It took me five years after running the Newport Marathon to consider doing it again. I was too scared to even attempt it until my amazing running friends Laurie and Heather encouraged me to sign up and run it together. We just barely made it before the race filled up and Katie ended up signing up for the half. For the second time I can say that the training is what makes a marathon fun. The race itself is just kind of gut-wrenching pain and anxiety but the long runs that got me to that race were a blast. Distance running friends have a special relationship because you pull each other through bad days and injuries. As I am typing I feel the cliches dripping from my fingertips but there is something to it. These ladies are the truest of true friends and I love them more than I can say.
The night before the race we ate at this fantastic place called Cafe Mundo. We painted our nails and tried to make a fueling plan that I knew I would throw out the next day like I always do and eat whatever felt right at the moment.
We took a shuttle bus from our hotel that dropped us off about a block later and then walked to the starting line. There was time for a quick potty break, a few photos and we were on our way.
When I look back on it now it seems like it was a dream, and I mean that in the way that it seems like it never happened, not in the way that it was at all pleasant. I'm not going to go into too many details but I will say that I thought every cuss word I'd ever heard and I swore to myself and to the others that I would never run again. I ate a bunch of goey and disgusting energy substances and took some salt tabs and somehow made it the first 24 miles. We had all gotten separated along the way but I knew my friends were still in this with me. I was thinking about sitting down in the middle of the road and crying but right then Katie came into view. She had gotten a little bit of a rest after the half and came back for me. She gave me another salt tab that calmed the twitching that was going on in my left quad and somehow willed me forward until we made it to mile 26. After the long, lonely road and an annoying little hill we came up to the top and around the curve there was music, and cheering people and a downhill that ended in the finish line. My parents had come from Utah and Brandon was there with the girls and it was amazing. It seemed so crazy that even though it seemed so lonely just a few miles before all these people were here cheering the whole time.
I missed my goal by about 12 minutes but that doesn't seem so bad when you figure that I beat my PR by almost 40 minutes.
Now I have just got to explain to my body why I am going back on my promise to never run again. I'm still on the fence about signing up for any more marathons, but I'm not giving up on my training runs. I'd do anything to be able to keep running with these ladies.
So that was the race, and then the fun really began.