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The Jacket

Well….I haven’t been blogging these last few weeks like I thought I would/wanted. The last few weeks of training didn’t really go as planned, but I kept plugging away. Our son’s graduation day and party came and went, and suddenly, here was marathon day. Today.

I went up to Minneapolis to my sister’s place. We had lunch, went to the Expo and saw our cousin, met up with our other sister and had supper. I was so excited, and yet so nervous. What if the last few weeks affected me negatively? But then again, I know that I was properly trained. I knew I trained better than last time.

I could hardly sleep Saturday night. I knew it was coming, the rain, as it had been raining a lot of Saturday afternoon and evening. But when I woke up at 2:40am Sunday morning, it wasn’t raining. I was so thankful that it wasn’t raining. My sister and I left, she was volunteering at the finish line, and it didn’t rain at all on the way to the race. I parked, found the shuttle bus to the start and pretty much as soon as I got on, it started to rain. I did not care about the rain, to be honest, it was all the lightning that I didn’t like. It was the lightning that scared me. I can run in rain. Even a marathon….I would deal with it for 26.2 miles, I was just praying for the lightning to stop.

We got to the start and were told that the race was delayed an hour. I was fine with that because of course we were all hoping it would pass through. There was going to be a meeting at 7am with race officials, police, sheriff, public safety, and weather officials to make a determination on the race. When it got to be about 7:10 and I hadn’t heard anything, I decided to walk up to the start just in case. If it was still going to go on, then I needed to get mentally prepared again.

I found the pace group I wanted to run with and we were all talking about what was going to happen….wondering if we’d be able to have the race. I was getting really nervous….nervous that we wouldn’t be able to run the full, and also nervous if we did because I felt a little out of sorts at that point. However, I wanted to run so badly that I didn’t care if I felt out of sorts, so I focused in on my task at hand. Running and finishing my marathon.

Suddenly, we saw a bunch of people from the front walking toward the back. A man ahead of me said he thought the race was canceled. I looked to my right and there was a girl standing off to the side and she looked at her friend who was standing in front of me and she told her a guy ran by her and said it was cancelled. I walked up to her and asked her to repeat that. She did and I walked around in a daze. And I started to cry.

I wasn’t mad at the team that made the decision. I actually respected the decision and appreciated the fact that they were putting safety first for all involved. But I was sad that I wasn’t able to complete the race. I was sad that after all the training, I wasn’t able to put it all to the test. Even though I was nervous about the race, I was so very excited to get out there and run this marathon. And suddenly, it was all over.

I’m doing better tonight. Again, I agree with the decision….there are worse things in the world than a race being cancelled…I’m not the only one who trained and didn’t get to run…I’m not the only one disappointed. And yes, there will be other races.

All in all, I felt my training went well, with the exception of the last month, but even then when it was tough, I didn’t give up or quit. I am proud of myself for completing the training. I am proud of myself for sticking to it, even modified at times, when the going got tough.

And one thing that got me crying agin tonight, was when I held up my MARATHON FINISHER jacket to my son. Here is the conversation that followed:

Me: (holding up the jacket) I can’t wear this.

Nick: Why not?

Me: Because I didn’t finish!

Nick: That doesn’t matter.

Me: Ummm…yes it does.

Nick: Well you would have finished if you had gotten to run it.

Me: Yeah, but it’s not the same.

Nick: Mom, finishing isn’t always just one day. It’s all the days you trained, all the days you worked hard. You earned the jacket.