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We did it! 26.2!!

November 1, 2011 - Kristy MacKaben
It was a surreal moment. Music blasting, crowds cheering... The finish line was right there, and I crossed it. After running 26.2 miles, I ran across that finish line, holding tightly to the hands of my sister, Kelly and one of my best friends, Heather. We all hugged, whooped in pure joy and savored our accomplishment: running all 26.2 miles of the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. on Sunday. No stopping. No peeing. No walking. We weren't fast, but we did it! If you would have asked me two years ago whether I would ever run a marathon, my answer would have without a doubt been "Heck No!" I have always enjoyed running and racing in minor events like 5Ks, but I always assumed a marathon was too extreme, way beyond my skill level. But, after getting the taste of longer races like a 10K and then a half marathon, I was sold, and I knew I wouldn't be satisfied until I tried the big one. Scott was on board too, and it was something we wanted to do together. (Scott actually was more gung-ho and determined in the beginning.) We signed up in February and started our official training plan in July, spending almost every Saturday this summer running longer and longer distances. We ate healthier, didn't enjoy as many summer cocktails as we would have liked, and we pushed ourselves harder than ever before. Training was rigorous, time-consuming and at times boring, but it was also a bonding experience for Scott and me. We were going after the same goal together. Spending four or more hours running on a monotonous trail every weekend forces togetherness. On race day, however, we didn't really run together. Scott and our friend Grant took off in the beginning, while Kelly, Heather and I stayed together the entire time. We pushed and motivated each other to the finish line, sometimes dancing, other times trudging through the streets of D.C. past the monuments and by thousands of bystanders. Crossing the finish line was the sweet reward for all our hard work. Though Scott finished four minutes before the girls and me, he was waiting for us, (though looking a tad exhausted) and we still shared in that moment of pure bliss.


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