2 hours of sleep. 13.1 Miles. 1 incredible running partner. And a gorgeous mountain setting that can't be beat.
IT WAS AWESOME.
Strangely enough, I didn't cry. I think that was the most shocking part of all...I didn't cry!! I was a little disappointed in that fact, to be honest. I was hoping for a giant "release"--a feeling of euphoria and gratitude. Instead, I kind of just plowed through it all. I was so nervous about having a 'come apart' that I held it together so stoically... and once I passed the emotional moment, it was gone. The whole experience was much easier and calmer than I expected. We were well trained.
The last 5 miles or so was spent praying and repeating my new running mantra. I prayed and thanked my Father in Heaven for every little miracle. Especially my Peter and my Lucy. I poured out my heart in thanks for my husband Vic--for his steadfastness and support and his commitment to me. I pleaded for strength. Not just to finish the race, but to finish gracefully and joyfully the rest of my earthly journey. I breathed deeply to soak in the trees, the bubbling brook, the waterfall, the rushing river, the birds, and especially the spirits of all the runners. My friend John told me to make sure and look around at everyone during the race--everyone runs for their own reasons. Everyone has a story.
Next, Becca and I started discussing ALL the inspirational quotes people wrote. We kept going back to Aunt Linda's-- patience, persistence, consistence, distance. But trust me, we went through all of them. Shut up and dance! Just keep swimming. I can do hard things! Run Molly, Run! They were fueling us. When I remembered Alissa's quote "Pain is temporary. Glory is eternal" I started to get emotional. That's when I knew it was suck it up or lose it. Alissa was Lucy's doctor during her time in the PICU. Talk about gut wrenching. Those words and my feelings for Alissa and my memories of my time with her-- it is all too much. There are things that can only be communicated spirit to spirit. No words could ever come close. And I know she knows.
There to greet me at the finish line were my mom, Vic and Peter, and dear high school friend Janeese. (who also ran the half and finished and ENTIRE HOUR before me. That girl is insanity on wheels).
I'd have to say one of the best parts was the surprise gift Vic had waiting for me. A gorgeous pearl ring from the Sundance catalog. Lucy's birthstone is the pearl. When I called and told my sister, she said, "You HAVE to keep running! Just think what you'll get when you finish a marathon." Didn't I tell you she was wise?
What it all comes down to is the gift of strength. Strength beyond my own. ALL of it. This entire past year, childbirth, training for this race, the ability to get out of bed in the morning. It is not my strength alone.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Here is an excerpt from Becca's blog about our race:
"It was all worth it. The feeling that I had coming over the finish line-it makes me cry even now. Tears of joy and gratitude just to have had the opportunity to take the journey of training for this.
I jumped out of bed when my alarm went off at 4 a.m. that morning. At first I felt nervous and then I thought, "Now is not the time to be nervous. You have trained and worked so hard for this and today is the day that you get to put it all out there." We chanced it and parked at the top so that Molly could pump close to the start time. I drove the car through the mass of close to 2,000 people so the car wouldn't get towed and as I heard people's comments I was reminded to never be quick to judge. It was cool and it was just starting to become light. The gun went off and the crowd started to make their way to the starting line. As we passed over the starting pad, I energetically jumped on it with both feet. I was excited to begin. The first 4 miles was down a fairly steep road passing by cute cabins and beautiful mountains. As the miles went by, I was amazed at how I felt. We would range from a 9:30 to a 11:30 minute mile. We were consistent and determined. A little before half way, the trail started going up a frontage road that was a steady incline back up the canyon. It felt like we were doing one of our PC trails. It went uphill for about a mile and then we came back down and got back on the Provo River Trail. Still feeling good at mile 9, the watch that we had to pace ourselves lost satellite and never regained. I wasn't worried because I knew that we would still be consistent without it because of all of our training. It was then that we started talking about all of the comments from Molly's blog about what her mantra should be. There were incredible quotes and comments on there and with each phrase that we recalled I was uplifted. The main one we kept coming back to was "patience, persistence, consistence, distance." As others would stop to walk, we kept running and running and running. And we kept on. My legs started feeling a little jello-ish, but overall I felt good. When we started getting closer, I saw the people gathered and I started to cry-I couldn't believe that we were almost there. Crying made it hard to breathe, so I calmed down, but it was amazing to see people on the side of the trail-there to support their loved ones. There was a girl who was limping and we tried to help her, but she insisted that we keep going so we took her name and bib number and told her that we would send someone up for her. We got closer and closer. And then we came around the bend and saw the finish line and something inside me took off and I started sprinting and I sprinted over that finish line and I cried. I cannot properly put into words what I felt: joy, relief, gratitude, power and so much more. There was Ryan and Rulan on the side and I ran over and gave them both a hug. I felt GREAT! All of the training had truly paid off and we did it. The words of The Penguin came back to me "The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start." We had the courage to start. 2 moms with little boys-me struggling to get back into life and get out of postpartum and Molly dealing with the same plus the loss of her sweet angel Lucy. Together we conquered with a lot of help from above. Together we found our old selves and added new strength to our characters. We had the courage to start and that has made all of the difference. So many things have happened to help me know why we needed to move up here, but this has been the biggest. I am so thankful that Molly and I found each other and though we are very different, we have some of the same passions and we re-developed our love of running together on the beautiful trails of Park City. We got out nearly everyday and partook of the beauty of the earth. It helped me accomplish something for me everyday and I think I had been missing that. We couldn't have done it without the support and love from our husbands who were both at the finish line. And we couldn't have done it if we didn't have the sweetest little boys in the whole world who were so patient on those runs. This really has made all of the difference in my life as a new mommy."
Thank you, Becca! I could NEVER EVER have done it without you.
Vic and I found this song from Kylee very touching. I wish I could write music like that. Incredible.
P.S.--I have completely misplaced/lost/or had my camera stolen. Great photos of me crossing the finish line, Janeese and Peter, family photo at finish line, etc. will be posted shortly if we can find it! Grrrrrr.....