Part 3: My grandfather’s letter, the metaphor of the marathon, the KTLA coverage, the family support. The will to try again…How something this bad…can be this fun. What my coach gives me. Every day.
It’s Wednesday, and I am trying to make sense of the weekend. The high hopes, the dashed dreams.
And, really…in perspective, I simply have to let go.
When I got to my parent’s house on Sunday, I was incredibly pale, and my littlest sister (mile 20) made me a grilled cheese sandwhich with chips. Lots of chips. 2 regular Cokes. I had a horrible headache. I took a shower, put on my compression socks. Sat in the chair. Trying to make sense of my day. My middle Wineyard sister showed up with her family. They had been in Santa Monica. All. Day. It was a long day for everyone. Troopers!!!
When I got the finisher’s medal, it was very anticlimatic. I got the medal, I had to look for a mylar blanket, I had to go to the Medic as promised. They cleared me quickly, but I forgot I was supposed to check in at all the medic stations on the course. I wandered around. I walked down to the beach, to the finisher’s area. I sat under the letter V. I was sitting next to a guy with headphones on, just chilling. There were a few of us there.
I saw the baggage check trucks. And then, my family found me. And they hugged me and told me how proud of me they were. I was pretty upset. But, it was the way they again held me up. I was so grateful.
As the day went on, and the family continued to stream in and inquire as to how I was, I realized that I was so lucky to have them.
- My grandfather’s letter: Later in the evening, my father came to me with tears in his eyes. He told me that he was so proud that I got to the finish line. He reminded me that I work with students who have no one waiting for them at the finish line. That I should use this experience of the marathon bonk, as a metaphor for what they could accomplish. That I got up. That I continued when it was ugly. That I put my pride aside for the better good, and got to the end. Then, he went and got a letter he had saved from when he was in college. It was from my Grandpa. The letter told my Dad the same thing he told me. Get up. Get along with people. Finish strong. That he was so proud of my Dad for graduating from college.
- KTLA Coverage of the LA Marathon: My parents DVR’d the Marathon coverage. It was so amazing to see the very race I was in. To see the elite women and men. To see the hill. They kept saying that Heartbreak Hill in Boston was 80 ft, while mile 4 (?) was 90 feet. They kept the cameras on that mile all morning. It was truly a joyous morning to watch all three hours of it. My hat is off to the LA Marathon. What a beautiful course.
- My coach: The day before the marathon, he sent me the most lovely email I’ve ever received…because I’ve never been athletic in my life. Ever. And, what he gave me in that letter I will save forever. My mother is the only person I’ve let read it. So, I was in good shape. He believed in me, and I believed in me. When I finally got to my car after the race, I got this text from him. I had to deal with his concern in my head from mile 6-8. I had finally tried to stop worrying that he was worried. He’s my coach, after all. It’s sort of his job. But, the reason I love this man, is that even with all the blood, sweat and tears, and trying to sort everything out, he is wicked smart. He knew something was wrong when he got my first 10K splits. I trust him implicitly. The text simply said,
- Talk to me, goose.
And I’ve talked, and he’s listened, and I listened, and he’s lifted me up.
In these final moments of wrestling with the marathon, I am at peace with what happened, and it wasn’t my day. I learned a lot. There’s a lot of love in running. The fact that I’m considering doing it again at all is amazing. I got a cake from my nephew. I got beautiful emails, texts, calls, bloggy love. But, this one…my favorite…from my neice’s husband, Glenn. (I sent him a picture of me, with Frank McCourt, and here is his reply)
That picture is AWESOME!!!! You…sister…look SMOKIN’ HOT! Whatever it is you’ve been doing–keep doing it– You look beyond fantastic! FYI– you’re supposed to say, “Right?” to that… 🙂
Anyway, on to the point of this email–
Just so you know, Liane and I are SO incredibly PROUD of you for what you accomplished today. I know you didn’t meet the goal you set for yourself…and that is probably very disappointing for you…but you TOUGHED IT OUT, you finished what you started, and nowadays that is VERY rare.
Seriously…you were hurt…your goal was out of reach…you had medics giving you EVERY REASON to quit and YOU FINIHSED.
That is something to be very VERY proud of, Linda…
So please, Please, PLEASE — take pride in what you accomplished today. Enjoy it and try to bask in it a little…you DESERVE IT and you EARNED IT.
You are awesome…and we LOVE YOU !!!!!!
XOXO L & G
Hi all,Linda ran in the LA Marathon last Sunday. I’m attaching some pictures taken at the dinner the night before the race and one of Linda, DD, and I after the race.Linda made arrangements with the guy in charge of the dinner for DD to meet the rich and famous. DD didn’t know about the meeting. Because DD has been a long time USC fan, Pete Carroll was a plus.We were quite proud of Linda because she got very ill at mile 19, but refused to let the paramedics take her to the hospital. Instead, she recovered and finished the race.Don & DD
And then. The final message from my AA sponsor. That maybe it really wasn’t all about me…:
Today, you gave your parents the daughter you were meant to be.
Who wouldn’t want to do this again?