First of all, there were not near enough port-a-potties on the course. I'm talking 6-7 mile stretches with no relief in sight. If you're a runner you know that for most this will ultimately result in creating your own restroom. No biggie. It's a runner thing. And to add onto the pressure buildup in my bladder for 8 miles there was the issue of bad pasta the night before. Or maybe I should say bad sauce. Not sure, I just know that Pasta la Vista was not the greatest Italian cuisine I had ever put in my mouth or stomach. A marathon is not supposed to be a 26 mile intestinal fight. But things happen.
Morgan and I saw our friend from the Y at home a couple of times. And Faith came out and brought me a dry hat and took some of my stuff I didn't need anymore. This was a total blessing! But back to the mental battle.
I don't even know how to explain it, but somewhere along the way you just begin to start wondering, "Did I train enough? Holy crap! Could there be any more hills!? Are my legs still there underneath me?" And the war of speculation goes on. I began to feel like I just needed to hear someone yell my name - I needed to see a familiar face again and hear them say, "GO! You can do it!" And then it happened. As I was coming up this hill I saw some friends. I had no idea they were going to be there. And they were yelling for me, yelling my name, people I knew were encouraging me on, to keep going. Heather even jumped out and ran with me for awhile. (I tried to convince her to carry me, but she wasn't buying it). Carolyn was taking my picture. Allie was handing me Skittles (most of which I dropped on the street). But this was all I needed!
It was such a vivid reminder of Galatians 6:2, that we are to "carry each others burdens". We so often take for granted the blessing that we are to each other and we forget that the encouragement we find in being part of the body of Christ is almost unexplainable. Just to see each other. Just to hear someone say, "You can do this." To know that you're not alone.
And when I crossed the Finish line, there they were. I staggered over to them to try and explain how much it meant to me to see them and hear their voices at just that right time. It was powerful. And my 4 hour goal - I crushed it! 3:53:23.
We ran back down to the final stretch, waited for Morgan (who was not far behind me), and cheered her on to the Finish. This is what the body of Christ should look like. I'm thankful for the reminder.