Training for and completing a marathon was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Knowing that someone would be running it with me made it all the more enjoyable. Heather and I started out at 4:30 that morning to load the busses that lined the streets of Ogden.
The sheer number was unreal. They close the canyon during the marathon so everyone has to be bussed to the starting line. We were soon on our way up the canyon to the starting line. We listened to each others music, drank our pre-run drink, and tried to get the jitters out! It was fun listening to everyone around us talk about whether it was their first marathon or whether they were running the relay and talk about their training experiences. It was dark and cold, but there was a warmth in the spirit that seemed to be alive. It was a tangible feeling of excitement and anticipation.
Three weeks before the marathon, on my last 20 mile training run, my injured IT band began to hurt again. I ran minimal miles the next few weeks in preparation for the marathon. Janzen gave me a blessing the night before that spoke beautiful promises to me. We sat around fire pits to warm ourselves and visited the huge line of porta potties a couple of times. And when we lined up to start the run, I felt the words of the blessing come into my mind where he said that I would feel of the greatness of the human spirit.
I was overcome with the number of people that were there to run 26.2 miles. We were all different ages, had different physical abilities and yet, we were all united in achieving our goals that day.
It's hard to put into words what was going on in my mind during the marathon. I was so grateful to be there. I knew that without my Heavenly Father's help and blessings that I wouldn't be. I was surrounded by His beautiful creations and was overcome with what is possible when goals are set and worked toward.
Running wasn't even hard that day. It was fun. Even the big hill that I'd been dreading wasn't bad. When we reached the top, I felt like I could do anything. It was about that time that I felt like I couldn't get the grin off my face.
About mile 22 my legs started to feel the pounding of the downhill running. Stopping and starting at the drink stations became so painful. It also started to get really hot, like 90 degrees hot! People who lived in the canyon had their hoses out to spray anyone off that wanted it. The drink stations became portable showers as well. When we hit the 23 mile marker, it got really hard. It seemed like I was going very slow and just trying to keep one foot in front of the other. I turned up my favorite song and tried to concentrate on the finish. I saw my mom first, holding Logan, cheering for me. Then I saw the kids break out into the street, running along side me. I hear them call my name and cross the finish line. Then I saw Janzen. The emotions couldn't be contained and tears flowed.
My friend Jodi was at the finish line. She had given me moral support all along the way and I was so grateful she was there to share in my joy at finishing. After I visited the blister tent and got bags of ice for my quads, we went home with the medal around my neck. I really did feel like that because I completed my goal, which I believed was impossible at one time, that I could accomplish anything. And though I wouldn't be able to walk down stairs forward for 3 days, had the biggest blister I had ever seen, and lost 4 toenails during the training and marathon, I'd do it all over again. It has given me courage to do other hard things since then and I know that my Heavenly Father will help me accomplish anything.