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7:12:33December 15, 2004

I DID IT!

This is going to be a LONG entry, I warn you. Lots about the marathon, nothing about knitting, or really, anything else for that matter. I started it in Hawaii, and I’m finishing it in bed, this sunny Wednesday afternoon (sorry, got in from the flight too late last night to post). I’m hungry, and want coffee, but will post this first.

Hawaiian Post:
As I type this (but not as I post it, since I can’t get into typepad for some reason), I’m sitting at the edge of the ocean. It’s Monday night, probably about 7pm, and I’m at the Sheraton Waikiki, listening to the surf and the Hawaiian singers and the loud drunk people. People start drinking early here, boy howdy. Me, I’m only on my first mai tai of the evening. Behind the tiki torches in front of me, over the water, is Diamond Head. I can’t see it right now, but I’ve stared at it off and on all day while floating in the water. I’ve gone for four swims today (and you know by “swimming” I mean “floating in the water like a pool toy”). And I’ve had a massage. It’s been a rough, rough day, I can tell you.

I’m pretty much doing the opposite of what I did yesterday, which was run my ass off. I’m so PROUD of Marama and myself. We are finishers. We are marathoners. We DID it. With your help, and with your incredible well wishes,  we made it. I swear to god, there were times that I could FEEL you thinking of us. I would flag, I would lose my breath and almost my balance, I would think “what the fuck makes a person do this?” and I would get that second (fourteenth) wind, knowing I was supported and thought of.

Oh, it was amazing. How do I tell you about it? I don't even know where to start.

First of all, getting here was miserable. Marama had worked twelve hours, and even though I had only worked eight, we had both been up all night. We got off at 5am, took BART to the airport, and then waited around, dead on our feet. Crammed onto the plane, we only cat-napped uncomfortably for the six-hour ride. Oh, we were grumpy. There isn’t anything like a plane full of really excited, happy, clean, well-rested, good-smelling people to irritate two rumpled, exhausted dispatchers who’ve just spent the previous night dealing with other people’s problems. We are probably at this very moment getting extra time recorded in purgatory for how much we hated everyone but each other. But that wore off, and fast, as soon as we got on the bus from the airport to the hotel. Oh, we were home! Marama was born here, and I spent my formative teen years in the islands. It just felt so good, and so right.

And even better when we checked into our ocean-front room at the Sheraton. Dude! Ocean-front! This is a charity gig; we expected a “mountain” view. But we were on the tenth floor, a balcony looking right onto the sand, water, and pool. Taken from the balcony:

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Oh, oh, oh. We just wandered on Thursday, happy to see and smell the sights. And we’re talking Coach and Prada and Hermes, fancy shops that are more plentiful in Waikiki than are palm trees.

On Friday we rented a car and drove around the island. It was Marama’s idea, and she is BRILLIANT.

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We got right away from the crowds and visited the beaches where she played as a child, and we went thrift-store shopping and bought Hawaiian fabric and followed two gay boys (Kevin and Tim) all over Oahu. Everywhere we stopped, they were already there. I think they started to get scared of us after a while. We ended up in the tiny town of Haleiwa on the North Shore after the sun went down. Starving, we chose a little restaurant near the marina and then watched the local Christmas parade go by while we ate dinner. The navy boys just arriving home went by on their humvees, followed by large doves of peace. There was a float topped with Rudolph leading the nativity scene. It was awesome.

Saturday was pretty shot getting ready for the marathon. We went to the Expo and signed in, receiving our marathon chips and bibs. (You tie the chip to your shoe, and it tracks your progress all through the marathon, and the bib is your number writ large (6900!) for all the cameras to track. It’s how they plan to get you to buy the photo they take of you as you cross the finish line. Oh, I’ll buy it, all right. Never fear. Don’t care if there’s snot and tears all over my face, I’ll buy it.) Then we carbo-loaded until we were sick, and attempted to go to sleep by about 7:30pm. It didn’t work – we were both up for HOURS, but we tried.

