Yet again, my life distracts me from producing timely blog posts!
After crossing the finish line and having a good little cry of joy, I tucked in behind some of the Marines in the receiving line and waited for my husband. The minutes started ticking by and I started to panic a little. He shouldn't be that far behind me... we only separated for the last 10K... tick tock.
Finally, his tallness appeared through the crowd as he inched down the line, shaking the hand of every Marine in attendance. The pain on his face was obvious but he didn't miss a single Marine. By the time he reached me, all he could say was CRAMPS! He leaned on me heavily as we waited for our picture in front of the Iwo Jima Memorial - again - Great Dane and Chihuahua mismatch.
We inched our way to the hotel and by the time I put the key in the door, he was in FULL cramp mode. I raced (hobbled) around, peeling bananas and making icy NUUN to help with his electrolytes but he was nauseous and having none of it. Cramps it is! Enjoy that.
Five minutes into CrampFest, we got a call from Mark's dad. Our cousin Robyn fell at mile four and was in route to the hospital. What? Oh, and even though she fell at mile four, she bested her PR from 4:47 to 4:11! Hello ROCKSTAR!
In the fall she scraped her forehead, chin and both palms. She knew she'd knocked her knee but didn't lift up her compression pants to check the damage. And that's a good thing because THIS...
is what was under those compression pants... OH MY GOD! So gross and yet so completely amazing that she rocked that time! Amazing, right? Warrior.
Fifteen Franken-Stitches later and she was in a car racing her way back to Portland, Maine to beat Hurricane Sandy. Bye Robyn! Nuts.
Soon after that phone call, I got a distressed call from my beautiful friend Poonam just after she crossed the finish line. She definitely struggled but my girl finished with that glorious medal around her neck. I give her every single ounce of credit for battling to the finish. You did it sister!
My friend Dawn from Barbados ran a great race after training entirely on a treadmill - a feat I cannot comprehend. 4:12! Big Congrats!
My sister-in-law Jodi finished her 6th MCM with a time of 4:14. Her friend Stacey ran her second marathon in 4:20, and my rekindled friend Laurie came in at 4:18 - well off her usual pace but her old friend "hamstring injury" came by for a visit around mile 18. Again, battled through!
Dinner was great with my family and friends on Sunday night. Everyone doing the "marathon shuffle" with lots of laughter and race recapping. If I could've sported my Marathong without it falling to pieces, I would have :)
The relentless teasing by my husband for leaving him in the dust began at dinner and continues to this day. Shots like "Hey, will you pull up that picture of us crossing the finish line together? OH! That's right, it doesn't exist!" Or... shouting out "Hey wait for me!" when I get up to go into the kitchen. Hahaha... this will haunt me forever. That's love.
The Takeaway: There is so much goodness in pushing myself to the limit. I was inspired and a little haunted by memories of the finishers at Western States. When I felt like my ankle would just crack off, I remembered their faces as they crossed after four consecutive marathons. The human body is capable of that - I witnessed it with my own eyeballs. Certainly, I can give my best in this one! As always, I am grateful to my body for cooperating and my mind for staying focused. I am grateful to my family and friends who annihilated my Facebook page while I was running. I knew you were watching in real time as I stomped each time pad. It was an awesome feeling!
If you've ever had a nagging thought that you'd like to complete a marathon, I urge you to just take one step toward that goal. Even if the thought makes you laugh out loud, you can do it. Everyone can do it. There are plans that will get you across that finish line even if you've never run a day in your life. In taking those first steps, you will become the inspiration for someone else. You will change the health of those around you. You will find out what you're made of. You will change your life.
Thanks for sharing in this journey!