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This is What My Happy Looks Like

First things first, I am beyond grateful for the overwhelming amount of messages I’ve received since crossing the finish line on Sunday. No less than a PR worthy of HugeEug standards has been set as I’ve continued to receive amazingly heartwarming comments, tweets, gchats, texts, emails, phone calls, facebook messages and IRL hugs and high fives. I’ve read every single one about 12 times, no lie, and I’m pretty sure my mom has them printed out to be sent to family and friends with this year’s family Christmas card.

As I traveled home for12 hours (yes, TWELVE hours) in multiple cars and more airplanes than should be FAA approved for a single day of travel, I kept smiling as the messages continued to roll in.

So again, thank you times a billion. It’s nice to have a group of friends (I’m going to go ahead and call everyone who has congratulated me a friend, hope that’s cool) who understand what it means to drop 20 minutes off your marathon PR and run a time you never thought possible. I’ve been a little irrationally upset when everyone I’ve encountered in the last few days has not immediately asked me if I traveled to Eugene to run a marathon, and if so, how did I do, and can I please share my time with anyone within earshot. Like no, friendly grocery bagger, I do not need paper or plastic, I brought my own reusable bags, now can you please ask me the more important question, like “what is your marathon PR?” Or, sorry TSA security man, so careless of me to leave gels in my carry on. You know why I’m carrying gels? Because I ran a marathon. Go ahead, ask me how I did. And while I appreciated the super sweet flight attendant who asked me “how long was the marathon?” and told me how proud she was of me as I stretched my quads in the back of the plane, something tells me, she just didn’t get it. But you guys…man, you guys GET IT. I love it. So, thanks for that.

I still haven’t processed the experience. I’m in a state of giddy, overwhelmed disbelief. It hasn’t hit me that I accomplished something that I never thought I would…ever do, nevermind in that particular marathon. For .0001 seconds I thought about quitting the marathon distance since I’ll never have a race as magical as Eugene ever again. And then that ridiculous thought got trampled by the part of me that’s already thinking about what’s next and frantically pegging new goals to aim for. 

Since I posted my race report, I’ve managed to procure a few pictures from the race. Most of these are courtesy of the best dressed spectator on the course.


And while you would think it’s impossible to miss spotting a giant banana, I was totally oblivious to the fact that most of these were being taken.

photo 2

So don’t be fooled by the crazy happy look I’m sporting in every shot. While it may look like I brushed up on my “How to Take Smiley Race Photos” literature prior to the race, I really was just that thrilled to be racing a marathon.

photo 3

Especially the part at Hayward.


They could have had us run 26.2 loops of the track and I’d still be grinning like a fool.

photo 4

My legs might be close to not functioning, but my top moments in life will forever include rounding Pre’s track to finish the best race ever.


I know it’s tough to tell, but TRUST ME, I am smiling in this next one. Okay, maybe also crying, but definitely smiling at least a little.

photo 5 (1)

I’ll write more about my post-race feelings as soon as I know what they are. Trust me, you’ll be the first to know, whether you like it or not. For now, I’m busy moving apartments (because in some delusional state, I thought setting a move in date immediately after a marathon was an excellent idea) and lacing back up for my first post-marathon run tonight. It might take me as long to cover 5 miles today as it did to run the marathon on Sunday, but I’m pumped to get back out there. 

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54 Responses to This is What My Happy Looks Like

  1. It is pretty much impossible no to grin while reading this post or while looking at your pictures. Your happiness is definitely contagious. Congratulations Emily!

  2. Love reading your posts and following your marathons! Your 3:08 ROCKS. And this made me laugh out loud: “And while I appreciated the super sweet flight attendant who asked me ‘how long was the marathon?’…”

  3. It’s so cute to see you so happy & excited. You deserve to feel that proud of yourself!! Hang on to that feeling and milk it for as long as you can!!! :)
    You’re an inspiration!!!

  4. I am so excited for you! I think you should get a shirt and flyers with the victory on it as it needs to be shared! I hope to the running gods that my first 1/2 in October is an experience like this one!

    Such an inspiration to those of us who just started running and have not yet gotten to the point of loving it yet!

  5. You’re super speedy! It makes me believe I can run faster (not fast, just faster;-) reading your experience. Thanks!

  6. you are adorable and hilarious. how inconsiderate of those grocery baggers! ;) congrats on a ridiculous race and PR!

  7. Congrats! You’re such an inspiration to me! Loved reading about your training and can’t wait to read about many more races in the future

  8. Your recent posts have me grinning like a giddy dork at my desk. Which is made a little better by my new title of “friend” to Sweat-Once-A-Day. :) Not sure I’m cool, or speedy enough, to really embrace that title, but am so excited to have been a part of the Congratulation-fest around here recently!!!! You deserve it!