MARATHON DAY

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We woke at 2:45am. Yep. It was bad, really bad. We didn’t talk much, we were just focused on getting our gear on in the right order. Out of the hotel by 3am, off to pick up my teammates (seen here the day before)

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at the Hyatt, about a half-mile down the road. Left there at 3:30am, in order to catch the shuttle that we were told to ride between the hours of 2 and 4. But no, there were NO shuttles. They were full and gone, and we had to WALK the two miles to the start line. Oh, insult to injury.(Even more insults came from the jeers we received from the people just leaving the clubs which don’t close in Hawaii until 4am. They took great pleasure in telling us how fucking nuts we were. We appreciated it.)

We followed thousands and thousands of people down the roads to the start, all of us wearing our running clothes and a slight nervous green tinge around the gills. With over 25,000 runners, the start was incredible. There were fireworks over the water, and then we were OFF! The fast people were in the front; the rest of us left in a shuffle that was so exciting it translated as real speed. It was one of those pinch-me moments. My running mates and I kept asking each other, “Are we really doing this? Really? We’re really running a marathon! In Hawaii! We’re here!” And then we would shuffle a few more feet. That many people is a LOT of people.

We were running that day at a faster pace than we had run the practice marathon, for some ungodly reason. I hadn’t been too happy about it when it was proposed, but I was in the minority, so I shut up and sucked it up, knowing that I could drop back if necessary. For the last six months, it had been drilled into us that we never, ever leave our pace group partners, but that rule didn’t apply for the marathon. We had to do whatever we had to do to cross the finish line. We hoped we would make it together, but we couldn’t be sure of anything. But the pace felt good, and we ran. And we ran. And we ran.

A little less than two hours in, we were at mile 8 (yep, we have a pretty slow pace, even speeded up), and we saw the most amazing thing. It was even more amazing than the sunrise we had just seen, blazing over Diamond Head, breaking through the low clouds in brilliant scored rays. We saw the first runners coming IN. Think about it. Those Kenyans, man. The fastest runner ran the whole damn marathon in 2:11:12. Two hours and eleven minutes! When we were at mile eight, he was passing mile 25, just about to bring it home. His legs were as high as my shoulders. Thousands of runners were screaming for him as he flashed by, and he never spared us a glance. He couldn’t. He was followed by police motorcycles, flying code three, and they could barely keep up. He was a miracle in motion, and I’m not overstating this. And then the first woman raced by. We almost tripped in our own running, we screamed and cheered so loudly. They kept coming. Even though they couldn’t win, the fast runners kept on coming, their legs looking like cartoon blurs. Insane. Truly insane, what these people were doing. And we still had five hours to go. We kept on trotting.

The daylight was just peeling back as we climbed Diamond Head. Now, I have to tell you. Diamond Head is a mountain, and while we knew we didn’t have to run right over the very top, we knew we had to climb its foothills to get around it, and we were scared. Everyone we talked to said it was horrible. Hard. Killing. We got there and it was nothing. Come on. We trained in San Francisco, going up the Cliff House to Sutro Heights. We literally went up the side of Diamond Head and then looked for the hill we had to climb. It was only when we started descending that we realized we were done with it. It was fabulous, one of our best moments.

Then it was flat and progressively hotter, but we were having a ball. Really. We were having a blast, laughing, talking, looking at the waves and the palms, cheering on our fellow AIDS Marathon runners (there were about 1100 of them in the race).

***Break here, now I’m back in bed, at home. Adah’s purring next to me, and I’m thinking of making some coffee, but I’ll finish this post, which I totally owe you.

The best things in life were the sponges. They were soaked in ice water, and handed to you as you ran by. I took mine every time and wrung it out over my head. Running in heat is totally bearable if you’re soaked to the skin. Another helpful hint: A bra full of ice cubes helps. Seriously. They make the best clinking noises when you run, too.

So we ran and ran and ran. Every hour I’d eat a package of Gu (chocolate is the best – tastes like a great big warm melted chocolate kiss), and at about mile fifteen I added a salt packet to my water bottle. You know you’re sweating when salty water tastes great. Oh! I was spotted by Monica! She cheered me on as I ran by! My running mates were very impressed that I was recognized, and I was thrilled to be recognized by the insanely awesome LA coach.

