The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him.~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Where do I even begin???
Yesterday (Sept 16th) I ran the Fox Valley Marathon in St. Charles, Ill. This was one of my most emotional races thus far in my 40 years of running. I had no idea what it really meant.
Last year when I qualified for Boston it felt easy. Everything went perfectly, and I felt good all the way to the end. Not so this time. This race was different. Good different and bad different in different ways.
And it all began with Boston 2012 - The hotter than hell Boston that left me feeling that I had to come back so that I could run it and actually "enjoy" it. This new goal seemed to grip me by the throat and shake me silly. And gradually too much began riding on this single goal.
So I headed off to Chicago on Saturday feeling the weight of expectations (mine and those of others - at least my perception of those of others) weighing on me. My feet were a mess and killing me. The weather forecast was for hot, humid weather - not my cup-o-tea. My training for the race was uneven at best, and I really began to doubt myself. I gave myself an 'out' - if it sucks I'll just call it a training run for New York. But in my heart of hearts I wanted it to be more. I had come here with one goal in mind.
As I return to her after the mile and a half loop, I hand off the bottle. I want to stop to hug her, but I keep going. She yells "Do you want another one?" I yell back "No. I'm good. Well, maybe later!".
And then I think of Sandra, and I think of my husband (who calmly, or not so calmly, puts up with my craziness) and I think of my daughter who will ask me how the race went - and we pass mile 26, and as I round the corner for the last .10 mile I see that I have to push harder than I ever have (though from the perspective of an observer I'm barely moving), and I see Sandra out of the corner of my eye and I can't hear what she's yelling but I hear her voice, and those last few steps actually feel like a sprint...After crossing all the mats I press the Garmin: 3:54:54 (eventually the official time is 3:54:53 after being told that it was 3:55:07). A BQ (Boston Qualifier) by 6 seconds.