Marathon Day

Short version: I finished my first marathon in 4:49:20.

Long version: I wasn’t quite prepared for the emotional downs and ups that come with running a marathon.  The first half was easy and fun.  I loved taking in the little details – kids handing out jellybeans, funny signs, clever t-shirts.  The crowd support was amazing, and my family was even better.  Each time I saw them cheering on the sidelines I felt an incredible boost and wanted to run faster.  Things got harder in the second half.  Miles 18-21 were the worst… I never hit a wall, but my tired, sore body hurt with each step, the end seemed a long ways away, and I found my resolve flagging.  I started repeating to myself “cruise control, cruise control,” and somehow the image of a vehicle moving at a smooth, consistent pace gave me something to aim for.  My dad joined me at mile 21 and everything seemed instantly better.  He chatted and told me I looked good and made me smile as we ran along.  I’m not sure I could have done it without him.  When we passed mile marker 25 I realized, suddenly, that I was going to make it.  I was going to make it.  When I crossed the finish line and heard my family cheering, it hit me suddenly that I had accomplished something I had trained for through so many lonely miles.  I cried in David’s arms and hugged my family and felt shaky and proud and weak and strong all at the same time.

I might even do it again.

(This amazing lady ran the full marathon in a sunbonnet.)

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