So many story lines from this weekend, it was debatable what to blog about. But, if I just slip in there that I completed my first marathon and didn't go into detail I imagine quite a few of you would think "what the hell?!" So, yeah. ... I finished my first marathon on Sunday. The Surf City Marathon in Huntington Beach. I'll describe it a little and then get to something a little more prophetic at the end: it hurts. Oh my god it hurts. Everything from my eyebrows down is aching this morning. I've got a coffee and a bottle of aspirin on my desk and I'm not that eager to reach for the coffee just yet. The first half I did really well. I was pacing for a 3 hour, 45 minute race for the first 13, 14 miles. But at mile 8 there was a pretty big hill, and by the time I reached the top of it I knew I'd depleted most of my energy on it. ... and I could feel things slipping away at that point. By 13 the 3:45 group passed me up. I tried to stay with them but, there was nothing in my legs. By about 18 the 4 hour group passed me up. By 20 my first wave of cramps hit and by 22 I thought my legs were literally just going to fall of and I'd have to roll the rest of the way. I'll put it this way - I hate banana's. ... hate them. Can't even stand the smell. I ate 3 between 20 and 24. Desperate to end the cramps. By 24 the 4:15 group got the best of me. That was the one I really tried to catch. I pushed everything I had into that. ... but I had nothing so it was kind of like trying to coast a car uphill. At 25 I had the 4:30's were hot on my ass and I was fighting to keep with them. So much so that at the last 1/2 mile I popped something in my calf (not a tear or a pull, more like the muscle just seized up. ... you could literally see a ball protruding at the top of the muscle) and I ended up "Qausimodoing" it across the finish. ... kind of an awkward, limping gate. It's kind of cool because people went nuts seeing me fighting so hard to finish, which made me feel incredible. .. but nothing in comparison to hearing my name called and seeing my wife and children on the other side of the fences, right at the finish line. Thank god I was wearing sunglasses because I lost it. You have to walk quite a way afterwards till your clear of the gates, during which volunteers are handing you water and fruit and energy bars. ... I'm just taking them with my head down so no one will see me crying. I can't tell you what an accomplishment it feels like. ... but it's a total mind f(%#! For 4 and a half hours it's just you, in your own head, you're best friend and your worst enemy. ... it's really a struggle. The only thing that gets you through that is the thought of those who are willing to wait at the finish line for you. Those who want nothing but your success. Those who love you regardless of your time. Life is a marathon, but so is parenting. It's endless, successive nights of no sleep. It's stressing about every bump and bruise. Repeating the same lesson over and over and over. It's caring too much and hoping to big. It's loving so deeply that a simple thing like not wanting to hold your hand while crossing the street breaks your heart a little. But it's a race worth running. For every road block and leg cramp, it's also the most rewarding accomplishment that life can bring. In my own opinion, there's nothing more impressive than raising a wonderful human being to adulthood. That's worth applauding. They should hand out medals for parents that are able to accomplish that.