…in rain or shine. After 26.2 miles of shin-high puddles, chilling wind, and unceasing showers, I emerged at the finish line soaked from head-to-toe, shivering in my shorts and t-shirt, unable to bend my joints or feel my fingers.
The LA Marathon was the most physically grueling task I’ve ever completed. No amount of training could have fully prepared me for the conditions that were present that day including overactive bowel movements, unfortunate menstrual timing, muscle cramps, a broken ipod, and of course the weather. In fact, thousands of runners were evaluated for hypothermia! (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sports_blog/2011/03/la-marathon-thousands-evaluated-for-hypothermia.html). Nevertheless in 5 hours and 15 minutes, I crossed the finish line hand-in-hand with two of my dearest friends. It was one of the most exuberant, emotional, and intense feelings I had ever felt.
I know I’m pretty awesome, but I really, truly could not have completed the LA Marathon on my own accord by my own strength. I must give credit where credit is due, so here’s to the three that are fully deserving of praise and recognition.
1) God! Thank you for giving me these short little legs to run with, for creating such a beautiful world to enjoy, and for providing strength amidst pain (especially during the last 6 miles)! It’s times like these that I hear your voice LOUD and clear!
2) Fellow runners & moralers. The motivation you gave me was the fuel that powered my legs. I was extremely touched by the many that stood in the pouring rain to cheer on and pass water out to complete strangers. Every time I got a high-five, it was like I ate a Mario Mushroom and gained another life. And the people that I ran alongside…WOW. There were kids, senior citizens, people running for Japan, and even paraplegics that were unbelievably inspiring. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that more than a couple gray-haired folk whizzed right by me! That’s when I really kicked it into high gear.
3) Joe & Tina. I’m afraid I can’t eloquently express the totality of my feelings towards the both of you in writing, but here is my sincere albeit insufficient attempt. We started this whole process together back in 2008 when our friendship blossomed (spending day in and day out with one another) and I unsuccessfully tried to convince you guys to run the 2009 marathon with me. Little did you guys know that I had just planted the idea in your head and it would take a couple years for it to grow and take effect. Fast forward to 2010, when I asked, or begged again, you guys reluctantly agreed and we became DTJ- Down To Jog!
Everything we have done has been a team effort: our countless runs together, movie nights to celebrate our 3-miles runs, dinners out to nourish our runs, the marathon sign-up party filled with In-n-out and Wendy’s. We used the marathon as the perfect excuse to revolve all of our social/grub nights around!
When it came game time, in true DTJ fashion, we stuck together as a team. Tina, you pushed us hard for the last six miles when it counted. Joe, you carried all of our stuff, helped stretch out Tina’s cramps, and kept us safe and warm to the best of your ability. We never left a soldier behind— we were as slow as our last guy. We even synced our ipod’s so that we would be listening to the same songs throughout the whole race!
Finally, when we crossed that finish line hand-in-hand, and we embraced, I became so emotional because I was so freaking miserable, but having you guys with me through it all made the experience so rewarding. And Joe, when you prayed for us right after, I started crying because I was so thankful at that moment that God blessed me with two of the most amazing people I have ever met in my life. Thank you Baby girl Tina and Hoeseph for being such positive, selfless, encouraging, and precious assets in my life. I love you both deeply. Pain is temporary, but this memory will be ours forever! DTJ WINNING!
Good morning Tina and Joe! You ready??
At 5 AM, bumper-to-bumper traffic on the way to the Dodger’s Stadium.
Pre-race nice n’ dry. Joe, me in my ahjooma visor, and Tina.
Fast forward to dinner celebration with our finisher medals! (Couldn’t take pictures post-race due to the rain..boo..)
Medal up close and personal.
Yay we have friends! Tiff & Johney came out to support. Thanks guys!
And the perfect end to a great day.
#11. This one was for you Brian.