Today was a very special day for me. As some of you know, I was often unable to walk without support or without stumbling around, for a period of 3 weeks in August and September. To start 2018, I had Shingles. I have had two asthma flare ups and a couple of foot/ankle injuries, as well. Despite all of that, I ran in my first Marathon today, the California International Marathon; from Folsom to the Capital Building in Sacramento. When I registered for this race in March, my goal was to try to get in good enough shape to qualify for the Boston Marathon, which would take a 3:05 or faster Marathon. I knew that may have been to ambitious, though, so my backup goal would be to at least run a sub 3:30 Marathon. In August and September, for a short time, I had serious doubts as to whether or not I would ever run again. Luckily, I was able to overcome my problem and get back to jogging and eventually running. My training for this Marathon and my health have been up and down since the end of September. The ‘up’ days got more and more frequent. Two days ago, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to run today. I’m so proud to say that not only did I toe the starting line at the Folsom Dam, but I finished the race. With all of the interruptions in my training and my life this year, I arrived in Folsom without a time goal, just a goal to finish the race, if my health and well being allowed me to. The first half marathon of the race was great, the next 6 miles started to take it’s toll on me (I only maxed out at a 15 mile run during training), miles 19-24 were humbling and the last 2 miles were inspiring, especially that last half mile, when I felt like I had new life. I got emotional several times during the race, choking back tears just thinking about being able to finish the race. I had to calm myself down, because crying while running, is not just a bad look (especially at mile 15), but it takes your breath away. When I crossed the finish line, I put my hands over my face and saw a couple tears on my gloves when I pulled them away. I DID IT. When I found Tammy after the race, I almost balled my eyes out several times. This race was that thing that I had to shoot for when I started to feel a little better and took that first walk (which turned into a few short jogging intervals). Of course, it wasn’t the only thing or person that I wanted to get healthy for. But running is what pushes me to take that extra step in taking care of myself physically. Without this race, I don’t think that I would have come back this fast. I might not have stayed so focused on improving my health without something extra to motivate me. Today I ran a 4:29:05 Marathon, I will probably run another one much faster someday, I have run great races and several of them are up there in my personal favorites list; but today tops them all. I am more proud of my accomplishment today, than any other race in my life.