Okay, being back home, tucked up in bed, it’s hard to remember how it all went. It was perfectly great until about mile twenty, and then it got hard. But we stuck to our pace religiously, something we weren’t sure that we were going to be able to do. Teammate Kathleen hit a wall, not sure if it was The Wall or not, but she managed to keep going, despite her failing IT bands. Vanessa was hurting. Lauren and I were hurting, too, but we kept it going. It’s strange to be that incredibly, unbearable tired and in that much pain, and still be able to pick up your legs and run.

After mile 20, it gets blurry in my memory. The people cheering on the sides of the road helped the most. The trick is to write your name on your singlet. And oh, did it work. At the beginning of the race, when the fireworks are exploding and people are cheering, you think they’re totally cheering just for you. At the end of the race, they really, really are. Hundreds and hundreds of times, I heard, “Go, Rachael! Rachael, you can do it! You’re almost there! You’ve got it! Keep it up, Rachael!” The first time I heard that, I cried.

We ran back up Diamond Head, and this time it was HARD. But once up, we got to run all the way down to the finish line. Another teary moment was when we heard someone yell, “It’s all downhill from here!” Marama said later she had felt the same way. We kept expected more Up. To find there’s only Down is the best feeling ever.

Now we’re close to the end. A friend of my teammate’s finds us and runs along the sidewalk, cheering us. She says that at that turn right there, we’ll be able to see the finish line. We turn. We CAN see the finish line. It’s far away, but it’s there. Our smiles are so huge they don't fit on our faces. We’re laughing and running harder. People are yelling for us, pushing us faster. There is no pain at all, none. Van and Lauren sprint ahead; I stay with Kat just a few feet back, and we’re over the line. We did it. We did it!

And then I’m not really sure where I should stop running so I go a little farther until people are laughing and telling me it’s okay to stop. I hug random strangers. I cry a little. I take this shot of myself.

End2

And this was taken by the marathon—I’ll order it larger when it’s available on-line.

Rachrun1

7:12:33.

Not bad for a first-timer. Okay, it’s pretty slow. But it was consistent. My first half was almost exactly as long as my second half. Out of 25,671 runners, I was number 18,809. Right at the front of the fourth quarter. I am so PROUD of my medal and my finisher shirt and all the other marathon swag I bought. But I’ve never been prouder than when I watched Marama run over the finish line, too. Oh, oh, oh.

This is a really long entry, huh? Sorry. So. We collected our things, our medals and tees. We sat on the grass at the AIDS Marathon booth and ate peanut butter. We called people and told them we did it.

(Best conversation: Marama’s five-year old daughter Kalea had asked her earlier in the week, “Mom, can you win?” Marama said, “I’ll try.” When she came over the finish line, she won. She totally won. So she called Kalea and said, “Guess what, baby girl? I won!” I could hear from where I was sitting Kalea’s “Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!”)

Then we had to walk back to the hotel. Ouch. Probably almost a mile from the finish line, that was painful. We changed into swimsuits, went downstairs into the water and went for a swim. It was gorgeous, looking up at Diamond Head and knowing we’d DONE it. Then we went up to the pool bar and ordered our mai tais.

Maitaiyes

We had Monday to play on the beach and watch half of Honolulu limp (that really was funny, actually. I've never seen so many people limping and hobbling all in one place). Marama got the marathon punes (as Mariko calls them) and spent a lot of time lying down, but I managed to sit on the beach and watch the people go by:

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and I got to drink a little that night, after a spectacular sunset:

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Remember this: A Tropical Itch at the Royal Hawaiian Mai Tai Bar comes with its very own back scratcher. Good to know.

I'm still in bed, about to post this. It still hurts to walk, and to stand up, or sit down, or go up or down any steps, but it was so worth it. So worth it. I think I'm going to rest right here until I have to go back to work tonight. I might wear my medal. Hell, I think I will.

MWAH.

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Comments

I'm so happy for you!!! I'm all teary but it's good. Congratulations!!!

You are freakin' amazing girl! I am so impressed that you did something most people don't even consider possible in their lives..a MARATHON!!! Wow...you really raised the bar for the rest of us. Now we just need some sort of knitting marathon...

