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Monday, October 18, 2010

marathon made easy: MDI Marathon Relay

"I like having someone else run part of my marathon for me." - said very wisely by Amy at the finish.
The group of 6 of us split into 2 groups of 3 to basically just enjoy a marathon experience (opposed to wanting to cut off our legs at mile 24.)

This is the first race we  have all done together since Burlington.  It was good to be back with my girls.

 Team 1:  Sporty Moms (Christine, Amy and Jen)

Team 2:  Eat, Pray, Run (Susan, Emilie and myself)

Emilie and Amy, first leg 8.5 miles
Susan and Christine- second leg 10.1 miles

Jen and me- last leg 7.6 miles

The Mount Desert Island, named most scenic marathon in the country for 2010 by Runner's World, doesn't disappoint as far as heart stopping beauty is concerned. If you happen to like the ocean and you're partial to running hills, then MDI is the race for you.  The course description says something like "Think of this as a mini-ultra marathon.   Enjoy the beauty.  Don't try to go for a PR on this course."

Funny, but running it as a threesome we all got PRs coming in at 4:29!  (I cringe to think of me doing the whole thing and arriving long after the finish line has been dismantled and all the food is gone. That being said, I think we've collectively decided to run it as a full next year.  Yes, we need our head's examined.)

The first and second leg runners met Jen and me at the 26 mile mark and ran the last .2 to the finish with us.

The thing that stands out the most in this day, more than the sparkly ocean, the technicolor foliage or the fact that I had a personal PR of running my fastest 7 mile run with one mile at a 8:40 pace, was just how lucky I am to run with these women.  I mean take a look:

Very often one of the 6 will say, "I love us!"  and it is just so true.  Here is a team that accepts, loves and encourages its members.  If someone has a crappy run:  "Don't worry.  Shake it off.  We all have bad runs."  If someone runs an awesome race:  "That is incredible!  So proud of you!" If someone's child throws up all over her house: "What can I do to help?"

Plus...we just have a ton of fun together.

I said to Jen as we were pushing a fast pace up those hills for the last leg:  "I have things to talk about but I can't really talk right now.  But if you can, by all means, I'd love to listen."  She agreed and so we ran in companionable silence; I felt such comfort just running hard alongside her.

Sandi brought the girls down to the finish.  We agreed that it is so good for them to see an event like that and understand the hard work and challenge and pride that goes into a race.  Maybe they will better understand their Momma's need to hit the road.  Who knows, maybe they will even catch the bug some day.  Kids are like sponges, right?  I feel good that ours are absorbing marathons into their thirsty brains instead of monster truck events. Plus, I can't get enough of hearing them say: "Good job runner!!!"

I walked from the finish line to the car with Ella on my back wearing my medal.  It made my heart swell with pride.

Fast forward to tonight and Maya hit Ella three times and had to be hauled out of the bath, then she spilled her smoothie all over the table and Ella's supper because she was pissed off that I gave it to her (and then again all over herself once she returned to the table), and then threw a fit about peeing before bed because she didn't want to touch the toilet seat and be obliged to wash her hands.  I spent 45 minutes trying to get a newly-afraid-of-the-dark Ella to bed only to have her come back downstairs 15 minutes later. 

And all I could think is that I need one of those t-shirts:  on the front: "Marathon mom" and on the back: "26.2 miles of peace and quiet."

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