I signed up for the marathon to support a friend of mine who had never done a marathon before and we thought local beauty, convenience, and sleeping in our own beds would be smart for her first time.
The best memory was on mile 22. She broke down due to pure exhaustion, which in turn made me cry. We were trying to control our emotions and get our breathing back to normal when we were joined by our very supportive, awesome friend. She ran the last 6 miles with us! Running with fresh legs and new attitude makes the world of difference. Team Film was shouting us on the last half mile and we both became entrenched in the marathon emotions.
It is flat, which makes it a great qualifier. It is not too crowded, but there are enough people to run with. I had heard it was a great Boston Qualifier. The pacers are amazing and know how to encourage the people around them, even if they are not part of their group. This to me was huge.
My two Monumental Memories were when I got to see my Filmers when I was 800m out. They knew it. I knew it. I qualified. They all screamed, and I just screamed, "I DID IT!" I qualified for the Boston Marathon.
The second memory was at mile 17ish when I came up to a pace group. The pacer was amazing. I ran with the group, and I continued on after a few miles. At mile 25, my hamstring was tight. So I just let up. I didn't want to push it. The pacer passed me and encouraged me to come with him. I let him go as I went by my filmers. When I finished, the pacer was there waiting for me. He hugged me and said, "YOU QUALIFIED!" I never got his name, but it was a moment of runner unity.
In just a couple weeks, I hope to relive only half of this experience running my fastest half marathon. I am signed up the half this fall :)
I never, ever thought I would attempt a marathon. In fact, I have told people I would never do a marathon. I put this limitation on myself because basically, I suck at breathing. I have lifelong asthma and chronic anemia and I get short of breath walking up just one flight of stairs and fatigue easily. Which, by looking at me one could never tell. I look deceptively fit. It's not that I'm not fit, just that I have medical issues to contend with that cannot be readily seen.
One of my closest friends ( and sister-in-law ) Tess got me into running. I had been running a mile or two here and there, and wanted to run more, and had every excuse possible why I couldn't run more than that. She said to me "everyone has issues to have to deal with when they run- physical ones or time constraint ones or logistical ones. You just have to figure out how to do with them and do it." Over time, I figured it out I just needed to go slow-not worry about PR's, or keeping up with anyone or caring that well, I'm not a fast runner.
As I started to increase my mileage, I finally ran a 5K and thought to myself I could actually do a half marathon. Then the unthinkable happened- I had a cardiac arrest after doing a 10 mile trail run. This was in 2013, and a whole other story. I survived that and recovered well, though the thought of running any kind of longer distance never crossed my mind. But watching all my friends do what they do, I started running again and did the mini marathon in 2014 and kept running longer and longer distances. I wish it was some great epiphany that made me decide to run monumental, but honestly it was just plain old peer pressure.