This weekend I ran my 4th half marathon in as many years. It was by far the funnest EVER. First of all, one of my sisters flew in from Florida just for the race. She has overcome some major health problems to not only have a beautiful son she was told she might never have, but also change the course of her health through exercise. I couldn’t wait to hit the pavement with her. My other sister and our dad joined as well.
It’s hard to describe being on the start line. The sea of humanity gearing up for the race. The old, young, fit and unfit, costumed or geared out, sign carrying or wheelchair bound~all of them all around us, strangers united in a personal goal. It’s truly awesome. And when you have some of the people you love the most to run with it’s like perfect moments, etched in your mind forever. The look on my dads face, imprinted in my brain. It is LIVING. These moments.
Then the run begins. Just a slow jog. A pace that allows a massive amount of sister catch up. I’ve got my Gretchen’s Grains T-shirt on with the website on the back. I’m feeling proud. The miles pass like butter. About mile 6 we all pop an ibuprofen with our Gu and gatorade. It’s always the joints that hurt the worst.
The crowds we pass holding signs and cheering give needed boosts of energy. I love these strangers . They make my heart swell. The small children we pass are well worth the effort to get over and give a high-five. To them we are Runners. Real Ones in a Real Race. Wait. We are real runners in a real race. So awesome.
About mile 10 we realize that we will actually finish. Any self doubt washed away in the fact that we just passed the 20K sign and none of our knees have completely seized up. With the finish line in sight the crowds get much bigger on either side of the road cheering loudly with looks of excitement for us, total strangers to them, giving us encouragement, pride and a final adrenaline rush. We cross the finish line, my sisters and me. We hug and laugh. Look around for our dad. But he beat us to the finish line. By half an hour. No #*it.
Back at my dads house a whole group of runners converge with their medals and stories. Some of us are walking pretty funny. The rest of the evening is filled with laughter, ribs and beer. Lots of beer. Into the night we laugh, bundled in blankets on the patio with the Columbia River stretched out before us. There is singing and eventually the inevitable game of Taboo. The men won. For the first time. Ever.
Home now and back to the grindstone I feel invigorated from the weekend. I just got an email that we’ve been placed in two more Whole Foods locations making it a total of 214 locations that our products are being sold. The excitement I feel at writing that gives me butterflies. However, I keep thinking about the next half marathon. I just can’t wait to do it again.