P.A.I.N. The Charlottesville marathon equals the biggest ass kick of my entire life. We’re talking 26.2 miles of brutal hills. I think there was only six miles of straightaway in the whole course. People had casually mentioned that it was a hilly race, but I had no idea by hilly they meant akin to sprinting along mountains while the runners around you curse the fools who designed the course. Another major issue was that there was absolutely no one cheering you on during the race. I think I saw about five spectators during 26 miles. Luckily one of those spectators was Craig.
While I finished the race and had a pretty strong first half, I was really really dying by the end of my second half. I was super nauseous from all the water I drank because of the heat and my legs were crying from all the hills. When Craig saw me for the third time at mile 20 and asked how I was doing, I all but started to cry and told him I was pretty ready to just stop right there, collapse on the hill and puke on myself. But instead of calling me weak or letting me quit, he asked if it would help if he ran next to me. Of course I said yes, because I knew it would help and he could save me from throwing myself off a bridge, which I was close to doing at that point. So in jeans and a sweatshirt and carrying my huge heavy camera, he jogged next to me for the last six miles of the race. Honestly, it was one of the nicest things anyone has ever done and it saved my marathon from becoming a mess of blood, sweat, and tears.
I love to run. And I didn’t even mind training for 16 weeks in winter. But I think this is the last hillfest marathon I do. I want a flat city with a lot of drunk lunatics cheering me on every couple feet. When this marathon ended, I proceeded to puke in the plants at the Omni Shoreham and pass out on Craig’s thigh. It wasn’t pretty. But if it had not been for Craig and his amazing unwavering support, I would have done that before I had crossed the finish line. What a gem.