Monday, May 7, 2012


After four long months of training, my teammate and I took on the Providence marathon yesterday.  On Saturday, we had a few bleeps in the radar that made us more nervous than we already were (translation: freaking out).  We arrived to the expo to pick up our numbers and were instantly confused.  The first room we walked into was holding a gaming convention.  The room was full or 600 silent "gamers" and the air was incredibly tense so we quickly snuck out.  We then walked into a gaggle of cheerleaders who were decked out and heavily made up; waiting to compete in the US Cheer & Dance finals.  As you can imagine, we looked and felt like fish out of water and we found ourselves wondering if we'd gotten our dates wrong.  We finally saw some other runners and realized that our very small expo was being held in a tiny room on the 5th floor.  Let's just say it was an interesting start.  We then headed to the hotel and the woman at the front desk smiled and told us that she had us confirmed for a room with a king bed.  I explained that I had requested two queens.  She let me know that my request had been noted but unfortunately could not be fulfilled.  Um.  Ok.  My teammate and I looked at each other laughed though we were both secretly afraid that the other might snore or move heavily in their sleep.  And there was nothing we could do about it.  Awesome.  We decided to hop in the car and drive the course.  Within the first few miles we both started to panic.  We realized that when a race director describes his course as "relatively flat", that could also mean relatively hilly.  We cruised up and down the rollers that took us out of the city and as we continued on the course the car got very silent.  When we arrived at my friend's house for dinner (huge thank you M & B), she asked me what was wrong.  I explained that I was starting to doubt my ability and had some negative energy seeping in.  She gave me a pep talk and reminded me that I'd done my work and that I was going to be ok.  I smiled and thanked her even though I was still worried.  We headed back to the hotel and turned in at 8:00 since we had to get up at 5:00 for the race.  We were both a bit punch drunk and found ourselves laughing about nothing for a while before we fell asleep.  It was funny to us.  In reality, probably not that funny.  Sunday morning we woke up feeling ready.  As we always do, we high-fived and hugged at the starting line and off we went.  It was a totally different feel to be running with a group of 1500 runners versus the 30,000 who I'd run with in Boston the year before.  Despite the small crowd, the race course was beautiful and new, and the weather was perfect.  Our families came to cheer us on and saw us in multiple places which was a huge boost.  At around the half, out of nowhere a running angel appeared quietly next to me and flew with me all the way to the finish line.  There were no words exchanged while we were running but I could tell he knew I was trying to hold on and he made it clear that he was willing to help me out.  Because of him, I had the will to keep up my pace for the last 10K when my body was telling me it wanted to stop.  We crossed the finish line together and I immediately hugged and thanked him.  This guy has run 70 marathons and is currently on the path to completing a marathon in every state (yesterday was 48) and he was willing to do whatever it took to help me reach my goal.  There are no words to express my appreciation for what he did.  My teammate and I both finished with a PR.  We were very pleased.  All our hard work paid off.  More importantly, though, we had fun doing it.  Will we do it again?  Hell, yeah!  On another note, I want to say "thank you."  To my husband, for supporting this crazy habit and always being there.  To my kids for making me laugh and cheering me on.  To teammate who is an incredible partner and friend and who made this experience so worth it.  To my family and friends who sent their best wishes before and congratulations after, which made it all that much sweeter.  And to AWOLATION, Nicki Minaj, Santigold and all the other musicians whose songs kept my spirits high and helped me forget about the pain as the miles went by.  To all of you, it wouldn't have been the same without your help.  Again, thank you.

Listen to this:
Into Giants - Patrick Watson  Into Giants - Adventures in Your Own Backyard

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