Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Post Marathon

After the race was over I had two things on my mind-- sitting down and eating.  I was a little disappointed in the finishers food.  Maybe there was more at one point, but by the time I got to the finish there was corn chips (not even fritos) and mini bagels.  I really, really wanted an orange.  Oh well, I ate the what they had and drank a bottle of water and sat down on the curb to wait for Julie.

I thought I'd stay there and never get up, even just walking 200 yards seemed too much, but George finally came to me and convinced me it would be good to get up and walk (he was right).  So we all walked to the same 26 mile mark where my family had greeted me to wait for Julie.

I wasn't really anxious waiting for Julie because I knew she had come this far (24 miles at that point) and I knew there would be NOTHING that could stop her from getting across the finish line now.  I knew it was just a matter of time and Julie would come around the corner on her way to victory.

Sure enough we saw her white hat bobbing in the distance and immediately knew it was her.  I started screaming her name right away, but her head was down and I assume she was listening to music (she didn't hear us).  As she drew nearer and nearer I wondered if I was going to have to jump in front of her to get her attention.

Eventually she looked up and her confusion (is someone calling my name?) ....

... turned to happiness as she realized it was her cheering section.

I could tell Julie was already full of all the emotions that come with finishing a marathon.  She blew us kisses, fighting back tears as she had .2 miles (uphill mind you) to go.

As soon as she passed I felt a huge sense of relief.  BOTH of us had started a journey so long ago and we BOTH finally made it.  I couldn't wait to see her at the finishers area.

As Julie approached she seemed happy and surprisingly energetic for someone who just finished a marathon.

I kind of waited to see if Mike (her husband) was going to run in and hug her.  I think I waited .2 seconds and I jumped right in.  I gave her the longest, tightest, heartfelt hug of my life.  We didn't exchange words, we just held each other tight.  It had been a long road getting here and we made it!  

I don't think I'll ever forget how I felt hugging her in that moment.  The hug said, I understand where you've been and how long it took you to get here.  I understand the training, and the sacrifices you have made.  I understand crossing that finish line wasn't just a physical journey it was an emotional one.  Most of all, I understand your sense of accomplishment and pride.  

Julie has made several attempts to be a marathoner previously and has always been plagued by injury.  Even though this year's training brought on shin splints and plantar fascitis Julie pushed through all that to arrive at the finish line.  She worked a full time job, training mostly in 100 plus degree evening temperatures for her weekday runs.  

The blood, sweat and tears were finally worth it and Julie can call herself a MARATHONER!  I am so proud of you Julie and all you've accomplished.  You proven that you are strong and you will persevere.  So when do you want to do it again?  


G. said...

Wonderful accomplishment Julie and Susan - not to mention becoming lifelong friends! xoxoxo G.

tracey smith said...

I didn't realize this was Julie's first marathon. Way to go! You are both amazing!

Unknown said...

As usual, you humble me. And your right- nothing was keeping me from that finish! At one point, "oh heck no! Not even EMS is dragging me of this course!" was my mantra!
You are an amazing friend and such an inspiration to me! I think you became my friend just when I needed ou and you've NEVER let me down or left me behind- even when I thought I wanted you to!

Love you, Lil Bit!
Love you, Lil Bit!

Unknown said...

As usual, you humble me! And you are right! Nothing was keeping me from that finish! "oh, heck no! EMS isn't even hauling me off this course!" was my mantra for several miles.
I feel like you came into my life just when I needed you. You have ALWAYS been there for me and never left me behind even when I thought I wanted you to!
Love you, Lil Bit!

robringer said...

Way to go Julie!! The pictures are awesome susan! You should give your photographer a raise.

Post a Comment