I recently ran my second marathon, and, considering my Top Three Love Languages are 1. Words of Affirmation, 2. Words of Affirmation, and 3. High Fives, it’s no surprise that Marathon Day was the best. day. ever.
Consequently, the only suitable way to recall said marathon is with an outpouring of thanks and gratitude to some of the unsung heroes of the day:
Thank you, Marriott employees, for re-labeling the men’s restroom to become a 2nd ladies’ room. Because ladies stop being ladies when it’s 10 minutes to the starting gun and the bathroom line is 73 deep.
Thank you, kind people collecting discarded clothing at the starting line. Hoodies were flying left and right in those first steps, and it was nice to know it would all be cleaned and donated.
Thank you, ringers of cowbells and makers of signs. Thank you, in particular, to the makers of the following signs:
Enough said, really.
Not entirely inaccurate.
(I know you don’t get it, Mom.)
(Yes, it’s inappropriate.)
(And really funny.)
Thank you, tall skinny man running in front of me on the bridge. Though he be skinny, he be blocking some wind.
Thank you, o husband of mine, for handing me a bottle of flat Coke (a.k.a. Sweet Nectar From Heaven) at mile 17. Also, thank you, kind woman who took the bottle from me a block later and promised to dispose of it properly so as to keep me from being a total litterbug.
Thank you, little girl handing out Krispy Kreme donuts at mile 18. May the Lord richly bless you and your household tenfold for generations to come.
Thank you, every. single. child. who reached out for a high five. YOU’RE ALL MY FAVORITES.
Thank you, people who yelled, “You’re almost there!” at mile 19. You’re a bunch of well-meaning liars. You are not my favorites.
Thank you, person responsible for printing my name on my bib, and thank you, every single blessed person who cheered for me by name. I know you didn’t actually know me, but at mile 20, who gives a rip?
Thank you, two girls who simply yelled in high-pitched voices, “You’re SOOOO PRETTY!” to each and every runner. Although your sobriety was questionable at best, let’s be honest: who DOESN’T like to be called pretty at mile 21?
Thank you, feet, for faithfully carrying my body, mile after mile. After mile. Even though I distinctly remember thinking at mile 23: “I can’t feel my feet…. Suck it up. WHO NEEDS FEET!?” (I take it back. I need you, feet. I do.)
Thank you, finish line volunteers who placed a medal around my neck, a drink in my hand, and a blanket over my shoulders. And thank you, kind veteran runner standing nearby who reminded me to STRETCH and KEEP MOVING as my hips and quads locked the heck up.
Thank you, nice lady who let me borrow your cell phone to call my husband when I couldn’t find him after I finished. You were undeterred by my sweaty, salty state, and I am grateful.
Thank you, photographer who got this shot of me somewhere around mile 25.
See that joy on my face? That is the face of a woman who is close enough to the finish to know she is not only going to reach her goal and qualify for the Boston Marathon, but she is also going to NOT POOP HER PANTS. And THAT, my friends, is a victory we can all be thankful for.