So, I don’t have much time to talk about ALL that is going on here in San Diego…but I have a story that I HAVE to share.
Today I wanted to stop by the expo just to show my mom all the craziness that goes on. While we were walking around I saw the pace group leaders starting to congregate and I realized that they were doing the pace meet-and-greet. This was going to be followed by Ryan Hall, who is pretty much my running hero. I decided to stick around to see him while mom and mom-in-law went to figure out their spectating plan for tomorrow.
After the pace group part finished I just stuck in my seat and waited. There was an older-looking gentleman sitting in front of me and he turned around and said, “I just love coming to these things because you can go up to anyone and start talking about running. Everyone is so nice and friendly.” It was a perfect start to our chat. He asked what pace group I was hoping to run with and when I thought I’d finish the marathon. “Four hours.” I told him. Scared to even say the words out loud. He then asked what my longest distance was and how many time I’d run that. He asked how long my mid-week runs maxed out at, and a couple other details to my training. He seemed impressed and supportive. It warmed my heart more than I can say. He told me about all the marathons and half’s that he’s run and shared some stories that only runners appreciate.
Before he left, he asked my name and reassured me that my goal was attainable. He said that under four would be mine tomorrow. Even though I’m still struggling with HUGE doubt-monsters, something about this quiet old man telling me that I could do it calmed me down. He never once asked about my paces, to him they didn’t seem important. He just kept telling me that I’d put in the work and that I was going to do amazing. His name is Steve and he’s running the half tomorrow. He said that he was going to hang around the finish line to see if I got my goal.
I swear that he’s my guardian angel. He seemed to say just the right thing at just the right time. So Steve, wherever you are, thanks! Thanks for picking me out of a crowd of 30,000 runners to encourage.