Thank you for being so supportive. Thank you for visiting my blog. Thank you for all of your comments, but most especially the ones leading up to this race. They were so fun to read from my phone (I love that I can check my email…even without some fancy phone) and so inspirational.
As you read the following letters and you start to think, “wow, she is really long winded and these aren’t as funny as usual” (yes, Justin, I know I write too much), I want you to think about the fact that you are sitting on your butt, at a computer, in the comfort of your home, or office. You are not exerting yourself while reading this. You aren’t risking exhaustion, muscle cramps, injury, or dehydration. So, while these letters may go on forever, I hope that you’ll humor me and read them. And when you are done, I hope that you’ll look at your watch, see that 40 minutes have passed and think, “Wow, Chloe ran for over eight times that long.”
In all seriousness, this was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. A lot of it had more to do with the road to get to the marathon than the actual marathon, but the marathon itself was definitely a huge part of it. Besides all of my wonderful blogging buddies (those I know and those I don’t), I have fantastic friends and family who have supported me along the way. Many thought I was crazy (and, truth be told, I am just a bit), but they still supported me. Thanks for all that you do for me. Thanks for sharing your wonderful stories, music, thoughts, experiences and love. The journey is so much sweeter because of you.
Thanks for being such an inspiration. And thanks for the rad quote from Lance Armstrong. We repeated it over and over and over again. “Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.”
Dear race organizers,
Well done. From picking up our packets to finishing the race, the whole experience was amazing. Although getting on the bus at 4:00 am was a bit painful, even that wasn’t so bad. And, once we got to the top and discovered just how cold it was, we were sure glad that we got up that early because those free gloves for the first 1,000 bus riders were totally worth it. I don’t know what I would have done without them.
A first time marathoner
Dear firestarters (no, not Drew Barrymore),
Thank you. Seriously. I wasn’t really expecting to run while smelling like a campfire, but it was totally worth the smell for the warmth. Who knew that it would really be that cold. I didn’t. I mean, I had a sweatshirt, but it was cold. I mean COLD!!! But the 30+ fires definitely helped.
The girl who never thinks she’s going to be as cold as she is
Dear guy in the blue spandex who felt the need to tuck his shirt in while standing around the fire,
Seriously? How could your wife be standing right there and let you do that? I promise, I’m not a perv…but my eyes…well, it was like flies to poo. There was nothing I could do. It will be years before that image leaves me. Years! I may have to sue you for damages.
A girl who may need to see a therapist for PTSD
Dear friendly running guys who talked to Anne and me by the fire,
It was so nice to meet you. It was fun to hear that you met through running, the same way Anne and I did. I hope that ten years from now, when Anne and I are running our umpteenth marathon, we will be able to share the same story with someone.
The runner who loves her new little world…that’s not really so little
Dear St. George,
What can I say? You are gorgeous! Sometimes, I really don’t love living in Utah, and then I do something like this, and I remember just how great you are. Thanks for being so pretty.
The runner who was happy to have so many beautiful things to look at
Dear sign makers,
You are my new favorite people. Anyone out there who hasn’t run a race (well, a longer race) should know that it’s worth it just to read the signs. They are hilarious, and inspiring, and entertaining, and sometimes, obnoxious. Really, Heather Hays’ boyfriend, the first five signs were cute. The last 25…not so cute. In fact, I would say they were bordering on stalker-esque. Really, kind of weird. But the rest of you, fantastic!!!
A happily entertained runner
You are great! Thanks for be willing to come out and provide us with everything we could possibly need, from water, to Gatorade, to Icy Hot and so on. Your kindness almost made it hard to drink and eat for all the emotion I was feeling…but I was really thirsty and those oranges were delicious, so somehow I managed it.
A girl who decided this race that she should really volunteer to work at a few of these races
Dear crazy people who were standing in front of your homes in the freezing cold at the crack of dawn to cheer on complete strangers,
Words cannot express!
An ultra emotional marathoner
Dear guy in the short shorts and cutoff t-shirt,
Really? You realize that I passed you, right? Me. Chloe. The girl who finished in 5:36:52. You have no excuse, none, nada, zilch, for wearing such an outfit. Gross. Think of the children.
A, once again, traumatized runner
It was nice to finally meet you. I’m glad you called out to us. Sorry we didn’t come meet you by your fire, but it was cold and we were already by a fire and you chose one that they didn’t light until much later. But, we still met, so that was fun.
