Strong and Steady

Today I am grateful for early morning quiet, supportive friends in recovery, and my healthy body. 

This is a photo I took before the Mankato Marathon started on Sunday. The starting line is barely visible up ahead. A sea of people all with a story.

Here are some things that made up my story over the next 26.2 miles:

*Running the first couple miles with a woman named Megan and discovering we had a 
few things in common. 
*A supporter along the route before we hit double digit miles saying I looked "strong and steady." 
I drew on that in the last few miles when strong and steady take on a whole new meaning.
*Seeing a man wearing a "50 States" shirt (for people who are well on their way or already have run a marathon in all 50 states). I congratulated him and asked him how many marathons he had done. His answer? 277! That's strong and steady.
*Thanking every volunteer I could along the way. Sharing gratitude is energizing. 
*Seeing 3 women spectating, each holding a coffee cup from a local convenience store. I asked "Where's my coffee?" as I ran past. They laughed and one said "You're in great spirits."  That boosted me, and I got another boost when I saw them again a few miles later.
*Two other spectators who were supporting a couple runners who were behind me were at numerous places along the course waiting for their friends, but they became my unofficial cheerleaders. I saw them at least 8-10 times. No names. Just some camaraderie shared on a marathon course. 
*Being inspired by the corn fields and farm smells along the way.

Many things and many people helped carry me through the miles. All of them blessings.