Just like my first marathon that took me more than 5 hours to complete, I didn’t reach my goal because I didn’t really want to reach it.

I ran the Go! In 4:36:33. It’s a huge improvement. I gave it all I had to give and could not have improved on that time, on that day, on that course. I did find time to facebook and twitter my thoughts during the course. I stopped to talk to someone I hadn’t seen in a long time. I searched my IPOD for my favorite songs. I adjusted my ponytail so many times that I broke it and had to run with my hair down. I forgot my inserts for my shoes. All excuses. Want to know the real reason it took me 4:36:33?

I enjoyed it! It was a brutal course. Make no mistake that it did kick my behind, but I loved the time to think. I savored the time I was able to run with friends. I made the most of the time I spent running alone. The text messages I received along the way from my very dearest of friends lifted me up to a level of happiness I have never experienced before. I was running on air. I didn’t want it to ever be over. (My thighs did. They are reading this post under protest.) There were friends behind me if I fell back, at the finish line to greet me, and precious angels on the sidelines and on my phone! Coach, I’d like to thank you especially for your comment when I thought I was hitting the “wall.”

Once I saw the flag at Union Station, I knew I was all but done. I started walking. I knew I didn’t make my goal time. It was all but over. I was sad. I was defeated. Then I heard the most beautiful voice yelling “Go Ann.” Screaming at me to go! It was one of my original running partners, an Ellipse instructor (that explains the screaming), and a savior. I was so tired, but after a big hug I sprinted to the end. I felt like a winner. I’ve never felt that way before. I’d never felt so strong. Incredibly, it wasn’t my strength that made me feel strong. It was yours!

I’m forever grateful.