Live Your Film

Live Your Film at Monumental

by Holly Wheeler

Not many runners can say they can have their own seriously fun cheering section during a marathon, but Team Film girls can.

When I ran Monumental, not only did I have the pleasure of running next to my buddy Casey for half of the course, but I also had the excitement of finishing with a crowd of Team Filmers. It’s pretty sweet to see faces and hear voices of some crazy women when you cross the line, even if you haven’t had your best race.

My Monumental Marathon experience was a learning experience. It was my first road marathon back after 15 years from my first one and after having kids. I was working full time, trying to raise three monsters, and going to kids’ sporting events every Saturday after my long runs. The support I had in Team Film consisted of meeting me at odd times so I could get the miles in – even if that meant 5:30 a.m. on a Saturday. Random support texts were sent. Pre-race presents. A pre-race dinner was held with laughs and cheesy goals. Things were going well. I felt like I could finish no problem, but then I had another idea.

Could I compete against myself for a time and qualify for the coveted Boston Marathon? Right when I let that thought enter my brain, it stuck. I was going to try to qualify, and it didn’t really phase me that I hadn’t prepared to truly hit that fast time. I just thought, I’m 16 – trim, strong and fast. Well, at mile 21 (aka, the wall), none of those descriptions fit. I felt old, weak, and slow!

My buddy Casey had struggled around mile 16, which was very out of character, and she just wasn’t herself. She remained positive for me and told me to go – all the while smiling. Another reason I love Team Film – they know how to really put a friend above themselves or hide their own misery! That’s true support. So at mile 21, I thought of her smiling.

I had some bikers try to encourage me, my husband and oldest son ran alongside me, and I had a few Team Film teammates cheer for me asking if I needed help. My pride was swelling. I didn’t want them to see me miserable. I held it together, waiting for the wall to fall, but it didn’t. It stuck with me until the end.

I came in the last 400 meters hearing my girls screaming. I held on to hope thinking I was close to qualifying, which I was. I crossed the line about 20 seconds too slow, missing the Boston Qualifier. I was so pissed. I was so sad. I was so mad at myself. I re-ran the whole damn thing thinking, where were those seconds?

But in the end, after all the “blah,” Team Film was there to lift me up.

They hugged me and looked on to the next race before even I could. I learned that even though I might have been a little unrealistic in my training, I went for it. I learned that when I needed help, I should have asked and swallowed my pride. Later I found out that Casey got some help from Team Film for a few needed miles. She’s no dummy!

I also learned that even if I finish with a personal let down, my friends will still cheer for me in the same – and probably with more – energy because they I need it. Team Film will be in full force cheering, screaming, supporting this year know at the beautiful, flat and fast Monumental Marathon with many first-time runners ready to run well, crappy or somewhere in between. No matter what, they’ll have the support, memories and learning experiences. Live your film, girls!

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