“Life is not measured by the numbers of breath we take, but by the moments that take our breath away” was written on the back of a T-shirt I saw someone wearing at the Jerusalem marathon yesterday. And there is no doubt about it, – the Jerusalem Marathon does take you breath away, in every meaning of the expression!
It was a great day for Jerusalem runners as well as for runners who had come from all over the world to run in the streets of Jerusalem. 22 000 runners all in all, I heard. What an atmosphere! What excitement! What joy!!! Oh, there were moments of exhaustions, but they were coupled with great feelings of success and accomplishment!
My dear husband ran his first full marathon this Friday. Yes, that is the full 42.2 kilometer, or 26 miles if you wish. We have trained together, and I knew he would do well. He has an amazing ability to push himself. And I have been witness to the great shape he has gotten to, – he is always the one pulling me up the hills! I followed him on RunKeeper, and saw that he started out really fast, and pretty much kept it up too, – he did really great, and that in spite of the extremely hard hills that were thrown into this marathon! For those interested in the real time, he did his full marathon in 3 hours, 49 minutes and 44 seconds.
He says himself afterwards that it was even harder than he had expected it to be. The keeping on keeping on. The putting one foot in front of the other when you are in pain and do not feel like you have any strength left.
Even though I am a Jerusalem runner and have trained for a full marathon, I did not sign up for this one, as someone had to run with our nine year old son who did the 10 kilometer race at the same time. And it was a joy to see him excel, watch him run a great race and have a wonderful time doing it! I was his big encourager / jacket holder / pacer / fuel provider etc. etc. And he finished his hilly 10 K race in 1 hour, 3 minutes and 27 seconds. There were 8 000 people signed up for the 10 K race alone, and we ran in large crowds the whole time.
We kept on passing people, and he was continually surprised of adults who started walking. All the time he would comment to me saying, – they must have started out too fast… In Norwegian, though, our secret language, so as not to offend them… 😉 I kept my encouraging updates of how great we were all doing and how far we had already gotten etc. in Hebrew, so as to encourage those around us as well!
The crowd support was very good, and my little running partner got a lot of positive attention, – which he totally LOVED.
And at the end of it all, we got our MEDALS! (A big motivating factor, of course…) And our pictures taken by a marathon poster!
My boys felt the great feelings of relief and success and accomplishment, and I am very happy for them and proud of them both.
My own marathon is still to come. I am signed up to run a full marathon in Tel Aviv in less than two weeks. I am excited about it, looking forward to it and a little nervous about it at the same time. Now that my training-partners are done with their big races, I am kind of looking forward to being done with mine as well… I will have to focus on my motivation and mental strength in the time between now and then, I think. I can do it! I want to do it! I am fulfilling a dream here!! I am going to give it my all!!! Even though it is not in Jerusalem, those are going to be some of the moments that will take my breath away!