I knew you could do it!! I checked in to see how you had finished and was blown away. You've worked hard, and we all really DO support you! MWAH! to you, too.

Just thinking about how hard you worked and how happy you look in your pictures makes me want to do it again myself!

You are a MARATHONER!

I am SO proud of you !!
I am sitting here reading this, crying and my Mom keeps asking me whats wrong.
I just told her, "She did it"
She's proud, too...

Congratulations just doesn't seem to say enough. What a totally awesome feat! Your post brought tears to my eyes, and I feel such pride in your accomplishment. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Congrats to both you and Maremma. I followed you both on the Marathon website and am so glad I remembered to check it. The finisher times are amazing and it must have been something to see them go by. You accomplised what you set out to do and that is so great. Congrats again.

Ok, when I see you I'm gonna hug you. Hard. So just be prepared, k? I'm just so incredibly proud of you.

Oh my goodness, what a fantastic entry. It didn't seem long at all! I am so proud of you and sitting here crying a little thinking of the fans yelling your name and cheering you on! Holy crap!

And, now I confess that the studio I'm working at is in Oakland right near Article Pract and when I walk around, I think, hmm, maybe Rachael would hang out here...and look around hoping to see you. Does that make me your stalker?? :)

I can't wait to meet you!

Rachael - you are awesome. I'm so impressed. What a wonderful achievement!!!

Yay you!! Congrats!

I don't know how you do it but you made running a marathon sound like fun! Oh wait, it is fun! You did awesome and it is amazing the intensity of feelings you have during such a journey. Just think back to when you started and how you felt then! What an accomplishment! The pain will subside but wear your medal everywhere with pride. I remember threating to wear mine everywhere after I finished. Congrats Lady! You did it!

WOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm so proud of you! Billy's proud of you too! And Sadie! And Diego!!!

WOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

I'm breathless and teary just reading this. Congrats, congrats, congrats.

Oh. My. Amazing. Not only did you run a freaking marathon (a marathon!), and not only did you have a great time doing it, and not only did you raise a helluva lot of money for a really good cause in the process, but you also managed to write about it so vividly and enthusiastically that it felt like we were there with you.

I remember the way I felt finishing my puny little 5k in August, and finishing the 3Day, and combined with your marathon post, well dammit -- you've made me want to run a marathon now too.

I'm so proud of my Rachael. I'm all teary from reading about the marathon and then I get to the picture of you crossing the finish line? I can't contain myself.

And then Carrie's comment makes me even happier.

girl, by the time i got to the picture of you crossing the finish line, arms in the air? my eyes were full of tears of joy. i am SO proud of you. you are a true hero. seriously, your rock my fancy handknit socks off. congratulations!!!!

You ran a whole marathon! Yay!
Love the photos-- you rock-n-roll, Rachael!

Wow! Wow! WOW!

Thanks for taking all the time to write out the post... it was definitely not too long to read.

I'm very proud of you for completing your marathon. That is an amazing accomplishment.

You really SHOULD wear your medal to work tonight... you earned the chance to show off your excitement.

I feel like I watched the whole thing from this wonderful entry. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! You have my complete respect and admiration. I can't even imagine doing something like this. I was tired after walking a 10K, and here you are, a marathoner, WOW!

Haleiwa kicks ASS. All I can think of is giving you a big smack on the cheek, soon. Congratulations, girl. I hope I someday I can live up to the example you've set.

yay!!! you did it!!!! you are rock star! 4 more months until the boston marathon!!!!

You are totally awesome!! Congratulations!

I don't tear up often...but that did it...and I know it was for AIDS...but I feel that it was for all the things everyone has to overcome...

WOO HOO! Tears running down my cheeks. You rock, baby. Really rock. We are all so proud to know you.

I feel like a total sap, because I'm all teary like everyone else. You are amazing!!

I am teary, too, want to tell you this...

You.inspire.me.

Rach....I am so fucking proud of you guys!!! I have tears in my eyes after reading that post...I feel like I got to exprerience that with you!!! I love you girl!

An amazing woman with an amazing journey.
Good for you, we are so proud!!!

