Bits & Bobs We ♥: Runner’s Bling

by Andrea on June 25, 2012

This past weekend, I did it! After four months of training, I finished the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, and it was quite an emotional experience.  I kid you not, I must have cried at least a dozen times.

It started when we were just coming into downtown before the race and I saw the first runner walking to the start.  I got a little misty eyed; I believe it was a combination of excitement and nerves. Then I teared up when we walked to the starting line, and I saw all of the people lined up. What an awesome sight! There were 22,000 excited full and half marathoners waiting to kick off the festivities.

From there, the tears came as I was both moved by the spectators’ support and also seeing how meaningful the race was for people.  The marathon is known for the bands along the course keeping people’s spirits up and motivated.  What I absolutely LOVED and wasn’t expecting, were the cheerleader groups along the course.  These girls were awesome!

While I ran the race as a fitness goal, many people ran it for more profound reasons.  Early on, I saw a women waiting for the port-a-potty, and her shirt showed she was running in memory of her mom.  That choked me up mid-stride and took the breath out of me. Many people were running in memory of loved ones who had passed due to all forms of cancer.  They ran with names, ribbons, and pictures on their shirts. When you stopped and paid attention, it was incredibly emotional.

Then there was the entire Wear Blue: Run to Remember crew.  Runners in blue shirts were running  to remember loved ones who had died in the line of duty.  These blue shirts were scattered throughout the runners, but the full impact was at the Wear Blue: Run to Remember water station.  Lining the grass were photos of men and women that had passed away.  Some of the photos were of them with their kids.  Wooo, that was too much for this girl.

And yes, I started crying again.  In addition to supporting all of us runners by handing out much needed water, some of their volunteers stood along the route holding flags and enthusiastically cheering us on.  What a wonderful group!

On a more personal note, the remaining tears came due to my little family.  Little Mo and his dad cheered me on at two spots along the race.  Each time Mo would see me, his face would light up and while pumping his fist, he said ‘Go, Go, Go’!  How can you beat that?  And then, I finally teared up as I rounded the last stretch and knew I was going to finish feeling strong and healthy. Right before the finish, I saw Mo and Brian in the sea of people.  It was very exciting crossing the finish line and getting my runner’s bling.  I love my medal!  It is hefty, sparkly, and mine.  I’m quite proud of it.

For those of you who think you can’t run a half marathon, you can. Prior to my four month training program, I had run five miles once in my life, and it as over ten years ago.  Additionally, three months after Mo was born, I suffered a skipping injury.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I was being goofy to make my baby smile and started to skip.  Instead I tore my calf muscle and crumbled in heap on the floor.  Awesome.  (The ER doc said that I was too old skip.  Double awesome.)  Anyway, over the past year and a half, I had done little physical activity as I recovered from my calf.  But by taking it slowly, and more importantly for me, finding a training group, the half marathon became a very realistic goal. Running with the group kept me motivated and honest, as one fellow runner said.  We had to show up; we had to put in the miles.

Now that the race is over, I’m thinking that I want to pick up a little more bling to go with the medal. As fun as it is, the finisher’s medal isn’t an everyday piece, just more of a special occasion ballgown look.  So for the day to day, I’m thinking of one of these little keepsakes made by one of the ladies in our training group.

If you aren’t a runner, consider a 5K.  If you’ve done a 5K, consider a 1/2 marathon.  If you’ve done a 1/2 marathon, consider a full or an ultramarathon.  As Mo likes to say, go go go!

images via Seattle PI, Seattle Times, and Competitor

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