Marathon build ups always require a lot. They require a lot of time, mental energy, and early mornings when you're not a full-time athlete. Dedicated to the process, Seth and I both prepared well for Grandma's Marathon (I for the full and he for the half). Each marathon build up is different & filled with unique ups and downs. During this build up, I started two new jobs. I took a stressful position that wasn't a great fit where I wasn't set up for success, and made the tough decision to step away. It was taking too much out of me and taking a toll on both Seth and I. Still, it was a hard season for both of us. Then, I took a new position only a week & a half before Grandma's. Talk about change!
But, I truly believe the Lord has enabled me and us to handle change. It's something I've had to grow in. I find comfort in routine. But, I'm learning and growing to be more flexible, to be okay with things not turning out how I hope. Grandma's Marathon was the ending of a changing and sometimes stressful season. I'm so thankful for all the support of family and friends who were concerned for my fading finish. We still don't have all the answers for what happened. I prepared for this marathon well. I took in plenty of fluids and calories, just like I have for my other marathons. We had beautiful weather & were so thankful for the thunderstorms holding back for a day. Thank you for all who prayed; the Lord heard & answered us! Miles 22-26.2 my body started to shut down, and once I saw Seth at the finish, tears started to roll down my face. I almost wished I had dropped out to not get passed by 16 women during the last 4 miles. But, I needed the med tent & I also decided I could tough out a very slow last few miles safely. Blood tests have now shown I'm 100% healthy with high iron, B12, etc. My coach believes I was slightly hypothermic. Sometimes, you don't have the answers; my body just didn't have it.
After spending an hour in the medical tent and having blood work done, they released me to see Seth and give him a big hug. He had raced the half before I even started, then he sat outside the tent for an hour with a special coffee that was cold once he handed it to me. My sad tears of disappointment and embarrassment turned to happy tears when Seth told me he ran a 3 minute PR of 1:04 in the Half. He's worked so incredibly hard & it has been a beautiful thing to experience joy with him in this season.
The joy of marriage & competing together (often on the same day), is that we have been able to celebrate each other's successes even when we might have not experienced the same. My athletic career won't be defined by good or bad marathons, but by the Lord's grace to allow me to continue to do what I do, and now, Seth and I together. Seth and I have known for a bit that it is time for me to step away from the marathon for a period of time. I don't have a race schedule yet or even know what it will look like, but we are continuing to dream together & have new goals.
We continue to do what brings us joy in competing and racing to glorify the Lord and build relationships with people. I'm seeing glimmers of what's next & I'm excited to enter into a new season with new challenges and new ways to grow!
As always, our post-race season has been filled with just as many pre-race farmer's market veggies but also plenty of wine, adventures, and travel.
Here's Seth and I cheering at Western States 100 (mile 99):