You are beyond cool! You ran for more than 7 stinking hours! I can't even fathom how hard that is. WTG!!!!! =)

I have to come out of lurking readerdom to give you ten million congratulations!!!!!!!! I've been checking in with your blog a bunch, anxiously waiting to read your report of the marathon. It was more touching than I expected, I was definitely tearing up. Be so proud of yourself, you did it and you're amazing!

Congratulations! You rock!

I tracked you and Marama online and was so pleased to see you both finish! Yeah, it's a pretty amazing feeling, isn't it? Congrats to you BOTH!!!! Ice cream for all!!

Woohoo!! Congratulations! What a terrific accomplishment! Thanks for sharing your wonderful adventure.

Add me to the list of teary, inspired, uber-proud people who have already commented. That you would run and finish your first marathon with such grace really is a testament to the strength and beauty of your character.

Congratulations!

Your entry just made me cry--in a good way. Congratulations! You did it! You're the best.

I have often thought I'd like to try a marathon, but wimp out everytime I consider it. You are really an inspiration that it CAN be done. Congrats, Running Woman--you truly rock!

Your description of the marathon was so overwhelmingly beautiful, it made me cry. In a really nice way. Thanks.

Oh Rachael! I can't stop crying. I'm so proud for and of you. You do us all proud. Thanks for the whole thing, including this fantastic post.

Thank you, thank you, for sharing this with the world. You've brought tears to my eyes and a warm feeling to my heart. Months ago you expressed your concern for running this marathon as you are "not a runner"; now you've accomplished your goal. This strikes me at my core as we are running our own kind of marathon in our family right now and seeing you go through this process has reminded me that persistence will pay off. I can't express how priceless that has been to me, and even though you didn't know about it, I thank you for sharing nevertheless.

Many, many heartfelt congratulations to you on this humongous ("ginormous," as one of my boys would say) feat. Your are one of a kind!

Rachael, you rock. That's all I can say.

Oh, and that I'm so freakin' proud of you.

So many keyboards drenched in tears.
I love this strange wonderful community of inspiration you have created.
Thank you Rachael.

Hey Rachael,
You can now say you ARE a runner!!! I thought of you all day on Sunday, I was so proud to see that you actually finished it.

I am amazed by what you have accomplished and inspired. Not to run (might knock myself out if I tried) but to follow through on a dream. Add me the teary-eyed list.

Congratulations! What a wonderful accomplishment!

Wow, what an amazing post, and photos, and you DID IT!! That is just so very cool.

Damn girl....you rock! I think it is totally amazing that you took an idea and turned it into one rocking reality. And a marathon, that's something you will be able to crow about forever!!! And you got to do it in Hawaii. I don't think it could be any more perfect. Thanks for taking us along on your wonderful journey. Now my question is, do you plan to keep running? Maybe another marathon?

It just wasn't the same without you! Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experience with us. You are amazing!

What an accomplishment! You are such a brave and strong woman. Way to go! I was ok until you hit mile 20. I couldn't stop crying after that. Such an amazing experience for you and a great story to tell.

Congratulations!

You rock! I think that is so incredible- not only did you run a marathon (so cool in itself) but you put yourself through all of that physical hardship to raise money for AIDS- amazing, amazing, amazing. Congratulations!

Amazing. Absolutely AMAZING. You are my hero, Rachael!!!!!!!!

Could hardly believe your time...wow! I will be wearing my hand knit by Rachael "get well" socks in
Leif and Emily's wedding tomorrow (er, later today) with an extra measure of pride. Just had to savor your post before collapsing into bed...congrats to one real runner!

CONGRATULATIONS! I was wondering how you got on and I'm so glad that you did so well and so very very proud of you! :o)

I've always had it in the back of my mind that 'one day' I might want to run a marathon, who knows whether I will or not, but your story is so inspiring.

Thanks for sharing and for making me cry with happiness for you!

Anna

Congratulations, my inspiration!

Wow - you are awesome! And what's even more amazing is your ability to bring an entire readership to tears (yes, I'm wiping them away as I type this). I'm so proud of your accomplishments, and I can't wait to hear about the next marathon you're training for!

You are so incredible!

Congratulations!

