So, yes, 2013 was the year I FINALLY ran my marathon . That was HUGE for me. Of course. But, 2013 wasn't just about my marathon and me. It was so much more.
It was about some random guy on the internet whom I barely knew for some unknown reason taking on my charity case to be my coach for my swim portion of my triathlon relay team. He got me back in the pool. Pushed me hard. Then pushed me harder. Listened to me bitch and moan. Then pushed me more. I found my love for swimming again. I killed my workouts. I found my peace. For 5 months I swam strong and rarely missed a workout. It was the most dedicated I've been to training since I was a swimmer back in high school. I think it helps when I'm training in something I don't suck at (hello running). It makes it easier to stick to it. He also forbid me from running. That was a hard one. But, being smarter (or smart ass?) than I, he was trying to actually let me HEAL from all my injuries.
When he did allow me to sprinkle in running with my training it was in baby steps. Slow. Short. Unlike the old me who would just jump and and go. He must have been onto something as with only a few weeks of short and slow I ran a humid 5k and was only minute off my PR. I was surely pleased with that considering it had been ages since I raced anything thanks to my constant injuries.
It was about having post race brunch at coach's with a table full of The Internet. Giggling hysterically over the inappropriate conversation with people I adore. Runners.
It was about my Tridiot teammates and I having another great race. We put lots of pressure on ourselves to finish near the top. The competition is tough. Each time I am proud of how we do. Each time we have a blast.
It was about driving across state lines to finally meet a badass chick for only a 45 minute window of opportunity for breakfast. Only to have it end up being an almost 3 hour breakfast.
It was about never being alone on my training runs as someone always seemed to be running alongside me. It was about early morning texts. It was about late night texts. It was about people checking in on me. It was about me leaning on people.
It was also about showing up for a half marathon with excruciating plantar fasciitis pain, perhaps more so because I wanted to see some of my favorite running friends.
Sure I pulled out at the miles 6 medical tent. However, I think that was how it was supposed to be. I had to wait WAY too long for my chariot to bring me back to the finish/start. During this time my DM bestie kindly was waiting for me (forever) after he finished and ran into one of our favorite people - someone I had never met!
It was about meeting people unexpectedly and reconnecting again. It's certainly about making me giggle. A lot.
It was about being alongside one of my favorite people cheering on friends once again at the Chicago Marathon. It was about getting old hugs. It was about getting new hugs. It was about walking alongside someone as he finished up the 26.2 miles after he had pushed himself through 9 very painful and inspiring miles with a sudden back injury.
It was about having friends from all points of my life standing alongside me at 6 a.m. on a very cold November morning as we were about to start the half or full marathons. My marathon. Childhood swimming friends. Running friends. It was about having friends with me at the start line. It was about having friends all along the way cheering me on.
It was about my sweet niece and nephew cheering me on and giving me hugs when I really needed them.
It was about an Idiot making sure I'd have my running club visor JUST IN TIME for my race. #IRC4Life.
It was about someone pacing a runner for 21 miles and then coming back on his bike and waiting for my slow ass at mile 20 to help me at a point I really needed company. It was about someone dropping her sign at mile 21 and joining my posse and running alongside me. It was about someone finishing HIS half and running back through the race to round out my posse. It was about these people keeping me going when I was feeling my worst. It was about them making me giggle when I wanted to cry. It was about them getting me to the finish line. It was about a childhood friend waiting for me for hours after her half was done to run with me down the finish chute.
It was about getting my medal and walking out to see all these people waiting for me:
So, sure, 2013 was about my marathon. But, in reality what 2013 was about to me was THESE people. Because, without all these people my marathon would not have happened.
So, thank you, thank you, thank you for making my year an epic year indeed.