Yesterday I went out to CIM to see a bunch of friends run the marathon, to help with the kids’ run and to cheer on random folks. It was a pretty inspiring day! I’ve spectated a marathon before but yesterday was just special!
My day started at 5:45 AM when I arrived to help with Girls on the Run and the kids MaraFUNRun. I hadn’t really intended on running with the kids but I ran the 2.62 miles with them cheering and yelling the whole way. It was so incredible to see so many little kids running with their aunts, uncles, parents and other adults in their lives and accomplishing something a lot of adults never will. I tend to get caught up in goals and PRs and finish times but yesterday it all seemed so small when running with so many kids!
Once we were done I hung around and watched the elite men and women finish the marathon. The leader finished in the 2:11 neighborhood and apparently led the entire way. The elites were amazing! They look like gazelles and looked fresh as daisies after they finished! Well, one guy puked, but the rest looked great!
After that was done I found my friends Emily and Angela by accident [and yes, if you were wondering, their team did win the relay!] and started cheering on our teammates and other runners. Like I said, I hadn’t intended on running that day so I was definitely wearing yoga pants, old old shoes and a jacket but I decided who cares and joined them for a couple of 2-mile jaunts along the course. I got to see pretty much everyone I wanted to and was so inspired by the marathoners! I cheered and yelled like a crazy person and did my best to be encouraging.
It was pretty funny seeing folks at mile 24. Some were all smiles and super happy, others were literally bleeding and barely moving. There was also a huge, huge difference between the early packers and mid packers. The front of the pack had a lot fewer headphones, a lot smaller of folks and a much more serious vibe. It made me want to be at the front!
After the race I took a nap and went to my team’s end of season party. It was really fun to see everyone out of running clothes and in real clothes but it was even more fun to recount our year together. I didn’t have my best year in terms of PRs but I think I had the most fun running this year. The camaraderie of a team and a group is awesome. I sat in the restaurant last night and saw folks who ran a marathon just after breast cancer, who ran in memory of friends, who pushed through injury and weird schedules and disappointments and was reminded, again, that what we do is special. Not everyone is willing to get out there and put themselves on the line to acheive big goals. I had a lot of teammates do well in the marathon yesterday but some fell short too. They dreamed big and shot big but fell a bit short. But you know what? It’s still special.
Yesterday was exactly the day I needed to recommit myself to running well and to getting my act together. No one did well yesterday by accident. It was the result of hard work, sacrifice and team work. So I’m in!