It Takes a Village to Train for a Marathon

They say it takes a village to raise a child. I think the same is true for a marathoner. I got to the finish line of 4 marathons in 17 months with a lot of support, laughter, concern, laughter, the all-important fuelling AFTER a training walk. Knowing I had “my people” to rely on for advice, support and the ever important ” we are meeting at 7am”  It creates possibilities you never considered and achievements you once thought impossible.
The ‘TPW loot bag’ is essential as it provides necessities and the very important message  that TPW is with us whatever city or town we are in. On a personal note it reminds me of the very first loot bag I received from my family when I did Marine Corps in 2005. It was there when I checked in. Epsom salts from Nfld., who knew they could make you cry. The note in the bag we received this week was lovely and something I will keep. Thank you, to Lee for organizing and for everyone’s good wishes and contributions to our loot bags. Our goal of finishing a marathon pales in comparison to world domination (you know who you are!).
Back to Chicago Marathon weekend. Very special thanks to Phyllis for being team lead, providing the training plan, booking hotel rooms, arranging credits when over billed and making dinner reservations. Most important to me was walking with me when my knee was creaky and painful, offering to drive me wherever I needed despite having plans and places to be and then bringing breakfast. If I had to walk up that hill, I may have done serious damage to my knee and not done the marathon this weekend.
It was perfect weather to do a marathon on Sunday, cool but bright and sunny! I wore shorts as usual and for me that was a perfect choice.  I didn’t see Dianne at the start or finish but Phyllis did and saw her off before she left for Toronto Sunday night. The idea of dealing with the airport and flight home same day as a marathon is an achievement all on its own. It was nice to share training with Dianne, meet her sister and see someone challenge themselves with her first and second marathons in the same year. Simply amazing!!
Phyllis, Rorie and I were in the last corral. We quickly moved into a decent pace only to have me fall flat on the ground 842 meters in. I was stunned. Thankfully I had Rorie and Phyllis to help me to my feet and get me moving.  I thought oh no, I’d hurt my knee at less than 1 km and how could I finish before I had really started.  Well I continued to walk and with encouragement and thought less about my fall and more about the marathon.

Rorie and I stayed together the rest of the marathon except for when she decided to search from candy from the spectators. The route was full of spectators, entertainment and fuel for the participants. People gave out candy, bananas, pretzels, popsicles, popcorn and for the adventurous participant – beer.  We waited until we finished and claimed our medal for beer. I had a wonderful time walking with Rorie, though at times I know I was holding her back. I was told as long as we stay under 9:00 min/km we were good.   We did this almost the full 42.2k but there were a few glances where the Garmin showed 9:10 and I very selfishly did not mention it but sped up instead.

Our marathon day ended with a burger and beer/martini dinner with congratulations(free drink)from the bar manager and  celebratory Ghiradelli chocolate (a tradition started in Disney, I think). Stuart and I had the pleasure of listening to Rorie and Shirley singing at the table.  Shirley volunteered at the race expo registering participants and was out on the course with Stuart cheering us on at 20k. We all know how special it is to see someone you know on the course cheering you on.
This Thanksgiving Monday, I have much to be thankful for, being a part of our group makes me grateful for the small things, chocolate milk after a walk and the bigger things, friendship and support of our group whether we are walking the distance together, volunteering or busy with what life brings
One last thing, a sign on the course read, “Toenails go to Heaven”. Good to know!!!

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