I arrived at my half-marathon later than I anticipated as my alarm didn't go off and I woke up at 6am, could barely eat I was so nervous, and barely made it to the restroom before the start of the race. In line for the restrooms, I made friends with a girl named Sasha, who was ALSO running her second half-marathon (her first was in the spring, run in approximately 2 hours, like mine), we had BOTH been runners since just last August, were BOTH were married, early 20's, wore baby blue shirts and black shorts, and has THE SAME IPOD NANO--hot pink. We were destined to run together today.
And the weather could not have been more perfect for September. The race may have started with a little rain, but at least we had cloud cover for all but the last 20 minutes of the race... it was lovely. Sasha and I faithfully ran together until the last 3 miles, where I realized I just had too much left in me to stop and walk with her (she kept getting tired and wanted to take walking breaks), so I broke free and even ran my last mile the fastest of all my miles (8 minutes!), finishing with a HUGE (real!) smile, and into the arms of my two sisters and handsome Mr. D, patiently waiting at the finish line (in PJ's of course!) for me, so that we could all partake of the glorious selection of post-race breakfast feast. Awesome.
Then we came home and watched my Buckeyes beat Navy as we baked heart-healthy muffins and stromboli from the recipe I mentioned a few posts ago. Of the 3 stromboli I made, all were delish, and one was ENORMOUS!! My house still smells heavenly.
THEN, there was ....................... THE BYU GAME.
Even as I type, hours after BYU's upset win v. #3 ranked Oklahoma, there is rioting (ok, more like cheering with fireworks) in the streets here in Cougartown. Everyone is going nuts with excitement and Cougar Pride, cars honking nonstop (even the trains have been tooting their horns all evening!), and I even saw fireworks lit in the middle of a road, as well as from the balcony of a five story apartment complex (which I am pretty sure is illegal...). Long story short: this is certainly a game to go down in history. And it was thrilling (and terribly frightening, it was so close) game to watch. I was shocked at how many friends and former colleagues actually watched the game (some of whom hate sports!) and called me afterwards to share in the excitement.
Gratitude. That is what I feel today. Grateful for the competitive nature that is SPORTS, that I both married and have evolved into, to bring people together, united as one. I know some may argue the nature of poor sportsmanship, but it is days like today that really make me think, this is why I love the olypmics so much. This is why I am OK with Mr. D watching hours upon hours of sports (other than the fact that its his job)... because sports are about so much more than one team competing against another. Its about passion. Its about passion for life. Its about very different people coming together and unifying in a cause. I am honored to consider myself in that sort of community.
And you know what? I never took a (typical post-race) nap today. And I feel GREAT.