Your blogger runner friend
Dear right foot,
I knew that you were going to blister. You have always blistered, except for when I finally got you calloused over. I know my lack of running the last three weeks are what caused you to blister so badly, but I kind of think you enjoyed shoving it in my face. Did you have to start at mile five? You could have waited until mile 10 and you still would’ve been around for 16.2 miles. Really, I’ve never had such a blister. You were incredible. I’m sorry I had to drain you, but no shoe was going to fit on my foot with you sticking out there. Maybe you should think about that next time.
The blister killer
Tendonitis? At mile 20? You couldn’t have waited until mile 25? Every step was painful. Every single one! Please go away.
Your owner who would really like to continue running
I probably wouldn’t have made it without you. As one who is not a huge fan of any kind of drug consumption…I was happy to have you on Saturday.
The girl who almost didn’t have her wisdom teeth removed because she hates medication just that much
I packed you. I thought about you. I pulled you out of my bag Saturday morning. And then, what happened? You just let me forget about you. How could you do that? It was 3:30 am. How the heck was I supposed to remember EVERYTHING? Throw a girl a bone. Thankfully, I did decide to go with a hat and it’s time for fall clothing, so you are semi-forgiven. But, still, where is the love?
With some hurt feelings,
The former esthetician who doesn’t ever leave home (not even in a blizzard) without sunscreen on her face
You are my new BFF. I apologize to those of you who thought you were my BFFs. But, did you help me make it through 26.2 miles of running virtually unscathed by chaffing? What? Silence? That’s what I thought. Seriously, one spot, under the band of my sports bra, in the back, where I didn’t even think to apply you. You are the best, SportShield. I think I love you!
A girl with almost perfectly intact skin (minus that darn blister and the one itty-bitty spot on my back)
Dear iPod nano,
I’m so glad you decided to last through the entire race. I was a bit worried for a while. The little battery icon turned red when I still had miles to go. But you hung on and for that, I will be forever grateful. While the music is always important, I would have been truly heartbroken had I not been able to upload a run of 26.2 miles. It would not have changed the fact that I had run it, but it sure was fun to plug you into my computer and visit the Nike+ site and see a run of 26.2 miles. And the music was good, too.
Lots of love,
A lover of music and Nike+
Dear Anne’s family,
Thanks for being so great. Dinner was fantastic, as was the company. It was so nice to meet all of you and it was fun to feel so welcomed by you. I know you were there to support Anne, but I’m really glad she didn’t mind sharing you. It was so fun to see you at mile 16, and then at the finish line. And thanks for the flowers. You guys are great!
I quite possibly might have finished without you, as I’m sure you would have without me, but…having said that, I’m so glad that I didn’t have to. It has been so fun to share this journey with you and read about your experiences and share with you mine. Thanks for all of the cool stuff and being so thoughtful. Thanks for being such a good running partner, even if most of it was through cyberspace. Thanks for driving down with me, even though you could’ve gone down with your family. Words really cannot express how lucky I feel to have found such a partner in pain and stupidity. Here’s to next year…and the many runs we will do between now and then.
Oh, and thanks for putting up with my occasional karaoke moments. What can I say? I just couldn’t help myself. And, I think we can both agree that I had to have made someone laugh.
P.S. You can read Anne’s recap (a much better play-by-play of the experience) here.
And last but not least…
Ours is kind of love-hate type of relationship. You want to love me, but I just hate you. I have never been a huge fan. I’m sorry. It’s true. However, these last few months of training have taught me to really appreciate just how great you are. I have pushed, and pushed, and pushed and you just let me. When you told me it was too much and I ignored you, you kept going. Sure, you threw a few fits. You left me with reminders of the pain that I put you through while training. But I have to admit that I am in awe.
I may not love what I see in the mirror, but that is just a minor part of what you are. I cannot believe that, after three weeks of basically no running, save a short jog/walk along the beach, you let me push you for 26.2 miles. And you hardly made a peep. So, there was a minor squeak in one foot and one ankle, but considering that I am not at the weight I was hoping…or that I was at four weeks ago, I just can’t really complain. I hadn’t been feeding you properly, or hydrating you properly, or giving you adequate rest, and yet you were a champ. And we did it. Somehow, we pushed on for 26.2 miles and lived to tell about it. It’s so easy to forget just how incredible you are and just how blessed I am to have you.
With much love and appreciation,
The girl who hopes to make this marathon running thing a regular experience and always appreciate her body, not because of what it looks like, but because of what it can do