Sherpas for Shme

27 May

Unbeknownst to me, Eric organized a gigantic group of friends and family to provide some much-needed encouragement throughout my marathon.  I owe them so much, and I want to give shout outs to them!

1.  Jamie and Mike–My first “surprise,” and boy was I surprised, not realizing who was holding the signs until I registered that one of them was about “shme” and shme is me!  They provided motivation to get up and over a big, long hill not once but twice, and then raced around the city to see me in a few other place, too!  In addition, we’ve run some training runs and I ran part of the Flower City Half Marathon with Jamie.  It was really good to see them, and I feel so blessed to have met them and to be able to run with such cool people who always seem to be trying to inspire other people to run faster, farther and stronger! (and bike and swim those things, too!)

2.  My siblings–They were so excited to see me, and then we didn’t end up seeing each other in the race.  Sad.  But seeing them this afternoon, getting hugs, having them fight over who I was going to race with next weekend (they’re doing some 1.8 mile fun run for kids), getting a water color letter from Emily, having them look in awe at me.  Man, I feel like a hero with them, and that is a cool feeling.  Being a big sister is the best.  Sometimes I get sad that we don’t have kids yet, but the truth is that I have “kids” in them, and it’s a really special bond that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.

3.  My dad–who was trying to find me, and I just happened to see and scream out to.  My dad has always been so super supportive of my athletics, taking me to soccer games, not caring when my teammates and I played in the mud after a rain game, coaching or co-coaching, analyzing the performances afterwards.  So it’s cool to have had him at a running race, now that my athleticism has translated into running.

4.  My mom–She ran the half, and I knew she would be somewhere just in front of me.  On the first “out and back” loop, I saw someone her size, wearing a yellow shirt, with hair in a pony, and screamed, “YEAH! Go Phyllis!”  5 minutes later, I heard her screaming, “GO SHEILA!”  I have no idea who I cheered for (clearly not her), but I was glad she saw me and proud of her 2:03 half, even if she’s disappointed in herself.

5.  Katie “Kirch” and Ryan–Eric had warned me my next surprise was “just around the bend,” so I started looking and surprised them! hahaha.  Kirch has been friends with Eric for a long time, and even though her and Ryan live in Buffalo, when we hang out with them, it’s like we’re hanging out with people I’ve also known for a long time.  It was so cool to see them! 

6.  Oliver and Sam–Oliver came running up to jog with me up a hill.  I stopped to walk partway up and he didn’t say a word about it, which surprised me, because I anticipated him yelling.  Haha.  When we got partway, I noticed Sam, too!!! So cool!  He ran me to the top of the hill, told me him and Sam loved me and would see me in a couple more miles, and left me to do my thing.  Sure enough, a couple of miles later, there they were again, cheering and telling me to go!!!!!!  That it was all downhill (lies haha).

7.  Joe–Makes fun of me for puking in my hand.  So he made me a puke spot.  As I was running, I noticed someone with a toilet seat (bc he was flapping it to make it clank together for noise haha) and thought, “what the hell?” and then I realized who it was “OH! Those are MY people!”  So I now have a toilet seat with a garbage bag attached that says “puke here” on it.  Awesome!  Plus he brought the next Sherpas down to see me, too!

8.  My in-laws–I feel really fortunate to have in-laws who are so supportive.  We usually stay at Eric’s parents’ house when we’re in Buffalo, and they’ve gotten very used to us getting up early, sneaking out and running for hours.  They always watch Picasso for us (to be fair, grandma LOVES spoiling him haha).  And seeing them at mile 20 made me smile.

9.  Chris–I should’ve ran with him at Flower City–I KNOW I’d have had my sub-2 then!  Sadly, I didn’t.  Today, I made the same mistake, going out too fast.  Chris joined me for a run around the 20 mile mark.  He did not give in to my requests for a. a bike or b. a car.  He did suggest finding me a unicycle, which made me laugh.  When he left me, he said, “I’d love to run the rest of this!” and I said, “You want my bib?” haha.  It was good to have him run with me for a chunk of this race!