I'm so glad you could sense all the good wishes.

Question? What is the incredible lipstick you wear? After 26 miles and over 7 hours of running, it's still on. I'm so jealous!

Sending you lots of healing thoughts!

Christy: Dude, it's totally Covergirl Colorstay in Brazen Raisin (secret: apply topcoat thick and once and then don't mess with it, no other glosses or anything, or it'll just chip right off). LOVE this lipstick. Wouldn't even run a marathon without it. Obviously.

Congratulations, Rach. You seriously rock the house.
I remember the very first post where you were asking if you were crazy for even considering running a marathon, and here you are, the proud finisher of one.
*sniff* They grow up so fast!
Love ya, doll! Sapphire on me.

You are amazing. Thank you for posting in so much detail. It has been really wonderful to read about your entire process, and this is the perfect entry to conclude this leg of the journey. You really are inspiring. I believe that everyday people do amazing things and you are proof of that.

Smiles,
Michelle

That was such an inspiring story! I got all sweaty and my blood pressure rose just reading it. Wonderful, wonderful, and congratulations!

If the book you're writing is written anything like this post, it will be wonderful. I laughed, I cried, I felt as if I were right there with you. And the icing on the cake for your blog readers (and more importantly you) is that you get this "It's a Wonderful Life" experience at the end of the story. You give good blog!

What can I say that hasn't been said? Thanks for the dose of "inspirachael"!! (Ooh, I just came up with that!) You're amazing:)

You have done such a beautiful, wonderful, heartfelt thing. I am amazed at your strength, but it was your heart that got you through.

Congrats.

You are awesome. Thanks for sharing your marathon.

Just a wonderful post. Never forget..ever! You Rock!

Way to go, Rachael...we are very proud of you. serious Snaps and Woofs!

I actually teared up reading this post. So proud~YOU ROCK THE MOST!!!!!!!

First of all, you did an amazing job.

Secondly -- the vans were full?? and they made you WALK to the start??? It's good for your recovery to walk a mile at the end, but I might send a stern letter about having to walk 2 miles right before the race, when you should be resting with your legs up and drinking so much you have to pee every 30 seconds.

Wow! I was riveted by your post~ hanging on your every word. Thanks for sharing the details, and congratulations. Amazing, wonderful accomplishment.

I knew you could do it! Now I'm going to dry my eyes and get back to work! Congrats girl...I'm so proud of you!

Wow! I don't run at all, but this post was so moving, I am bawling... literally bawling...

Just delurking to say you rock!!!

Rachael you f'ng rock! You are my hero! I knew you could do it girl! That was the most amazing post, I still have chills from reading it. Enjoy some R&R, La owes you a foot massage :-) She must be so proud of you! I still think of you when I'm on the treadmill trying my damndest to run just one mile, how the heck you did 25 (how cool does that sound...your ran 25 miles, you finished a marathon) is beyond me.

wow. i can't even express how proud i am of you! i got all teary just reading about it - absolutely amazing. i definitely think you should wear the medal to work... and maybe everywhere else, too - at least for a little while. I mean, damn, girl - you ran a marathon! and a practice marathon! i think you should get a parade. :)

You ROCK!!!! You wrote this some nicely, I almost feel like I was there watching you run by. What a fabulous experience after training so hard these last months. You MADE it, you ran it all, you have done this marathon all the way. :)

You ROCK!!! I'm so proud of you and your teammates. You are all a great inspiration. :)

Brenda in Toronto is right. "Inspirachael"!!
Now go see about having that medal surgically attached!!

Yay! Good job! I'm so glad you had such a rewarding experience.

I can't believe your entry made me cry but it did! Congratulations for such a accomplishing such a huge feat! You're a star!

I've said it before - I'll say it again:

You are my She-ro Rachel!

I feel so happy for you and proud of you - proud to call you a friend even if we've never met in person. Your heart! Your spirit! I'm in awe.

You so rock. SO.
XO

Congratulations! A Marathon! And !!!

Thank you for sharing your experience so vividly. You write with so much love and clarity... we *were* right there with you.

I'm tearing up just thinking about your team's accomplishments.

Yay!

