We have a thing for running together.
If you need some evidence, here's a few place to look:
The Oregon Epic Relay
The Color Run
Neon Splash Dash
The Phoenix Marathon
The World's Most Supportive Husband
You get the point!
So last year when I ran my first marathon Jacob announced he really wanted to do the full in 2014, and of course I was so so so supportive! If you've had in inkling to run one you really should, it just a life experience like no other! I wasn't sure where my body would be during the race, but decided a half marathon was fair no matter what and not too strenuous, but still an awesome challenge- so I signed up gladly.
We have spent six wonderful months running together. I've never blogged about all the night runs we do together, and the huge Saturday runs, and the times we go to buy Honey Stingers/Shot Bloks and new shoes or socks together, but I'm telling you, getting fit together is one the sweetest things that can happen in a marriage. The endorphins, the body upgrades, the bragging rights, and pain through injuries and extra hard days, are all just that much sweeter with your significant other by your side. And can I say- crossing the finish line together is something seriously amazing too?
Jacob had a serious injury happen about 6 weeks before the race- just enough time to make most people quit. I honestly thought he would, a pulled IT band is no joke- that's what I did during my marathon last year and it took a month of rest to heal. It ousted him from his heaviest training, and I wondered if he'd go on even with a serious injury. He missed three weeks of training and then jumped right back into it and decided full or no race at all.
And you guys, he did the full thing- and he did it pretty quickly for an injured guy who only got to do 2/3rds of his training. We live track each other through an app on our phones, and it was amazing to see him hit walls and then push through!
Let me recap the day:
3:45 AM- get up, get dressed, fill Camelbaks, and make sure we had everything
4:15- Pick up our neighbor and drive to the finish line/bus pick up
5:00- Say goodbye and head to our different locations
5:30- Arrive at starting line, and try to stay dry and warm because rain was rumored to come in, and some small showers passed through during my hour wait. This was also the time to use the bathroom, because that just needs to happen before you start!
6:25- Starting line, meet up with sister running the half who stayed at my parents and walked over since it's less than half a mile away. At this point, the rain started coming down.
6:40- wait for the crowd to push through the starting line, start my app, hit play on my Half Marathon Playlist, and set my goal to make it under 2:30. I also zipped up my jacket, because how it started to rain! Imagine Dragons started me out with "It's Time" because nothing pumps me up and reminds me it's time to begin like that song!
6:45- Pass the slow moving runners right and left, and I also started watching my step. The downpour came, and wet feet are no joke! Also, running on the painted lines in the road can cause slipping, so I felt like human frogger navigating.
6:47: Rihann's "Umbrella" magically comes on my playlist at perfect timing- I ran doing all I could not to sing along to "It's pouring rain" in the chorus. I was pumped and just smiled as this song got me through the first wet 15 minutes.
6:55- The rain stops, I'm still dry and remove my jacket, and proceed to enjoy the next two hours- one of the funnest races of my life! I even stopped to think "I love this! Running is so amazing and I'm seriously having a blast right now!"
At mile 9 it rained again, enough for the jacket to go on for a half mile, and to create amazing wet ground for the race photographer to grab this shot:
I loved going through the course and running through all the parts that I couldn't the previous year while running the full. I looked at where I limped and ran faster, smiling that this year I was lucky enough to be pain free and to survive!
And you know how I wanted to make it under 2:30, well, I started 10 minutes later than the start time, and I was thrilled to have made it under by 10 full minutes!
Did you know it's tradition to hold up the number of race you've completed? I've now run 2 official, and trained for 3 with a wedding and bronchitis stopping my other. 1 Marathon, 2 halves, and many more to come since I'm a full fledged addict now!
Not long after I finished and got my massage at the finish line, I found my sister Hillary.
I love her lots, and I love that we share our passion for long distance running together. We plan most family holidays around long runs together. It was so cool to finally share a race together!
But can we talk about the real start of this race? I still can't believe this boy ran the full thing with only a few miles walked and a couple ibuprofen.
I watched him while I recovered, tracking him on my app. I felt the pain each time he slowed down. I knew just what he was feeling- only I finished all my training, so I knew it could hurt him even worse. And you know, I think it did! He injured his hips, and his water belt rubbing and bouncing made it feel like he bruised his muscles. The poor guy was limping in pain.
If you read my account of running a marathon, you know he ran the last quarter mile stretch with me, and it gave me the boost I needed to finish. Well, I talked the security people into letting me jump back in and do the same for him. And not to embarrass him too much, but when he saw me, he welled up in happy tears.
I'm glad I was there, I reminded him to gladly hold up the #1 - Because this boy has a bucketlist item to run Boston, and I have no doubt he'll get there when he can actually train!
And then I welled up with tears, I just couldn't get over our proud I was of him! And of course I knew just how much it means to accomplish the goal, and how overwhelming the moment is!
That Jacob Whiting of mine did it- with so many odds against him, he conquered this!
And he has the overwhelmed by emotion face and ginormous metal to prove it.
And one of the proudest wives in the world to hold him up when he's ready to collapse!
I should also mention I may come from the coolest family- a sister who ran the half, a brother who smashed the half and arrived an hour before I did to the finish line, a nephew who ran the kid's 1k, a dad who ran the 10k, and a husband who ran the full marathon.
It's such an amazing thing to run, but to run with family really makes it all the sweeter. Plus there was my mom, who watched my brother's kids, and cried for each of us as we finished. She rang a bell for all the marathon finishers for an hour. She cried for many of them and shouted encouraging things. We both watched a father push his son in a wheelchair to the finish line, his son wearing the number. We both cried. And my dad snapped this right after Jacob and I ran by them.
We all had amazing times on this race and exceeded expectations, so we were pretty proud of our medals!
And I just can't say enough how proud I was of this boy who couldn't walk for a few days.
Here's to next year- I'm sure at least one of us will be racing again!