It was a perfect day for a marathon. Clear, crisp and sunny. I had a great race, and although I am a bit sore and tired this morning, that just signals that I did a good job and gave it everything I had. My finish time was good enough to qualify me for Boston again (and I think I would like to run it one more time – maybe 2015?), and to come in 10th for my age group (it helps to be old. “How do you get to Boston? Be fast, or be old”) I had the best time training, ever, participating in Portland Marathon Training runs with my niece, Lindsay. We trained with the group aiming for a 3:50 time, and I’d say the training worked pretty well. Although we did not run together, and are completely different runners (she is young, athletic, and has legs like a gazelle), we came in at almost the same exact time, and our splits were even almost identical. Pretty amazing.
Bill met me at the finish line, and we waited for our daughter, who flew in from Florida to run her first marathon. She didn’t have time to train seriously, and hoped to finish in around 6 hours (she actually did it in 5:31. Go, Deb!) I changed clothes and got out my knitting.
This is the first time I had stayed around to watch other runners come in, and it was pretty exciting. Running a marathon is really hard, and exhausting, but running and walking a marathon has to be worse. The longer you are out there, the tougher it gets. The people crossing between 5 and 6 hours were very emotional, and you could tell that some of them never thought they would get there, and it was a very big moment for them. I remember that, the first time I did a marathon (just a few short years ago), the last mile was blurry because I was in tears, not believing that I was accomplishing this. It was good to bring that memory back, and consider not just how I ran this race, but that I am lucky to be able to participate at all, and finish. This is my first marathon in two years, because last year I was recovering from heart surgery. So, to all of the runners who run (not just race), to everyone who keeps moving when the road just seems too hard and long, I honor you. We are runners, and we are awesome.