It’s Thanksgiving 2013 and I have so much to be thankful for. Family, friends, loved ones, and little ones. But, this Thanksgiving is reserved for my thankfulness in calling myself a marathoner.
I ran a marathon in 2010 and I swore it would be my last. I hated every step of the race. It poured rain. My IT band gave out on me at 6 km. I sat in a port-a-potty at 35 km just to have a place to sit down. At 37 km, I threw my fuel belt at Jeff promising I would never run another freakin’ marathon. And here I was, three years later running my second marathon.
This one was different. It was miles different. 26 miles different to be exact.
I had the strong support of my team mates by my side. We laughed at the start line, joking that the only reason we would stop for each other was if he/she needed a medic. We waved our arms high and wide at family members on the sidelines. We gathered together for a group hug seconds before the gun went off. From the start, I knew this was going to be MY race with MY team.
“Team Chafing the Dream: Too Slow to Win, Too Stubborn to Quit”
For the entire 42.2 km, I ran with Karli and Lauren. Both incredibly strong runners with incredible positive energy. As we ran, we chided each other to suck it in and “put on big smiles girls” as the race photographers snapped our photos at kilometers 3, 5, and 10. We encouraged each other… “keep it up”, “we got this girls”, “we are so going to do this”. Every step of the way I felt I was carried by these two strong women.
I was also carried by my amazing support crew and personal cheer leading squad- Jeff and Ryder. They managed to find me every 5-7 km. Their waves, cheers, and tambourine shaking made my journey extremely meaningful. This was THEIR race too. The Sunday mornings I rolled out of bed and was out stomping the pavement for fours hours, they were supporting me by encouraging me to get out and run. Every Sunday I felt a twinge of guilt, “I am so sorry this is going to take most of the morning and into the afternoon”. I was constantly reminded “Do NOT worry, enjoy it, get out there, we’ll be here when you get home”. On race day, I knew I had to complete this for them. To let them know that the sacrifices they made were not wasted. Together, as a family, we were going to make it through 42.2 kilometers.
Today, unlike in 2010, I am extremely proud to call myself a marathoner.
I did it.
We did it.