I knew I was going to like this woman before we even met!
I mean she has such a lovely name and all.
We share the same name, Julia, and dubbed ourselves
However, I am kind of fond of the updated name that her husband gave us of….
We started training together this year before her first half marathon. She’s my weekend, long run buddy. I was there when she hurt her leg before her half, and I’ve watched her rest, ice, go to PT, run through the pain, try out her options, finish her 1st half, be frustrated…the whole time doing everything right & by the book. We’ve now spent the last few months(in this winter’s crazy mix of weather) training for the Mercedes…her second Half Marathon & my second Full. We’ve discussed running, diet, exercise, life, kids, beliefs, pretty much everything you can think of. She has become a dear friend.
I’m not typically the kind that has a lot of “girl friends”…but on race day I felt very much “girly” and full of emotions. I had Julia call me at 4am to make sure I woke up. I think that would be one of the worst feelings ever…to complete all that training and then sleep through the whole marathon! We texted all morning, and then the last contact we had was…”I’m going to the bathroom in the Boutwell.” I didn’t have room for my phone AND food for the race, so I didn’t have any way to call Julia…I just assumed it would be easy to find her by the bathroom. WRONG.
Long story short…
Tip for next race: use the porta-potties outside, not the bathrooms with the 15 minute wait inside the building. AND meet your running friends somewhere away from the crowds of 5,000+ people.
I was so disappointed to think that after all those miles of training, we wouldn’t be able to run this race together. I headed to the sign that was around the pace we had decided we wanted to run. Just before start time, I heard her call my name! I was overly excited(for me) and we gave each other a big hug and joined the throng of runners.
I LOVED sharing this experience with Julia. I was excited for her to be part of something that I had only told her about before. The excitement of the crowds, the gummy bears, the music, the signs, the 1st place winner lapping us with the police escort and all….those were all things I had wanted to share with her. I was concerned for her when she started experiencing pain at mile 4…but she kept going, like a trooper. Then all of a sudden the course split. Half-marathoners to the left, full marathoners to the right. I knew it was going to happen, I just thought it was later in the race. Once again…I was surprised by the emotions that I felt. I wasn’t expecting to feel sad to leave her. We quickly gave a teary(for me) hug and went on our way. Knowing that she was in pain I was concerned for her. I was also disappointed for her because I thought there was no way she could catch up to her goal time of 2:30.
But, I was wrong. Here is a picture that I stole off of her FB page. 🙂
Even in her pain, she missed her goal by only 1 minute!
I was SO surprised…and I’m very proud of her accomplishment!
Just look at that beautiful smile!
…and even though I missed my goal by almost 30 minutes…
I’d say she was pretty proud of me that day too ❤
That’s her with her hands up, cheering me on towards the finish line. (I’m the pink, black and white blur in the back there.)
We all need a few crazy friends who are willing to run the extra mile…or 12 with us.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again:
“Runners are some of the best kinds of people that I know.”
Thank you Julia Cantley!
It was a blast ❤