The Sweetest Run.

April 25, 2010 at 8:48 pm | Posted in And I ran (I ran so far away) | 32 Comments


Today I ran 13.1 miles. And finished my half marathon in 2:18:18.

Truthfully, at about 7am this morning I was ready to throw in the towel, pack the family up, and just head home.

We had an AWFUL night. O went to bed fine, but woke up at 2am. And by 3:30, when he threw a massive crying fit – complete with SCREAMING – I was beside myself. J grabbed him (once we managed to calm him down), told me to go back to bed, and took O for a long drive in the countryside in the hopes that O would sleep in the car.

I did manage to fall back asleep, but when I woke with a start at 6:15 and they weren’t there, I flipped out. I was convinced that J had fallen asleep at the wheel somewhere and they were dead in a ditch. (Can’t say my first thoughts are rational, not at all.)

I called him and he told me that they had just got back to the hotel. And O was awake.

Not a good sign.

So when O threw another tantrum at about 6:45 when we were trying to pack, I nearly broke down and got in the car to go home.

Thankfully J again saved the morning – calmed O down and we drove to the race site.

It was a GORGEOUS MORNING. Chilly, but blue skies and lots of sun (take THAT,!). J and O went to walk down a bit to see the beginning of the race, and I used the portapotties one last time then lined up with the others.

There weren’t many runners – just over 500. Which is small compared to some of the races I’ve done (one where my number was 2 thousand something!). So when the gun went off, it didn’t take me long at all to get to the starting line. I waved at J and O and was off.

The course was, in a word – GORGEOUS. We ran through the center of Middlebury before we detoured through farmland. I felt GREAT – and at my first split at 3 miles I was ahead of my desired time by about 4 minutes. At mile 6, I was still ahead by 3 minutes and hadn’t had to stop ONCE to walk. I was feeling GOOD when I had my first energy gel at mile 6.

Multiple times along the course I wish I had a camera with me. Vermont is so beautiful – lush green farmland and pastures surrounded by this ring of the Green Mountains. I felt like I could run forever.

We wound back towards town and I got to see O and J at mile 7 – I was really surprised by them, and it was SO awesome to hear O yell “MOMMY!!!” and wave at me.

It was about mile 9 when I felt my legs starting to cramp. Just then we hit the hilliest part of the course (of COURSE, that’s how it goes, right?) and I started to struggle. The sun was in my face, I was hot (again freaking overdressed for the weather, ugh!) and I was THIRSTY. I knew there was a water station at just past 10, but I needed it now. So at mile 10 I grabbed two waters and tossed them down along with another energy gel.

The rest of the course was ROUGH. I was tired enough that there were a few moments where I thought I couldn’t run a step more. Some people call it hitting the wall. I knew I’d make it to the finish line, I just thought I’d have to walk the rest.

Then I got to about mile 12.5, and I could SEE the sign for mile 13. And when I slowed to walk yet again, an elderly gentlemen with whom I was leapfrogging (I would pass him, then he’d pass me when I had to walk) waved at me as if to say “come on! Let’s go chicky!” I took one of my headphones out of my ear and said “thanks.” He rsponded “I don’t leave anyone behind.”

I’m not sure where the energy came from, but I ran the rest of the way there. And I saw the finish line, and J and O waving at me like mad, and I sped up.

And then my throat closed and I teared up. Crossing that finish line was unbelievably emotional for me. I’ve worked so damn HARD. I’ve run through rain and snow and cold and dark and sun and heat. I’ve gotten out of bed two days a week at 4:30am and devoted hours of my Saturday mornings for it. I’ve lost 25lbs and changed my body and regained some CONTROL of my life again.

And even better? 15 years ago to the DAY was when my Grandpa Conroy died. And as I crossed that finish line today, I SWEAR I heard his voice in my head telling me that I could do it. I like to think that he’d be really, REALLY proud of me.

I’m REALLY proud of myself. Even if I didn’t manage to finish in the time I wanted.


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  1. Wooohooo! So proud of you!

  2. I know I don’t “know” you but I can’t express how proud I am of you. I knew you could do it!!


    I’m so happy for you!

