In the Club

26 Oct

A lot of people I’ve talked to who are experienced marathoners say that finishing a marathon is like giving birth. In 2009, 4,136,000 babies were born in the United States. During that same year, about 450,000 people finished a marathon. A lot more babies were born than people finished a marathon, so I’m going to venture out there and say (as one who is childless) that nope, a marathon is a harder challenge than giving birth. People would rather go through the pains of childbirth than run a marathon. Seriously. It is a very elite club of people, and now the kid who was always picked last in gym class and was made fun of for being fat, is part of it!

On the same day as my Denver Marathon was the Chicago Marathon. A friend of mine ran it and she visited Colorado last week. We got together to talk about our races. It was exhilarating, and we were both so excited to have someone to share it with. We both concluded that no one gets it unless they do it. That’s not to say that we didn’t appreciate the support and encouragement of our family and friends, but you really, really can’t get it unless you do it.

My family and friends had more of a unique perspective because they did do 6 miles with me at the end, so they knew what I was going through and what the experience was like, but unless you do all 26.2 miles, you just don’t quite realize the magnitude of the this race.

My friend and I dished on our highs and lows of the race and the brutality and horribly long training we endured. We talked shoes, free tee shirts and our medals. It was great. It was so exciting to share that with someone.

Driving around in active Colorado, I tend to see bumper stickers all the time with “13.1” splashed on them or “runner” or “Marathoner.” But, I rarely see the elusive 26.2 sticker. That is a big deal to see. I have one of my car now, and since I put it on, I’ve been waiting to see another one. The other morning on my drive into work, the car in front of me on the interstate had one. I was so excited! I wanted to drive up alongside them and say, “yes, me too! Me too! We’ve done it! We know!” But I figured I’d get into an accident or get arrested for being a psycho.

I’m not at all trying to sound like I’m better than anyone or that I’m some super elite athlete. Gosh, it took me 6 hours to finish, that’s not elite at all. I just mean, it’s a really unique experience to be a part of this special group, and I’m excited about it. I feel so lucky and privileged to be amongst the 450,000 finishers. Lord knows it took all of my energy, all of my stubbornness and an extremely support group of family and friends who helped me on race day to get to be a part of it.

This is an open, welcoming club. We want more members! Lace up your shoes and start training today. I promise you, it’s a high you will never forget and it will stay with you always.

3 Responses to “In the Club”

  1. Sandra Mathews-Benham October 26, 2011 at 7:42 AM #

    What a heart-warming entry, Noel. So delightful to read about your accomplishment! I’m so proud of you.

  2. Bob dolan October 26, 2011 at 8:22 AM #

    Love this blog…of course I’m proud of my “little” girl.

  3. Noel D. October 27, 2011 at 5:41 AM #

    Thanks guys! 🙂

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