whole other dimension on what will likely be a very anxiety-inducing weekend for me.

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  12. Although it's definitely scary, I think you should go. I did the race last year and it was great. Also, we cannot live in fear. If we live in fear it paralyzes us from doing anything, and that's no way to live.

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  13. Personally I would not change my plans due to fear of safety. It can happen anytime, anywhere. If you're having second thoughts because you're not feeling great physically, that's another issue. I haven't booked a flight yet either and now I think I'll wait until RnR comes out and says something. The pre-race concert and starting are the same venue where the shooting occurred. Obviously they can no longer have a concert/race in a place where the largest shooting in modern American history took place. I'm wondering if the race will take place at all.

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    1. You know I've been having physical issues, so this incident may have just tipped the scales in the no-go direction. I'm with you. I'm waiting to see what they say.

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  14. We flew from LA about 6 weeks post 9-11. I lost a co-worker who was on the plane that hit the Pentagon so I was a nervous wreck. It was a new traveling world for all of us at that time. Unfortunately senseless tragedy happens. The last time my husband was in a cycling accident I heard a lot of "when is he going to stop riding?" It was the same week as the shooting in the church in Charleston so I asked "when are you going to stop going to church?" Las Vegas may now be one of the safest places in the country. Make the decision that's right for you.

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    1. This just feels different to me. I'm not sure why. Let's see how it plays out.

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  15. I didn't sign up for Vegas because a) we've already traveled a LOT this year and b) I've done it. Twice. Not to mention the fact that it's just time to relax a bit. I've been training hard, amidst lots of stress, for the last 18 months.

    But here's my $.02 -- what if you stayed home because of the fear and something happened at home? It's possible. Anything's possible.

    Do you think you'll be so anxious that you won't be able to enjoy the race? Despite being with all your friends and all of the new friends you'll be meeting (#holotta FOMO over that!).

    Don't do it because everyone else is doing it. Definitely don't do it for a fast time! Despite the flat course, the crowds make that difficult. Do it for the people and maybe getting out of your running funk. And if you really believe that you won't enjoy it because of the anxiety, don't do it.

    We went to NYC and stayed in the same hotel in Times Square that they had found a bomb at just a week after they found it. Was there some anxiety? Of course! Did we have a great time? Absolutely.

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    1. I wasn't planning on a fast finish time. I was planning on a #holottafun. But training hasn't gone well and I was already thinking of pulling out. It's a lot of money for what might be a very disappointing weekend.

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    2. It's definitely a lot of money, which was one of the main reasons I didn't sign up for it.

      It sounds like it mostly boils down to whether or not you can enjoy the weekend, despite maybe not feeling well or doing well.

      I wasn't feeling well last weekend, but I'm sure it's not the same thing. I did have a great time in spite of it.

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  16. I can see where you're coming from but I wouldn't let one crazy person ruin your trip. I ran Salt Lake City Marathon one week after the bombing in Boston and I was stressed but the whole crowd came together as one and, while security was tight, it didn't feel overwhelming. In fact, it was nice to have them there. I think you should still go. We have to live our lives! <3

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    1. Yes, we do have to still live our lives! That's the dilemma.

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  17. I ran the MCM marathon the year of the Boston bombings and right after issues in London. Oh, and the Senate was closed down until the week of the marathon. In my experience, things are a cluster now, but they will make safety a priority.
    What happened this weekend was so f***ing tragic, and terrifying. But we still went to the Olympics in 1996 after the bombing in Centennial, we still fly on planes, we still go to school. The unfortunate truth is that the world isn't safe. Life isn't safe. We could be killed in a senseless act of violence or by choking on a chicken bone. If the experience is going to give you more anxiety and less pleasure than staying home and doing something closer, then the experience isn't worth it. But if the running and seeing your friends will give you joy, I say go for it.

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  18. Oh Wendy, you are holding the weight of the world on your shoulders. I agree with everything you said. If I felt like ass and was already questioning my physical desire to run anyway, plus the anxiety over safety, I might bail. But knowing all your friends will be there and that it will be an epic party from start to finish should outweigh that anxiety.

    I think if you don't feel well and can't envision yourself running, sit it out. There will be other races. But if fear and anxiety are what would keep you away, push it aside and enjoy time with your friends and hubby.

    This world sucks. I miss the days we could go to the gates with our families, too. Or go to the beach without fearing an explosion. But this is the world we live in now. We must press on.

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    1. 100% agree. I was already on the fence with this one because of poor training. I have to reconcile bailing in my mind. So here I sit.

