I really feel like my recap of the marathon was kind of a downer, which is sad to me, because while the day overall wasn't perfect, I actually had some really spectacular moments on Sunday, and some outstanding days of training over the last 10.5 months. So today, I really want to celebrate the best parts of the marathon with you. Does that sound good? Yes? Great.
1) Doing the race with my childhood best friend. I legitimately would not have shown up to the starting line were it not for her. She's the best.
2) Seeing people who clearly get the senior discount at Denny's kicking my hiney when they were at mile 18 of the marathon, and I was at 13.5. That was indescribably cool.
3) This one takes a little back story. Long time readers may remember that Ammon and I went to the zoo for my birthday a couple of years ago. While we were eating lunch, we were sitting next to these guys in their mid-20's who looked like meat-headed frat boys. We kept hearing them saying "solid" and "Dude", and looking up stuff on their phones, and at first we thought they were really into the St. Louis Cardinals, because we kept hearing weird phrases like, "That Cardinal, he's a great guy, totally solid". No no, it turns out they were both in seminary to become Catholic priests, and were debating the finer points of their favorite religious leaders. Using words like "Bro", and "solid", and "dude". It is by far one of the best and funniest things to have ever happened to me. Until Sunday, when I SAW THEM AGAIN! We ran by a Priory, and standing out in front were 3 priests in Cassocks, totally decked out, and cheering on runners! As I jogged by, I could hear them, and it was obviously them, and it was the best thing ever, because they hadn't changed one bit, and still seemed as meat-headedly frat-boyish as ever.
4) The signs that said "If running a marathon was supposed to be easy, it would be called your mom."
5) As I was running through the winding park that never ended, I passed a guy who'd made his own shirt. It said, "If Britney Spears could survive 2007, you can survive this race". It was amazing, and when I told him that, he said that he was glad it could give me hope.
6) Seeing Shae still going strong when she was at mile 24, and I was right around 20 (I think). I yelled loudly for her, but she was in the zone and didn't hear me. Everyone around her did, and they all told me that they were glad I was so enthusiastic.
7) The people who are suffering as much as you are, and their attempts to help you make it to the finish line in one piece. The number of times I heard, "let's just shuffle together for a little bit," was humbling, because that was all we could do at that point, shuffle together for a couple hundred yards until one person fell back to walk again.
8) The strangers on the patios of bars and restaurants that dutifully cheered for all of us as we trudged along.
9) Hearing people along the course reminding us runners that our marathon was just the victory lap to all of the training we had done to get to that moment.
10) When an ambulance driver cheered for me at mile 17, and told me that I looked strong. Out of anyone, I believed him the most.
11) At mile 25.8 when I had to slow down to let an ambulance come through the intersection, and the race photographer right in front of me told me, "they aren't here for you, obviously!"
12) When I got into the world's longest finishing chute, and I could see Ammon waiting right by the finish line for me with the biggest smile in the world on his face.
13) When I stopped running, and I was sobbing, and the nice lady put the medal over my head, and told me that I had truly earned my medal.
14) When Ammon actually hopped the barrier in the finishers only area to give me a hug and congratulate me
15) Getting to take my shoes off after running so many miles. It was a special moment.
Have you ever had a really random and awesome thing happen to you in a big event?