  9. Oh my gosh…Amanda told me about yoru race and I ran over to my computer to read! Emily, I didn’t know you ran this but I am almost in tears!
    THIS is what I needed today. I am off with another F-ing Stress fracture…missed BOSTON that I trained for 15 wks for and feel so frustrated. THIS race report is exactly how I imagine my dream marathon going. I LOVE THIS! I am going to hold to this til next year. I am planning to run Eugene next year as my 3rd attempt at a marathon (though I’ve only run ONE! b/c of injuries). I remember when your foot got injured so this is so friggin inspiring! thank you!!! you PUMPED ME UP today!!! I could just hug you! congrats! such a friggin dream you lived this day! RACE DAY MAGIC BABY!!!!!! xxxxxxxxxx

    • Yay!!! I knew this would be just what you needed to read Nicole. Emily gives hope to all that are injured and having to take a break. So glad you are feeling good after reading Emily’s blog. Her happiness is contagious. :) xo

  10. Wow, Emily, you look so happy in these pictures! I LOVED reading your race report. So psyched for you. My race is this weekend and I hope it goes half as well!

  11. That is definitely how I feel after a great race. WHAT DO YOU MEAN, EVERYONE WHO CROSSES MY PATH, YOU DON’T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT MY RACE?

  12. I am just now catching up on your exciting weekend happenings, and WOW! You are nothing short of incredible. It was so fun to follow along as you killed training run after training run, and I am so thrilled that all of that hard work added up to an amazing race and a crazy-fantastic PR. Huge (or maybe I should say ‘Eug?’) congratulations and a big thank you for all the inspiration!

  13. This is why I love the running community – they know that a marathon is ALWAYS 26.2 and understand why people put in months of training and pay to run. Running buddies don’t question my sanity for running 20 miles Saturday morning, but they laugh along with me when we see the walk of shames stumbling home.

  14. And your post made me smile! Glad to see you so smiley and I know that feeling perfectly. wouldn’t it be awesome if it could be bottled!

  15. So happy for you! I’m, cheesily, smiling along too!
    Those are awesome race photos!

  16. I have to say you are one of my favorite blogs to read! I love to run, I only have a 1/2 marathon on my bucket list to accomplish before I turn 40 in 12/13. I’m looking to do that this Sept. I adore your descriptions of your runs in the DC area, I’ve been there twice and loved it! My heartfelt congratulations to you, I was so looking forward to reading your blog after Eugene. And I am also excited about you running with Nuun this year! You bloggers got me hooked on the stuff! Anyways, high five to you from me up in WI, will be cheering you on in future races!!

  17. I am giddily happy along with you, that is so so amazing. I can’t wait til I can get back out there and race again… it won’t be as amazing as your HugeEug comeback marathon, but hopefully just some of that awesomeness can rub off on me!

    Good luck with the move!!

  18. Over on the right hand side of the blog under “best of the best”, you might want to update your marathon time :) I’m surprised you didn’t do that minutes after crossing the finish line! lol

  19. Congrats AGAIN. :)

  20. I think you should ask DC for a parade for your time..i mean, why not?

  21. Keep the posts coming – the happiness is contagious! I’m just some blog stalker and don’t even know you, but read your blog religiously because it inspires me. During training when things get tough, I think of my favorite blogs and they get me through. Thank you for being you and congratulations once again! You are proof that HARD WORK pays off! Thank you!

  22. You are truly an inspiration to me. I am down and out with an injury right now and not able to run. Reading your blog has reminded me that my injury won’t last forever and I will get back to running eventually. I am pretty sure your 3:08 time qualifies you for Boston! How AMAZING!!!!

  23. Time to update that little side bar!!

    Soak in the pride and happiness, and may I suggest an “I ran a Marathon PR” sign to hang around your neck?!

  24. Your race photos are adorable. Most of mine involve my face looking like a grimacing tomato that is about to explode. I did run one half marathon with ‘happy face’ photos once though, and it was after a period of injury with stress fractures where I was just so grateful to be running at all, let alone my favourite half marathon course.

    I love the ‘how far was the marathon?’ question. It usually comes from such sweet and genuinely interested people. Once a taxi driver asked me if my next marathon would be the same distance. Bless him :)

    Good luck with your comeback runs!


  25. TSA agent! ha! did you tell him??

  26. First I would Like to say congrats on your FABULOUS accomplishment!! Sooo looking at it, 20 min off your PR is like this…You were THREE full miles ahead of the “old PR” Em. If you turned around to wink at her you wouldnt even be able to see her… Being a runner myself this is HUGE in a runners world!..Ummm I cut 2 min off my PR and I couldnt understand why the guy pushing the shopping carts at walmart didnt ask about my race and my time and this was only a 10K so i completely understand how excited you feel:)….Im sure theres a cute way to display it on a tshirt…”have you seen my 20 mins..I lost it at Huge Eug”..annnnnnywaaaay CONGRATULATIONS to a stellar race!!! You’re very Inspiring!!!!

