Monday, April 29, 2013

I've been saying this for the past three years, but I love marathons--maybe none so much as the OKC Memorial Marathon I did this weekend, because it's home to me.

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.
In our corral at 6:20 a.m. We had just prayed together. We were pumped and tired and worried about pooping in our short britches.
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.
So proud of Molly, completing her first marathon and beating her goal. We had an incredible support system. Our families and our boys were the best cheerleaders!
Now I've got to soak my Aunt Jemima-sized blisters because the next race is only 8 weeks away.


Emily said...

congrats on finishing another mary! i always love reading the signs people have...i remember one from my first half that said "WTF?" then below said "Where's the finish?" They were pretty much my words exactly at that point!

I'm thinking about running my first full next fall (2014)...I'm not crazy enough to want to train for one with a newborn! :) What kind of training plans have you used in the past?

Paige Brown said...

Funny AND motivational! I love keeping up with your blog, Jena :)
(I'm also from Oklahoma- woo woo!)

Crissy@ABerrySweetLife said...

Congrats, girl! That is so impressive! My husband has done the half twice, but he's not sure if he'll ever progress to the full marathon. I, on the other hand, have never run past 3 miles. Way to go!

Jenna said...

Congratulations! Just thinking about running a marathon makes me want to curl up and die. You definitely are waaaay more disciplined that I am!

Amy - Louise said...

Congratulations! You did so well, I remember hitting the wall it's so tough to get past but you have such great support. I miss running soo much. Hope the blisters aren't too sore - I don't miss them!

Sarah said...

Yet again, you're amaaaaazing!

Nicole said...

Holy smokes, you're crazy...another in 8 weeks?! Props to you girlfriend, I can say that I doubt I'll ever do a marathon! Just not my thing!

Ashley said...

Great job!!! Such an accomplishment!!

Karla said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karla said...

Oh Jena. This make my heart smile. =)
What an amazing husband you have.
I love how committed he is to you.
You look pretty fierce in all the photos.
Good for you girl! =D

Anonymous said...

Jena... So well written! I only did the half, but wow... Felt surreal at a few points. The fans were AMAZING!The signs were the best... Favorite at mile 10... The person who started this race is the same person FINISHING the race, for some reason, that was my boost! Congratulations!

Paige (The Last Doughnut) said...

Awesome! I have run two marathons, and I think that's enough for me! I think Half Marathons and below are better for me, because I am constantly having nagging injuries that only get worse with additional mileage. I know the feeling that you are talking about though...Every aspect of the marathon demands respect of its runners! :)

Becky said...

wow that is awesome!! way to go! I ran a half marathon this past weekend but I'm not sure if I could do a marathon! so sweet that your hubby was so encouraging!!! :)

Ashley said...

Congratulations on an awesome marathon!! i don't know how you do it. I love that Grahm is so supportive of you!

Whitney H said...

seriously, you are AMAZING. I'm so inspired by you! (also... pooping your shorts... sounds like you're speaking from experience?)

Recently Roached said...

Oh definitely not! It's just every runner's worst nightmare! Ha ha.

Heather @ From Here to There said...

Congrats Jena!! Looks like y'all had a wonderful time! :) I'm training for the Disney Wine&Dine Half-Marathon. I haven't done my first full yet, but I intend too, probably next year! Enjoy your recovery!

Emily said...

Oh, 8 weeks? No big deal... you are AWESOME!!! I'd be crying at mile 2 or 3, especially if blisters were involved.

Rorie said...

WOW! Amazing!!! I ran a 1/2 marathon and that was tough enough! I can't imagine a marathon!

Tara Illy said...

What an amazing accomplishment and what a sweet, sweet husband!!!!!

Jessica K said...

Awesome! Congrats! I can barely survive a half let alone doubling that!! Get some rest!

Melissa Knott said...

I'm working my way towards the 5k. My first ever. Someday I hope to do a marathon. You're inspirational, Jena. And I couldn't help but to cry when I read the part about Grahm holding your hand. Simply awesome. Congrats!!

Amanda said...

Awesome job! You did great. It was a fun course to run. Glad you had your boy there to cheer you on!

Madeline Grace said...

Running is one of the best things in the world! Congrats on finishing!

Katie said...

You rock, girl! Seriously. This whole post inspires me so much. Congratulations on your finish. You should be proud!

Kerrie Williams said...

this is AMAZING. I hate running but so wish i loved it! I can't imagine how good that must have felt.

thenancefamilia said...

So impressed by you, friend!! I'd say you've definitely earned a glass or two of sangria ;)

Lauren said...

You are too cute! So happy you did this FOR YOURSELF! :)

Ashley from The Kitchen-Sink Chronicles said...

You are absolutely inspirational! I just started running a couple of weeks ago and I'm using the C25K program. Right now, I'm just aiming for a 5k but who knows maybe one day I'll be crazy enough to try a marathon (seriously doubt it though, lol).

Faith Ann said...

Congrats! You are so inspirational! I've done 3 halfs and will do a fourth next weekend but a full...shew...You make me want to at least try and train for one! :)

Denise Lopatka said...

wow you give me some motivation that's for sure!! glad you are running for YOU! xox

Alli said...

WOW! you go girl! Such an inspiration! Makes me want to run a marathon!

meg m said...

is it weird that I teared up a little bit reading this?
you (and your amazingly supportive hubs) are such inspirations!
congrats girl!!

Lauren said...

Congratulations!! Awesome effort :)

Lins - Domesticated Working Woman said...

I know this sounds crazy, but since you're a runner you will understand: I just cried reading this. I have only ever done a half, but I know exactly how you feel when your body wants to give up. I know the feeling you get when your husband is there believing in you even when you can't believe in yourself. Running is SUCH a community. It's a religion. It's the best religion. Congrats on finishing. Thank you for sharing. xoxo

Amy said...

I AM SO PROUD OF YOU! and completely in awe. Seriously that is such a hard thing to do, but you DID it...and i know you've done it before, but rock.

Megan Maguire said...

Ah well done! That looks tough!

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Jamie Sefcik || Hello Little Scout said...

Way to go girl, that is AMAZING! I don't know if I could ever do one but wow. I can see the appeal to it!! Who Hoo!

xoxo Jamie

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Brooke B said...

I loved reading this post. I am a "running" newbie......VERY Newbie. By running I mean I jog for a bit (60 seconds) and then pant my way though 90 seconds.. rinse and repeat. I'm not sure if marathons are in my future, but right now I have my eyes of the 5k prize at the end of the training tunnel. I hope to run my first 5k this August, perhaps at the end of June if my body decides to work with me. Thanks again, I'm feeling an extra bit of motivation today.


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