What the Twin Cities Marathon Taught me

ChAoS in MOtiOn
What the Twin Cities Marathon taught me.

            This past weekend, I DID IT!!! My running partners, Rebecca and Tracy, and I completed the 26.51miles (who says a marathon has to be 26.2 miles??) in 5 hours, 22 minutes and 13 seconds! I can honestly say that it was the fifth best day of my life, after my marriage and birth of my children.  The weather was perfect, the scenery was absolutely gorgeous, the crowds were energizing, and the experience was amazing.  I will share what I learned in doing this race, in no particular order.
            I will never, ever take for granted the free parking that exists in most of North Dakota. Ever. 
A gigantic American flag draped between two fire trucks does not indicate a finish line.  A “Finish” sign does.
“The wall” cannot go on forever. Eventually it will end, or you will find a way around it, over it, under it or a door will appear.  
When you start to doubt yourself, you just usually have to look to your sides. Your friends will be there. And will sing you a verse or two.
If you don’t know why they are handing out spoonfuls of Vaseline on the course, you don’t need it.
It is possible for a human to run a full marathon in a Chewbacca suit.  Or was it a suit???
This race is absolutely deserving of the title of “Most beautiful urban course in America.”
There will come a point that you may wish for your feet to just go numb, because then you will no longer feel the pain.
By focusing on someone else, purposefully and prayerfully for a mile, the mile whips by quickly, as does another and another.
If all you consume after a marathon is a Dixie cup of broth and a couple bags of chips, a pot of king crab will sadly leave you looking for another pot of crab, and a Big Mac, and maybe a Whopper.
A 9 year old boy waking up out of a dead sleep before 7am to say “Good Luck Mommy” goes a long long way.
Age means diddly-squat.  It is just a number. The oldest male runner was 85 and the oldest female was 71.  There were numerous runners in their sixties and seventies participating, and running sub-4 hour times! (That is good!)
Minnehaha Falls could use an aerial spraying of Febreeze, or a gigantic tree air freshener.
Adversity can inspire.  I started to tear up as I came up along side a man with an unusual running gait.  Unusual until I read his shirt that read “Stroke-0, Me-1.”           
Forward IS a pace.  It makes sense in a race or in life.
Just because a hotel shows a picture of a hot tub on its website, a hot tub you are salivating to get into after running 26.51 miles, doesn’t mean there will actually be a hot tub in the hotel. Or a bathtub.  
Trust the process.  It works.
It is important to prepare yourself that things will get mentally hard.  However, when you think it may get tough may not actually be when it happens. It may happen sooner.
Enjoy the moment and breathe in “the now.” You are doing this. YOU.
Embrace the pain.  Once you embrace it, and realize it can’t get any worse, you can let it go and you can focus on something else.
Your angels are watching over you. Thanks for the sprinkles when I was overheating Mom.
You may be someone’s inspiration or hero without even realizing it.
Take it bit by bit going uphill and enjoy the downhill.
A shuttle bus of marathoners smells as good as a 14 year old boys hockey bag.
Upon waking the next morning, the way you feel horizontally may not be the way you feel vertically.
Finishing a marathon is pretty much like having a baby. You start to forget about the pain, your friends start asking you about “another,” you think about how fun it would be to do again, and your husband will give you a deer in the headlight look and then sigh and roll his eyes.