I love everything about them.
The rush of lining up in your corral next to all the other crazies. Praying for strength, praying for no injuries, and most importantly, praying you won't poop in your very short shorts (a very legitimate concern, trust me).
The slew of supportive fans who yell and clap and read your name off your bib and cheer, "Go Jena, go! You're almost there, darlin'!" (I even love the fans who called me Gina.) The posters. Molly's incredible family made several ("Molly and Jena, kick some Ass-phault!") and I saw some that made me laugh despite the grueling pain my crotchbiscuits were feeling: "You've trained longer than Kim Kardashian's marriage!" and "I don't do marathons. I DO a marathon runner." (Grahm needs that sign. Ha.)
The camaraderie of the other runners. Mile 22, I hit a gino wall square in the nose. I couldn't get passed it, and I wondered if I should just walk the rest of the way. Several runners passed me and said, "We're almost there! Don't give up!" or "You can do it! You're so close!" This, I'm sure, was said in spite of their own pain. It caused me to smile, buck up, and start running again. I also loved seeing all the red. Red socks. Red anklets. Red shirts. Almost everyone was showing their support for Boston as we mustered our way through the agonizingly wonderful 26.2 miles. It's such a sense of community, and I absolutely love that.
Marathons are soul-searching. They make you dig down deep inside of yourself and discover what you're really made of, and for that, I will always always love them.
This was in front of the wall containing the names of the 168 victims of the OKC bombing at the expo.
Not so sure about this . . .
Pushing my very weary muscles toward the finish line. Everyone on the sidelines was clearly captivated by me.
My number one fan. He told me all week how amazing I am, he cheered loudly, he snapped pictures, he held my hand and ran with me at mile 22 when I shouted, "I can't do much more," and he went crazy as I neared the finish line.
My fantastic sibs.