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  19. Ahh Wendy I can read the struggle your going through. Ultimately the decision is yours and yours alone. I get the part about your husband not fond of going. That is exactly why I wasn't in Utah, my husband didn't want me to go.
    If you were already having doubts about going I wouldn't imagine it wouldn't take much to confirm that decision. As for me, if the Lord will let me live long enough I'll be in Vegas and I sure do hope to see you there too!

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    1. I'm glad you understand. I'd like to go. I need to see how it all plays out.

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  20. Fully understand your feelings. I have been living in France with terrorism for the past 5 years or so and I hate how it has affected every day life. Metal detectors. Walls, ID checks. Military. But worse is the every day tension. I don't want to give an opinion on if you should go or not, as it is a personal decision for you. But here, we try to live life as normally as we can. My daughters take the subway into the city. Go to expos. Go to clubs. I just try not to think about the terrorism much. We just try to live. Else I feel they win.

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    1. All the time, I feel this way. Not sure why I feel so differently with this experience. Maybe because it's so close to race day.

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  21. Its terrible these things happen but I also think we can't stop life or the terrorist types win. However the choice is yours to make. November is a month away, right now the tragedy is all over the media, I always think times of stress in ones life are not the time to make any life decisions. I'd say see how you feel in a month and try not to dwell on the decision until later on when things have calmed down.
    I remember my first marathon a few weeks after 9/11 and the patriotism and community support for the runners and event were at an all time high, turned out to be one of the most memorable races of my life, full of people coming together both runners and spectators to show terrorism it will never win!

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    1. Good advice--I'm going to wait and see how things play out. I like your perspective of running that race after 9/11!

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  22. I raced in Oregon a couple weeks after the Boston Marathon bombings. I always feel defiant when something like this happens. I love to run, and I won't let my life be ruled by fear. My Oregon race wasn't affected though, and I'm waiting on RnR for now. I don't know what else to do except continue to train. I trust RnR to make the right decision.

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    1. I'd like to think that if I were running a race anywhere else, I wouldn't feel so anxious. The very idea of running on that strip, one month after this happened is very anxiety inducing to me.

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  23. Obviously I'm facing the same decision you are and it is definitely not an easy one. However, if race officials, law enforcement and the powers that be in Las Vegas say the race is safe, I will run it. I'm afraid of so many things and this cannot be one of them. I certainly hope you will be there because I'm SO looking forward to meeting you but, if you chose to not run I cannot blame you at all. May you make the best decision for YOU. xoxoxo

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    1. This is so unlike me to be afraid but it is what it is. I'll sit back and see what happens.

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  24. My husband and I flew a few days after 9/11. We were totally fine with it, but then as we were packing in our hotel to leave for the airport to head back home, we were watching the news reports of the US retaliation just having started. I couldn't help but think...why couldn't they have waited just a few more hours? We were very nervous about being up in the air. So...I don't know. Chicago is Sunday, and the marathon people have posted a response about safety and security. I'm comfortable going, but I know you are going to where this horrific tragedy just happened. It's very raw right now. I agree with everyone else; let the dust settle and see what the RnR folks have to say. And take some time for some true and thoughtful introspection. Try in your mind to look at it from completely opposite directions, if you can: First subtract the shooting from the equation (impossible, I know) and focus on your difficult training cycle. Had the shooting not occurred, would you go? Then look at it the other way around. Imagine you have had a great training cycle but the shooting did occur. Given a good training cycle, would you go? I know it's hard to separate the two. The only good answer is you need to do what's most comfortable for you. Prayers for all of you faced with this difficult decision.

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    1. Given a good training cycle? The decision would be even more difficult. Feeling the way I do right now, physically, makes me lean towards a DNS. The anxiety I would feel there would only exacerbate my RA symptoms. Sigh.

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    2. Then I think you have your answer. NO race is worth your physical or mental health {Hugs}

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  25. I think i would be feeling the same way if I were you. Especially if I was already having doubts about a race. I am also an anxious person and when something happens I cant help but thinking more about everywhere I go and what could happen. While Im sure it will be more safe, you have to do what you are comfortable with.

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    1. Thank you! It's a tough call. But I don't know if I'd be able to enjoy the race, feeling the way I do right now. Giving it some time...

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  26. Living right out of DC this is a discussion that my husband and I have had too many times. I was registered to run the DC Cherry Blossom 10 miler the week after the Boston bombings. I struggled with many of the same questions. My kids were younger and they did not want me to go.My husband convinced me that I could not let them win. I do truly believe good is stronger evil but I do understand your fears. They are real far too real maybe. Having said that, RnR Vegas was my favorite half ever. It's an experience like no other. Tough times we live in

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  27. I think you should go. After all, I plan to be there too. :-)

    Seriously, once we start letting the terrorists change our lives and decisions they have won. There may be some risk, though I imagine there will be a lot of police and other support to make sure that it doesn't, but frankly we take a risk every time we walk out our door. It could happen in Chicago or really anywhere.

