It’s been 4 days since I completed the Grandma’s marathon in Duluth, MN. The race wasn’t my fastest, and I really had to get through some things in my head to make it through the last 7.2 miles.
Let’s start with the morning of the race. I had a nice 3 am wake-up call. Instead of getting straight out of bed, I got to lay in bed for another 10-15 mins because my alarm caused Luna to stir (I will gladly fall behind schedule for snuggles with my little girls)! Then it was time to get up and get ready. I had a little breakfast, got dressed, made sure everything was packed for the race, and made sure everything was packed for our flight home right after the race.
Mandy got up early as well to drive me to the finish line. Yes, the finish line! It was a point-to-point race. No drop-offs were allowed at the starting line. At the finish line, they had busses or a train to take you to the start. I opted for the train. The train ride was slower than the busses. It took about an hour to get to the start line, but the view was beautiful! I am glad I chose it. Once at the start line, I jumped in line for the restrooms. There were so many people there that I missed my start time by 12 mins.
This was a big race with about 9000 people, but I started it alone. Out on the course, I started passing people and felt great running. I spent the majority of this race thinking about what all cancer has taken from me, Mandy, and our family. It isn’t fair. Those thoughts fueled me maybe a little too much at the beginning. Mandy sent me a text saying I was looking good on the tracker and that I needed to slow down because she didn’t want me to burn out my legs too early. I’ve never run 19 miles straight without walking at all, but I did this race!
I don’t know if it was my fast pace or the 19 miles straight, but I hit a wall. From mile 19 to the finish, it was a struggle to move forward. My legs hurt, my mind wasn’t there, my lungs hurt, and my feelings were hurt. From mile 22 until the finish I held back tears. Not because I was in pain, not because I was disappointed I slowed down so much, but because I fucking hate cancer! I hate what it has done to my family and to my wife. I hate that every day I turn around I find something new it has taken from us. I hate the emotional toll it takes on all of those around us or the mental torture we suffer from. I hate how it has physically affected Mandy and how she is no longer able to do what she once was. After a quick stop to see my girls right before the finish line, I crossed it at 4:50:39. I then got my medal and went and found my family so we could get to the airport. That is a terrible idea for anyone wondering. I do not recommend running a marathon, getting into a car for 3 hours, showering at a truck stop, and then taking two flights to get home. One of our flights was delayed but thankfully not canceled! Once we got home, we put the girls in their own beds and we crawled into our bed around 5:45 am. I had been up and moving for over 24 hours at that point. I definitely needed some rest after that!