Thank You for Helping Me Break 4:30

I kept trying to write some sort of moving narrative about finally obtaining my marathon goal on the third try. There were going to be lessons of perseverance and community. You would have chuckled at some of my witty observations and nodded while making a “mmmm” noise when I brought it all home. Alas, that didn’t happen. So in lieu of that, here is a non-exhaustive thank you list to all the people and things that finally helped me break 4:30 (my official time was 4:26:41) in the marathon:

-The cross country trail at Dorman High School, where I ran numerous long weekend runs.

-That article in Runner’s World that told me I needed to eat a gram of carbohydrates for every pound I weigh in order to avoid hitting the wall.

-The three bagels with peanut butter, cup of yogurt, and bottle of G2 Gatorade that I consumed in a quixotic effort to somehow carb up enough before the race.

-The Swamp Rabbit Trail, for being considerably flatter than the streets of Nashville.

-The coolish, partly cloudy weather.

-The 4:15 pace group, whose community I enjoyed until about Mile 14.

-The volunteers that served at all the aid stations and the police officers that kept cars from running us over.

-The lone port-a-john by the abandoned train caboose on Swamp Rabbit.

-The person that exited said port-a-john before I got there meaning no wait and little time lost when I had to go the bathroom.

-Furman University, for always being one of the best places in the world to run.

-Jim. The image of my nearly two and a half year old kid dressed up as Buzz Lightyear standing by the course and excitedly yelling “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” was all kinds of epic awesomeness.

-My mom, for coming out to cheer me on and for being there to help me when I had my first ill-fated 20 mile training run back in September.

-The lady in Travelers Rest that stood by the course and cheered by name for everyone who passed her.

-My gag reflex, for not following through when I felt like I was going to boot around Mile 18.

-The waffle cookies, which were good for fuel up until that gag reflex kicked in.

-The 4:30 pace group, who passed me when I was walking around Mile 21 and considering another swing and  miss at my goal. I started running again when I saw you guys trudge by.

-Florence + the Machine, for your 2010 hit “The Dog Days Are Over” which was playing on my iPod when the 4:30 group passed me. Your harp and theatrical singing pushed me through the wall.

-My dad, for running alongside me a couple times during the race and encouraging me, especially as I ran my last mile. Also for getting me interested in running all those years ago in the first place.


-The finish line, for existing.

-EA, for coming out and supporting me, encouraging me as I trained, and letting me go off on two and three hour runs on Sunday afternoons even when you wanted to nap. I would never have done this without you. I’m glad that I didn’t scare you this time.

-God. Even though I am not particularly fast, when I run, I do feel Your pleasure. Thank You for letting me experience this.

Here Comes Herr Luther

The Past Ain't All It's Cracked Up to Be