    I think part of your indecision is that it is simply too soon to make choice about this. It is too raw. Give it a few days, and decide then.

    Speaking of travel, when will you be here? We need to run together!

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    1. We're coming tomorrow! I'll send you a message via FB. It's going to be hot! so if we run, it would have to be early.

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    2. I guess hot is relative. :-) I always run early, though, even in the winter, so that's fine.

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  28. Honestly, I'd probably go. But I live fewer than 5 miles from the Pentagon, the White House, etc. I figure anywhere is probably safer than here. But I understand the anxiety too. Good luck with your decision.

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  29. I read this yesterday and have pondered since.
    ID GO.
    xoxo

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  30. Oh man! I honestly don't know what I would do. If it's something you were excited about, had rocked your training for and were set to PR... that would be one thing... but it sounds like you were on the fence already.
    I know we should not let these people make us fear, but I've had second thoughts about large events like this too.
    I think you should give it a little time and see how you feel next week. Both answers here are right!

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    1. I agree with you on everything! It's not that I'm going to stop my life--heck, I'm going to California this weekend! But it's this one event, that I was already iffy about...

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  31. That's so tough. I remember the week before we left for Europe in June was a string of terrorist attacks and I was panicking that we'd never make it back to our girls!!

    But at the end of the day, I don't believe that we should let fear dictate our decisions.

    If, however, you feel under or over trained and your heart is not in the run, then don't! There will always be more races.

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    1. I truly agree with you that fear shouldn't rule. However, I was already on the fence about this race and after the shooting, my heart just isn't it.

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  32. I hate to say this, but this is why I don't like attending crowded events. I know I can't live in fear, but another mass shooting like this makes me just want to stay home and be safe.

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    1. I've never been one to be attracted to big events. Running Chicago was a stretch for me and I did it 3 times! But that's my hometown and I'm comfortable there. I did hear on the news that this summer the LV shooter rented hotel rooms with a perfect view of Lollapalooza. My son was there. It could have happened here. Still could. We can't stop living. That's for sure.

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  33. That is so tough. As always, go with your gut. You still have some time to to sleep on it. Rooting for you either way!

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    1. Thank you! Still waiting to see what RnR comes out with.

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  34. I'm racing this weekend and I always have this in the back of my mind, especially since the Boston attack. But I just think about the fact that there are so many ways my time could end at any time, that I can't dwell on it. I try to tell myself that when my time is up, my time is up.
    I wish this type of massacre wasn't our reality. I wish that going to a large event didn't bring with it an inherent risk like it does today. We need change and we need it now. But I would literally never go out my door if I focused on what might happen, especially because it's seemingly so random.
    That said, you should weigh your feelings out on whether you will enjoy the weekend or not. If I were in your position and that were the only thing I hesitated on, I would probably go. But that's me and I'm not you :) It's not an easy decision, that's for sure.

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    1. Having run the Chicago Marathon multiple times, I won't deny that I haven't had those thoughts, that something like this could happen during that race. Or any race.

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  35. As a Vegas local, this was one of my first thoughts - people are going to cancel their plans to come for the marathon next month. Please still come. We need people to come back to our city, so we can rebuild and recover from this tragedy. However, I hope everyone will do what makes them feel most comfortable.

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    1. I wonder how many people will cancel? I bet not very many. Runners are pretty resilient people, overall. Probably there will be a handful who won't, including people who were nursing injuries or having a poor training cycle and were already hesitating (like me).

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  36. Don't let this horrible person ruin your plans. If you don't want to go because you feel you aren't prepared, that's one thing, but don't let fear hold you back. Like a few other people in the comments have said, if you don't go because of this, all those people that are stirring up the pot of hate and fear have won.

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  37. I think anything can happen anywhere and that I personally will not let it affect my plans no matter how scared I am. We have to live and keep our fingers crossed that we will be okay.

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  38. This is a great post and I totally agree that it is a lot to contemplate! I travelled to New Orleans a few weeks after the 9/11 attacks when many people were cancelling travel plans. I also went to Paris 2 months after the last attack their as well. My thinking was that it was safer than ever to go!

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  39. If you aren't comfortable, then don't go! If you go against your instincts and have a great time, great! BUT, if you go against your instincts and something happens, you will second-guess yourself. I have a really hard time with forgiving myself for my mistakes, so I know that it would be a no-brainer for me--I'd stay home!

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  40. That's a very tough and personal decision, but like everyone else has said, if you want to go and don't, then they win. If you choose not to go because of how you feel and how your training has been going, your friends will understand.

    Thanks for linking up!

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