Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a fun and relaxing weekend. Mine was quite the whirlwind! On Friday I got in a quick interval workout on the treadmill and then packed for Philadelphia! My friend Melissa was running her first marathon and I was heading along to spectate/cheer/
haze her run the last few miles with her!
We arrived at the hotel on Saturday afternoon. I dropped her off and headed to complete an essential task: grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s! I met up with my mother in law and did some serious damage. Thirty minutes and $104 dollars later I had more than three bags worth of awesome-ness. Bri will be getting quite the package soon 🙂 As for me, I am very excited to try pumpkin cream cheese, pumpkin butter, artichoke dip . . . YES! 😀 I purchased four bags of peanut butter pretzels (one or two were for Bri) but as I was leaving Philly a homeless guy had a sign asking for food and/or money. I don’t carry cash so I gave him a bag of the pretzels. Meager, I know. I feel so helpless sometimes! He looked at me and said “Thank you for not staring ahead and ignoring me as if I did not exist.” So sad.
Anyway, back to the marathon weekend! Sunday morning came bright and early for Melissa! She left the hotel at 5:30 to get there early for the 7 AM start. The plan was for me to meet up with her at mile 20 and go from there. I took a cab to mile 20 (thirty dollars later, yipes) carrying my bright yellow sign- “Go runners! Kick Asphalt”!
I arrived about two hours before Melissa was expected to be at mile 20, so there was a lot of cheering! I had so much fun cheering on the runners and a lot of them pointed at my sign and grinned or thanked me for cheering. I had to put the sign down to take a picture of this guy, though:
Yes, that would be a dude running in I don’t even know what. His entire body was covered in the green fabric. This was at mile 20. How he ran like that I have no idea. It was insane! There were others dressed in costume too: a few ladybugs, a pumpkin, a greek warrior type of dude, minnie mouse and some others. I only saw one guy running completely barefoot.
A few minutes before Melissa appeared I saw my blog buddy Amy! She was killing it and looked awesome. Way to go Amy!
Then I spotted Melissa!
She looked great but I could tell she was in a lot of pain. I put my sign down and started to run the final 6.2 with her. She was maintaining an awesome pace and even passing some people! I couldn’t believe the determination that she had, despite the intense pain. I may have told her that she couldn’t stop to walk and that her mind was just playing tricks on her 😉 There was a lot of camaraderie from the fellow runners and overall it was just so inspiring. I think around mile 24 she said to me “are you sure you want to run a marathon next year? This is awful!” I told her without a doubt yes- that the pain was temporary and soon enough she would be a marathon finisher and I couldn’t wait to join those ranks next year.
Just before mile 26 I pulled off the course and tried to run along the sidelines to get a good picture of her. She was seriously gunning it! I couldn’t keep up with her and she had just run 26 miles!
She pushed through to the finish and became a marathoner!Yay Melissa! She seriously killed it.
Spectating the marathon has made me soo antsy to train and run one myself. I saw the whole gamut of emotions from people around mile 20- exhilaration, exhaustion, pain, happiness, excitement, oblivion- but at the finish line every single finisher looked happy and accomplished. Even if they were walking around a bit stiffly 😉
If you ever have the opportunity to spectate a distance event, do it! It will provide so much inspiration. Witnessing the Philly marathon further cemented the fact that there is no definition of a typical runner- the age range and body types covered the whole spectrum. To run a marathon, you need determination, spirit and heart. That is what makes a runner.
Congrats Melissa! You are an inspiration to us all 😀