  3. You are amazing – you really are!! What a HUGE thing to do. You should be really proud of yourself.

  4. Way to go!! You are awesome!! Savor the moment my friend you totally earned it!!
    Also a quick shout out to J for saving the day, er, night.

  5. I am so, so very proud of you! And just a touch envious of course. I hope O got in a good night sleep and you all ended up with some well-deserved rest. Congrats on accomplishing something many never will or could!

  6. We’re all really proud of you, but most of all it’s so great that you’re proud of yourself! You can now see what I’ve told you all along…that after you finish, it’s like you know this secret that others don’t know…that if you work hard and put your mind do it, it’s a goal that ANYone can complete. The only difference? Most people never even give themselves the chance.

    I’m glad you gave yourself a chance!

  7. I AM SO PROUD OF YOU! Congratulations, sweetie. You look amazing in that picture.

  8. WOW! What an AMAZING inspiration you are!!! You SHOULD be so proud of yourself!!! You have an AMAZING husband, AMAZING son, AND just completed a 13 mile race!!! GEEZ woman?!? What else do you want?? 😉 CONGRATS to you on such a huge accomplishment!

  9. So proud of you! You look great and you did great! Congratulations on such a great accomplishment!

  10. Isn’t it the BEST feeling ever? I totally cried, and reading your post, I cried again just thinking how it felt. Gawd, I’m soooooooo proud of you for doing this! I know the work it takes to do it, let alone to get to that kind of time, so you freaking ROCK chicka! Woohoo!

  11. Great job, you look amazing1 I am so proud of you

  12. I am literally crying with joy for you, someone I have never met! I am so proud of you! You did it! What an amazing accomplishment. And, you look as good as I know you feel.

    Your grandpa kicked up his heels at what his granddaughter did today.

    Hooray, Serenity!!!!!!

  13. I have been lurking on your blog for awhile. I’ve never commented before, but I just have to for this post. I am in awe of the work and struggle you have put into this effor and this post has me crying happy tears. Congratulations!

  14. Congrats!! Great Achievement. I have been a long time lurker becasue my daughter and O are about the same age and infertility was one common factor.
    I am so happy u made it..u r truly an inspiration.
    – A

  15. Congratulations!! There are tears in my eyes right now — way to go!

  16. Laughing through teary eyes!!! CONGRATULTIONS!!!!!
    YOU DID IT! 🙂

  17. You are a ROCK STAR! Awesome job!! That is a seriously amazing accomplishment.

  18. Congratulations! You are amazing.

  19. Congratulations, Serenity! You are amazing (and you look amazing in your pic after the race too- you should see the state I’m in in my photos!).

    I’m really proud of you.

    Looking forward to reading about your journey to running the marathon.


  20. Congratulations!!!!!!!

  21. I teared up when I read your post…I am so proud of you!! What an amazing accomplishment. Congratulations!!!

  22. You rock. And you ARE a skinny bitch! You did amazing and your hard work paid off!

  23. Congratulations! Well done.


  24. Congratulations! I have NO idea how you managed to train in such a winter, but you did it and you are awesome.

  25. Go YOU! Congratulations on the run and on all of the hard work leading up to it. You look wonderful and you really are inspiring. I long to feel that sense of accomplishment and pride directed at myself. You make me want to achive it!

  26. I knew you could do it, and it’s even more impressive that you did it after such a bad night. Yay for you!

  27. Congratulations!!!

    You did it! 🙂

    I’m so glad all your hard work and effort paid off!

  28. Dear Serenity, this is wonderful news! I’m so thrilled that all your hard work has paid off so handsomely. (And speaking of which, you look ravishing in your triumph!) So proud of you, my dear! Go go go!

  29. You look amazing! I am SOOO amazed and proud of you!! Not only are you an amazing mom but you’re a runner! Wow!!

  30. Wonderful! Congratulations!!
    I teared up reading about O yelling out “MOMMY”. What a moment!
    PS- you look simply awesome!
    (This is so exciting, I couldn’t possibly use enough exclamation marks.)

  31. Yay Serenity. Congratulations I am proud of you!

  32. Congratulations! You look AMAZING!!!

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