I have never raced a long distance with friends before. It was comforting to not be freezing my bum off by myself at the start. It was great to chat and talk as the miles ticked by. It was helpful to have a friend refill my water bottle while I was using the bathroom. And, it was downright wonderful to cross that finish line with my best friend.
During this race, I covered miles that I ran seven years ago during my first marathon, The Cincinnati Flying Pig. I ran past the section where I hit the wall and would have quit if my husband had been there to pick my lifeless body off the ground. As we ran, I thought about how that first time I was lonely, hurting, and questioning why I was putting myself through this. This time, with my best friend on one side and my college roommate on the other, I felt loved, supported, and encouraged. It didn't matter how hard it was raining or how tired I felt, I was with my friends and that was enough.