Yesterday I ran a marathon. All 26.2 miles of it. I wrote a little bit about my nerves here a couple of days ago and now, here I am on the other side of things to write my race recap.
First things first. We did it.
We actually did it.
Somewhere around mile 23 Jus and I said to each other, “you know, deep down there was doubt that we could do this.” But there we were…mile 23. And we did do it. Running magazines often talk about “trusting the process” and suggest “resting” in the fact that your training will carry you through race day. Trust is a hard thing to have when you have never, ever, ever run that far in your entire life. But, I think the next time a friend runs a marathon, I will spout the “trust the process” wisdom. Because it’s true.
Ok, let’s back up a little bit to the beginning, shall we?
Deb, Ollie, Matt, Jussie and I went to Niagara on Saturday to get our race kits. The swag bags were actually pretty awesome and we got sweet long sleeve highlighter yellow race shirts. Afterward, we had the “prescriptive” pasta dinner. The food was bland and our waitress was crusty and I would have really liked to have a glass of wine.
We went and saw the movie Argo after. It was great.
Hotel to sleep.
Up early for race morning. Bagel. Nerves.
And then before we knew it, it was 10 am and we were lining up at the start.
Let me tell you the very best thing about this whole marathon experience…the FRIENDS we met on the run.
This race only had 1500 marathoners. It was small and friendly. We ran the first 6 or so miles with a really nice couple from Pennsylvania. We met a hilarious group of older Japanese women who had run a number of marathons before. We chatted with Dimitri from Greece who was running 4 North American marathons in a month and who asked if we were brothers. And we met a guy from Calgary who was on his honeymoon…and his wife was “way ahead..” We ran for a while with Lilianna from London, ON- originally from Colombia. And at the very end, it was Cindy who, when we started walking with 2 miles to go said, “pick it up ladies, I’ve been trying to keep up with you, let’s move it.” And then there was the “60 year old” with the strong Boston accent who kept asking spectators, “is it still Sunday?” He wanted to race us to the finish and is one of the many reasons why we had such big smiles on our faces at the end of the race.
The other best part was our cheering squad. A marathon, or any race for that matter, is over in a few hours. But our friends and our families- those people are what our lives are really about. They are the true blessings in our lives.
Deb, Matt, Maja, Krista and Luke were the best cheerers we could have asked for. My mom and Jussie’s Dad and Aunt were also there and that was the BEST. Seeing their smiling faces and knowing that they would all be at the end was something to look forward to. They gave up their Sunday to race around Niagara trying to see Ollie and Jus and I and that makes me feel supported like nothing else.
I can’t wait to be a cheerleader at one of my friends’ next race.
Finally. Jussie was the best running partner I could have ever asked for. We had fun. We made multiple videos during our race (and I can’t wait to share once it’s all edited!) We sang songs. We laughed. We complained. I 100% could not have done this race on my own. I have so much respect for the brave runners that were out there for long stretches alone. It’s not easy to be in voluntary pain and to be alone inside your head. So much respect for those runners.
In fact, so much respect for all of the runners, cheerers, volunteers…everyone. Running really does bring people together.
Today, I am hobbling around and taking it easy. But my heart is so full of gratitude. Mostly to our friends and family but also to the Creator for the gift of these bodies that can work so hard, for land so beautiful you don’t get bored of how pretty it is for 26.2 miles, for sunshine, for pumping hearts and new friends.