Wow. The RBF has absolutely overwhelmed me with all the comments, emails and blog shout-outs. From the bottom of my heart, Thank You! You have no idea how much you motivate and inspire me.
After a few days of post-marathon reflection, I’d like to share a few final notes with you, and then I’ll shut up already:
- After passing by the start line, we heard people yelling ‘DIANNA!’ I looked over to see a blur of faces…but was able to make out two orange hats in the crowd. The Running Chicks had made it in time to see me off, and were donning orange hats in my honor. I hadn’t even run a quarter mile yet, and I was already feeling the love.
- At one point, during mile 8, I grew concerned about our pace. We were pushing up a very slight incline and my watch was saying “8:44, 8:47, 8:50.” I started to panic. Oh my God…why are we getting SLOWER but I feel like I’m running faster?! OH NO.
And then it dawns on me…I’m reading the MILEAGE/DISTANCE screen, not the pace screen, so it was actually saying 8.40, 8.47…miles, not minutes. Silly runner.
- Around the 16-mile mark, there was a caution sign on the road that said ‘Runners On Road’…my addled brain read it as ‘Hummers on Road.’ That made me giggle.
- During the race, Charlie would introduce to me to other runners: “This is Dianna. She’s qualifying for Boston today. She’s not trying to qualify, she *is* qualifying.” With a cheerleader like that by my side, how could I go wrong?
I am keenly aware of the fact that my race day was the stuff that dreams are made of. I recognize that everything fell in to place perfectly, and that I am very, very lucky to have had it all come together. While running the race, I did remark, more than once, that I felt that the universe owed me this day..that I had earned it. Last year’s marathon was a rain-soaked, menstrual challenge. Then I spent the winter working on my ITB issues. When I tried to run the San Diego marathon in June, I picked up a bacterial Ick-Fest which resulted in a ‘Did Not Start’ that broke my heart.
I kept working hard on my training. No matter what else life threw at me, I made sure to protect my training time. It wasn’t always easy, and there were days when I wasn’t sure I could pull it all off. I sacrificed time with family and friends, the cleanliness of my house, and a great deal of sleep. But I had faith in my Coach and more importantly, faith in myself and I wasn’t going to give up or give in. I had a bone to pick with the Hartford Marathon, and I wasn’t going to lose this time.
On race day, all we can do is run the race that is placed before us to the best of our abilities. Sometimes, we are handed a pile of crap. Other times, we are handed a gift.
I took my gift and ran all the way to the finish line with it. I hope you get a gift for your next race too.