10.  Kevin, Liz, Barley–Liz did SO many early morning long runs with me.  In the cold, the snow, through stomach issues, while I complained.  She is steady as ever–I don’t think anything flusters her when she runs, and she had a very calming influence on my running.  Kevin would drive around with their dog, Barley, meeting us at various places and offering to pick us up Tim Hortons or anything else we might need.  He never cared that it was early morning.  He was just there.  So I was surprised, but not surprised, to see them there!  It meant a lot. 

11.  Uncle Marty, Aunt Lisa, Jacqueline–Apparently, Eric and Uncle Marty talked a few times, and Eric thought they missed me.  But there they were, and they saw ME as I was turning to follow the full marathon course.  It was cool to see them out there, and I hope Uncle Marty got some free beer at the post-race party! haha.

12.  Chris and Jackie–Around mile 26, most of these wonderful people were waiting for me, cheering me on as I ran the last, excruciating part of the race.  So imagine my surprise as I turned the last corner and saw my little brother and his girlfriend, jumping and screaming like crazies.  I couldn’t help but smile through the pain and wave as Leanne and Eric pulled up on their bikes and joined in.  Then tonight, our conversation went like this:

Me: I don’t feel as bad as last time.

Chris: What do you mean “last time?” You’ve done this before?

Me: Yeah.

Chris: OH this is not your first??? Why the hell did I come out for it then???


I have to write separate posts about Leanne (aka Leanna Banana aka Baby Girl) and the Sherpa of all Sherpas (the gobbla da gobbla –Swedish Chef), Eric.  They get their own. 


But without all of these amazing Sherpas, I would’ve had a much more difficult race.


In addition, I feel like I owe thank yous to:

Gustavo–for being so patient with me at Fit 1, and for helping to make me stronger and always staying positive.  Seriously the best trainer ever.

Jen P–for running my last long run with me, and for the sponge candy and card and motivation and hilarity and reminders to be awesomesauce and go on adventures.

The TrailsRoc crew–for all the good luck comments, training runs, and motivation.

The Tuesday Trots and Thursday night runners–for LOTS of training runs and a reminder to make running fun–toward the end of this training plan, I stopped having fun.  THEN we started Trots, and suddenly the fun was back in it.  I’d be lost without them.  ❤ you all.

My principal from 57–sent me a really nice email wishing me luck and telling me he’d be praying for me.  It’s cool to have a principal who’s supportive and cares about me as a person AND a teacher.

Bethany–for making me feel like a rock star.  She is an amazing runner herself, and I find her journey into more serious running motivational and impressive.

All of my other friends–for understanding that training takes a LOT of time and always encouraging me and supporting me.

Most likely I’ve forgotten someone in all this.  My brain is pretty fried at this point.  But I feel so blessed and thankful to have so many amazing people in my life.  I couldn’t have run a marathon without all of you, and I love you all.  In fact, if I had to summarize this marathon, I would have to say that my word for it would be love.  Outpouring of love from so many people and I am so thankful that I don’t even know what to do to truly say thank you.  You are all amazing.


**EDIT: In one final marathon surprise, we came home yesterday afternoon to find a big Buffalo Marathon sign on the front door.  “What is that?” I asked Eric, getting out of the car at the same time as our neighbor called over, “You should warn me when people are going to be in your house so I don’t call the cops!”  Apparently our friends, Eric, Julie, Claire and Murphy, couldn’t make it to Buffalo, but wanted in on the celebration.  So we walked in to a house filled with balloons, streamers, glitter, twirly-dos and toilet paper signs–hooray for shme, she believed she could so she did, a water stop sign (over our sink ha) and a finish line tape to run through.  Flowers and a card to top it all off.  Thanks guys, for making sure the weekend ended on a memorable note! 🙂


One Response to “Sherpas for Shme”

  1. Jamie (@couch2ironwoman) May 28, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    We were happy to be there!! We were so glad that we could see you four times, and that you loved our signs! You did amazing at your second marathon and we are so glad to call you and Eric our friends!

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