I am sitting here, in my classroom, while my students are taking their exams, with tears running down my cheeks. What a great story. I am so impressed by you! You make me want to run a marathon.

You rock!

Rachael you are AMAZING !
I know I've never met you in person but I'm so PROUD OF YOU!!!!!!!
You've inspired me too...at 5' 2" and 195 lbs and having MS - I've started a cardio kickbox class at my kids' dojo (karate club)...After the first class, and after doing NOTHING to stay fit in the last 8 yrs I totally understand what hobbling around means.
Had my third class last night and I'm finally "adjusting" and no hobbling today.

YOU ARE GREAT RACHAEL!!!!!!

Debbie

What a beautiful post! Tears of joy for you and your friends. You are one amazing person with a beautiful soul.

YESSSSSSSSS!!! I -KNEW- you could do it!!

Congratulations, Rachael! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYY!

Rachel, I am so incredibly proud of you. Reading this post made my heart literally swell in my chest! You did something amazing, be proud!!

I'm so proud of you Rachel!!!
What a great post - I got teary just reading about you getting teary!!
Welcome home, Marathoner!
SandyB

You can do anything.

I'll say it again: Rock rock rock.

Girl, you! Ran! A marathon! Woot woot!

You're an inspiration. xo

OMG. i thought it was just the PMS but 85 people have dispelled that theory! i am sitting at work in tears, messy-blow-your-nose-tears, so happy for you and proud of you!!!!

yes, you DO rock!!! great job, and definitly wear that medal. i wouldn't ever take it off! ;o)

*mwah*
katie t

Aloha Rachael ~ I am so PROUD and HAPPY for you!! Loved your post this morning! Can you believe you ran 26.2 MILES!!!!!?

My favorite quote that I want to share with you...

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe ~ Anatole France

Mahalo for the inspiration and belief that running a marathon is not just a dream...

Take care ~Debbie

Congratulations! You did it! What an amazing accomplishment.

Congratulations! You're crazy for doing it (you seem to know that) but also very brave and wonderful for doing it. Something to be proud of: thank you for sharing it with us.

I've been lurking on your blog for a long time now--never commented before, but I have to say I am so proud of you!!! (And after this, finishing your novel should be easy!)

Mahalo for such a wonderful post about the experience.

congrats! you're amazing! just wonderful!

Talk about choked up. I'm so proud of you, and I'm so excited for you! I admire your dedication, and so do your cats (they just can't say it). You have touched countless people, beyond those who will be directly affected by the money you raised. You rock.

What an awesome experience! I love going to the Boston marathon every year. I always bring tissues to hand out to the runners (and for myself). The Hoyt's, the various fund raising teams, the bandits, even the elite runners - they are all amazing. Each runner is waging, and winning, their own battle. Reading your post brought all those memories back .

Congratulations on finishing - wear that medal with pride.

Kat in Boston

Rachel-

you rock. I know it has been said before but YOU. ROCK.

I read this post to Sue last nite and I had to stop b'c I couldn't go on reading it. It made me cry too hard. But I finished it and all we could say afterwards was WOW. I'm so glad for you. You did such an amazing job, both running and relating the story.

grab another bowl of ice cream grrrl, you deserve it.

You finished. Says it all.

Congratulations and Aloha! What a fabulous accomplishment :)

I have tears on my cheeks from this entry. I am so proud of you and just want to say congratulations. Completely impressive and wonderful and giving.

Don't believe people when they say you're crazy. One co-worker told me the first two are understandable because you want to see if you can do it, then to see if you can do it better. By the third one, you're crazy. I didn't tell anyone I was training for my first and just hung my number on the cube on Monday. I finished in 7:41 but people still were impressed.

The cheering does help. Houstons time limit is six hours so I usually spend the last third with no water and no mile markers. Austin has an eight hour limit and I had my best time there.

Congratulations and be sure to tell us about your next one.

Congratulations!!!!!!! You rock!!!! I have to tell you that I was on the verge of tears reading your post. I am so excited for you! Hell, I'm even inspired to consider doing the Honolulu marathon myself next year. You, my dear, are definitely an inspiration. *big ole grin*

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