Yesterday Ellie sent out an email thanking everyone for their support and describing some of her favorite memories of Grandma's Marathon. I've added it below, and changed some of the names...just in case they don't care to appear on a website with such ill repute :)
Things you should know before reading:
Ellie and I have dated since we were 17, but before then she dated two guys, who will be known as "Ex #1" (who had a motorcycle in high school) and Ex #2 (who currently works in lawn maintenance)
Where you see brackets [like this] is stuff I added in to help explain a bit.
Subject: THANK YOU!
Friends & Family-- From the bottom of my heart--Thank you all so much for everything YOU did to help me finish my FIRST marathon on Saturday!! I can not explain the love that I felt all weekend--The Lord has truly Blessed me with an awesome Family!
Some of my favorite memories...
1) We didn't get into Duluth until about 8:30PM on Friday night, which meant we didn't get to eat dinner until about 9:30, which meant we didn't get checked into our 'hotel' (AKA University of Wisconsin-Superior dorm rooms) until about 11:00--BUT I will always remember seeing the look on My Mom & Dad's faces as they viewed their room--two tiny beds, with thin sheets, two tiny 'body towels' (the size of a hand towel)...PRICELESS. AND, I came to find out the following day that Dad had gone out to the car at some point during the night to get a blanket (I'm not sure why, when the school had provided such thick & plush...errr..."blankets," only to realize HE WAS LOCKED OUT!!! Thankfully, he found a door that was unlocked eventually...HA!
Ellie's Parents in their "suite"--UW-Superior style
Ellie says, "Where's the deluxe robe?"
2) SIGNS--My wonderful & creative husband made up some of the BEST signs I've ever seen-and they really made me smile (at times, when there was little else to smile about)--'[Ex#1] is at mile 10 with his motorcycle' another one read 'Ex #2 is at mile 15 with his Lawnmower' another goody 'Doug [Ellie's college-age brother] Sez HI (he just woke up)'...AHHHHH I love that Man (Nic...well, and Doug...but in different ways...you know what I mean).
Ellie, at Mile 2, loving the signs
3) NF Cheering Section! It was SOOO wonderful to see my NF cheer-leaders SOO often--Many times, I'd spot their NF Sign long before they spotted me--THANK YOU Monica, Jerry, AJ, Mom, Dad & Nic--what a burst of energy it gave me to see everyone jumping up and down when I came past!!!
4) HEATHER...My cousin who passed away almost three years ago was also a runner. I have always felt that she's been with me on long runs--in the breeze or in the smell of lilacs...and Saturday she was there for me again. At about 24, when i was REALLY hitting the wall, a cool breeze & scent of lilacs hit me--THANK YOU HEATHER!!
5) THE WALL: 'Hello wall, I'm Ellie, How are you? OUCH!' At 22 (or 23 I can't remember) I ran past my cheering section again and I was this close to tears. BUT i tried to put on a brave face for the Mothers in the crowd (they could still tell, i'm SURE). Nic ran (OK WALKED) with me for a bit and this was our conversation:
Nic: What hurts?
Ellie: My back and my feet.
Nic: Are you having any stomach issues?
Ellie: My stomach's fine...but something is NOT RIGHT with my head--I have NO IDEA what's going on right now.
Nic: Are you safe?
Ellie: Well...ummm...I don't...
Nic: You're FINE. You're tough. See you at the finish!!!
So off I went...I mean, he's a Doctor, so he should know right!?!?! HA!
6) THE HEMAUERS!!! Nick, Maggie, Melissa & Jess [Ellie's Cousins] all did the 1/2 marathon that morning--NICE WORK! It was SOOO Wonderful to come around the corner into my last mile and see all four of them jumping up and down like crazy people cheering for me! It was most assuredly needed at the time, and the fact that they hung around for three hours to watch me come in still touches my heart today--THANK YOU!! Oh, and then when I crossed the finish line, they were all there to lead me around (there was still something wrong with my brain) to eventually find my family--Melissa's phone rang and she looked at the number and said 'Who the hell is this?' Hello??...OH NIC...HI!' That produced my first laugh after the race ;)
7) DAD--standing alone, holding a sign and CHEERING like crazy near the finish is one of my "forever moments"-- There are so few moments in our lives when hard work, training, dedication, sacrifice...all culminate in one moment we can share with those we love...when people look you in the eye, and you can feel how proud they are of you--that happened with my Dad at that moment--it was unbelievable and is something I'll never forget.
8) THE END--When I finally found Nic, we cried...when I finally found my mom, we cried (Thanks for letting me finish Mom--I KNOW you were close to pulling me out at mile 23), and then laughter, just like we're all used to--It was all worth it, and I'm STILL laughing today.
Yes, I'm now Marathon Convert--I've become one of those annoying people who will forever say 'EVERYONE should run a marathon It'll change your life'...and let me tell you, I NEVER thought I'd say that...EVER.
We all need to work hard for a goal, but more importantly, we all need to recognize our weakness and inability to really do ANYTHING alone. I could not have taken that first step without the full support, love, prayers, laughs and faith of my family--SOO, here's to ALL OF YOU for GETTING MY ASS TO 26.2!!!!
I have some great pictures of the weekend, so I'll be sure to update this post when they become available. Count me in as a future Grandma's Runner...it was a great event!