When your running bff gets the Flu right before your first 26.2

I’ll take away the suspense – I’m a MARATHONER.  Can you even believe it?  I can’t and I was there.  Well, I ran it and I tried really hard to be present and in the moment – but wow.  I still can’t believe it happened.

So let’s flashback to the week of the race.  When Jess emailed me and told me she may not be able to run.  I wrestled with the idea of running marathon by myself for the rest of the week.  I’d done nearly all of my training runs alone so I knew I could do it.  I’ve run a half marathon by myself at the start of this training so I knew I would be okay for the first 13.1.  I knew I had family and friends coming to the race and that I would have people to jump in with my near the end if I needed them.  But – to be totally honest – I was pretty devastated.  Maybe that’s not the right word.  I think the right word is sad.  You see training for this race wasn’t just about running a marathon.  It was about running a marathon with Jessica.  It was about achieving that goal together and motivating each other and crossing the finish line and becoming marathoners together.  And doing it on my own just wasn’t going to feel the same.  So that made me sad.

I ran the rest of the week according to our schedule.

Tuesday was 3.1 miles and Wednesday was 4 miles.  Both were great runs.  That 4 miler on Wednesday was pretty outstanding actually.  All of the rest and carb loading made me feel fast.

I packed everything up on Wednesday night and was set to fly out to DC on Thursday afternoon.  Packing made me so anxious.  I was terrified I would forget something.  It was just really overwhelming.  I’ve packed for out of town races before but this was just so much more.

Jess and I were so excited to get to DC.  I knew she was feeling better and had started to eat and that made me more excited.  She was starting to talk like she was going to run.  We settled on our clothing choices (but brought other options) and we obsessed about the weather.  It was supposed to rain all day.  But I was convinced it would change.

We flew into DC on Thursday night and were greeted with an amazing sunset.  Dinner was at Old Ebbit Grill and then a shake out run in the morning.  The shake out run was the deciding run.  This was it.  Jess was going to decide it she was up for 26.2.

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I love that picture in front of the Washington Monument.  Not just because it looks like I can jump crazy high – but it really shows just how we were feeling.  SO EXCITED!  (Oh!  and see my new Momentum Jewelry bracelet?)

We headed over to the Expo where we bought all of the things.  I can now dress head to toe in “I ran a marathon” while drinking out of my logo beer glass and looking at my medal hanging on my new “my first marathon” medal hook.  I mean if you’re going to train for a marathon and then run the race then there should be some rewards.  Right?

We headed to lunch with some of our instagram/twitter friends.  (I love meeting running friends – you can talk about running the entire time without feeling bad!).


Left to right: Julie, Meredith, Zoey, Christina, Cyanne, Malinda, Jess

And then we decided to head over to Kate Spade to get ourselves the “I ran a marathon” gifts that we had promised ourselves at the very beginning.  We talked about jewelry but settled handbags.  We love them.  A handbag is why we became friends.  (True story:  I was looking for a roommate and Jess answered my Craigslist ad.  She had a hot pink Dooney and Burke bag so I knew we would be friends!).


So then we got back to the hotel and I got the biggest surprise in the world.  But I’ll save that post for tomorrow…


Jess has convinced me to start my own blog so I’ll finish out my marathon journey here at JessRunsAtl but come over and follow me at www.RunningIsHard.com!



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Christina Hagan

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