  27. Congtrats!! What an amazing time! How would it be to be so fast!

  28. Spectacular :)

    Your grinning like a fool was so well-deserved!!!!!

    And the shoes obviously worked out well :) Yay!

  29. Love all the grinning!!! You rocked this race!!! I have to say, everyone I saw run this PR’d and in a huge way. Eugene is on my bucket list someday, it must be magical. (or, that I know a bunch of awesome, sporty, dedicated runner peeps who put in a lot of work to get there, but whatevs)

    I hope to have that much of crazy grin on my face when I finish my half iron in Sept!!!

  30. I love your rant about “normal” people not getting it. Like hello do you get what just happened? Scream it from the mountain tops.

    And while you’re at it change your PR listing on the right side of your site, that 3:27 is looking pretty pedestrian.

  31. don’t forget to update your best of the best marathon pr

  32. Ahh this is so great! Don’t you just love it when you are excited to tell someone about how great your race was or that you have one coming up and they are like ” so how long is a marathon” (in a very, yeah whatever that is not that far kinda way) Totally buzz kill on your excitement.

    Congrats again girl and good luck with the move!

  33. Your race report inspired me to get out and do speedwork today. You conveyed the excitement of a great race so well, I want my next race to be as awesome as yours clearly was.

  34. Holy cow!! That is a crazy PR and fast marathon! Awesome job!

  35. I am so happy for you! Your story has been very inspiring! I am now determined to get faster!

  36. Oh my word this makes me feel so much better. Today I had to have the plumber come and my suitcase (from Monday btw) was still out from coming back and running a marathon this weekend (my first and a BQ) and somehow found myself telling the story to the PLUMBER. Poor unsuspecting fella!

  37. So glad you call every friends! I find myself saying, “my frien… err.. this girl I know *of* from the internet…? ANYWAY. She ran a 3-0-8! A 20 MINUTE PR!” Mostly to blank stares similar to your experience haha but SERIOUSLY, so well done! Congrats again!

  38. I’ve got to say, even though I only “know” you through reading your blog, I want to tell people IRL (ie. coworkers who truly care nothing about running) about “this girl whos blog I read” and her awesome marathon PR! I was seriously so excited for you that someone might have thought it was MY race!


  39. Congratulations!!! You are such an inspiration!!!

  40. I’ve never seen a happier runner. Well done on such an amazing PR

  41. Great post, Emily. I’m still smiling about your awesome marathon race and, most especially, your awesome and unflagging positive attitude. You totally rock, girl. You’re, like, my new running hero (sorry, Deena, you’ve been replaced).
    P.S. Love the pic with the banana, hee, hee.

  42. Emily, even though we’ve never met, I just know you deserve this happiness more than any runner I know. Your work ethic and inspiring attitude, plus your ability to lay it all out there for us (good and bad) is helping so many other people achieve their own “HugeEug” moments!

  43. Congrats again! Go pamper yourself, take a break, do whatever you want! You more than deserve it.

  44. The fact that you are smiling in every photo makes me SO happy! Love it! Great job, you are awesome!!!!

  45. Congratulations to you! Awesome job and that is one hell of a PR! Celebrate well. :)

  46. We talked about you at dinner last night – I often talk about the bloggers I follow at dinner as if everyone gets as excited as me about them but whatever….I am NOT a runner. I’m 39 (for another month) and two years ago I “ran” my first and probably last half marathon. In the same amount of time it took you to run a whole one. I didn’t even know what a PR was, I just wanted to finish and I did. I think you are freaking incredible. Reading through your miles I was so excited for you! Wish I would’ve started running younger!! Maybe I’ll try again….

  47. Um, Eugene needs to use these photos in their marketing materials for next year’s race! You are so smiley! Seriously, if I ran a 3:08, I’d probably get it tattooed on my forehead!

  48. Hey, it’s my first time stopping by your blog (after finding you on Ari’s Menu’s blogroll) and I am amazed at your achievement! So, from a new friend (I hope) and follower (whether you like it or not!) WELL DONE!!!!!!
    Can’t wait to catch up with the rest of your blog – keep up the good work :) :)

  49. Don’t forget to change your PR time on the side of your blog!!! AMAZING RACE!!! I actually had tears in my eyes when I finished reading your race recap!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  50. Congrats!! This is so amazing and the only thing wrong with this post was your saying that you considered quitting the marathon! You know if you can do this, you can do a sub-3!!

  51. CONGRATS GIRL! i’ve been “creeping/internet stalking” you for about a year now and never left a comment but your awesome!! when i need that extra kick in the butt for a swim/bike/run i always turn to your blog…

    ps. i think im doing placid in ’13 so expect A LOT of stalking!

  52. […] Once a Day shares her recent marathon PR!  Oh and I should mention this is only 5 months after breaking her […]