Before I tell you about how the race went, or how I had the time of my life, or how I feel sort of like a different person now, I want to tell you about the gift my husband Andy gave me the night of the race.
I wanted to write about this right after we got home but it's been hard, nearly impossible, to find the words to do this justice. But if there's one thing I've learned, it's that nothing is impossible, and that I'm capable of a lot more than I might believe. So please bear with me as I try.
Andy, with the help of all of my dearest friends and family, pulled off a giant surprise. Somewhere in the middle of mile 2, I heard Andy's voice come through my headphones. He explained that he had rallied everyone I know to record messages for me to hear throughout the race. He had snuck into my playlist and sprinkled these snippets of love after every couple of songs.
As I ran, I heard messages from dozens of people I love and who have supported me throughout my journey. Some were complete surprises, others were the comforting voices of people I talk to every day. Everyone said something a little bit different, but the message was the same: they believed in me and knew I could finish. Andy's voice popped back in several more times to keep me going too.
My body carried me to the finish line, but having that kind of support made it infinitely more meaningful and helped me keep my chin up and a smile on my face even when I thought I might fail. I keep tearing up now as I try to write how much it means to me that Andy gave me this gift. I think that's all I'm going to say, because I've written and rewritten a few more sentences about a dozen times and nothing feels big enough.
I'm just really, really thankful and filled with love.