Well... I ran a marathon. 26.2 miles, five hours and two minutes.
Grandma's Marathon is from Two Harbors Minnesota to Duluth and runs along the shores of Lake Superior. It was incredibly beautiful, but just as it is with life, the PEOPLE that I met and talked to were the most amazing part of it all.
There were over 7,000 people who ran in the race... there was a lot of energy at the starting line, and also a deep sense of respect for what we were all about to experience.
Those of you who have ran marathons before can attest that ALL kinds of people run these races... big, small, young, old, tall, short, muscular, thin... there were people with disabilities, deformities, people with expensive clothes and gear and people who looked like they were wearing rags. Their reasons for running were different, some had a goal of how long it would take them, but many people all said the same thing... "I just want to finish"
That was me, I just wanted to finish and I wanted to enjoy the journey.
My family came and waited at the finish... I can not describe to you my joy in seeing them after five hours of running. All of the volunteers and people cheering were great. There were times I felt like breaking down and crying with gratitude for all of the support and camaraderie that I felt along the way.
My face hurt more than my legs from smiling... I think I said thank you a thousand times to each person I saw holding out a cup of water to me, a wet sponge, a cup of ice, an orange slice, sports drinks and gels shots. There were people squirting us with hoses, playing music, beating drums, playing bagpipes, horns, belly dancing, cheer leading, clapping, singing...
I wish I could go back and shake every one's hand, they made the journey beautiful and gave me a reason to keep going. I am so grateful for the talented people in the world who love life and share their talents.
It definitely was a challenge, and I could never have done it without all of the hours of training and support that I received from my husband and family.
When it hurt to bad to run, I walked... but I never stopped. I just thought about my family waiting for me at the end and I wanted to save whatever strength I had so that I could run by them at the end... and I did, I even somehow found the strength to sprint across the finish line.
That's how life is... it's hard to keep a steady pace, sometimes we walk, sometimes we jog and sometimes we run like the wind. We can't go at someone else's pace, we must set our own... know our own limitations and use our strengths.
It's great that there really are people along the path to cheer us on, and help us finish... to endure to the end. There are beautiful rewards awaiting us if we will just hold out and not give up.
I can't wait to run another... who's coming with me?