“As I made the final turn onto Michigan Avenue, in the last 5k, I caught a small happy sob in my chest…”
Melodie Sullivan is a Montreal marathoner who never takes a step for granted. The lawyer and mother of three had a lot on her mind (and on her heart) as she crossed the finish line at the 2009 Chicago Marathon. Read on, and comment about her exceptional journey, and share your inspirational stories about overcoming adversity. Guest Post
On Sunday I ran my 19th marathon in Chicago. Although it was not my fastest race, it was, for many reasons, a very special one. Almost one year ago, I ran a personal best in the NYC ING marathon (3:31). But this year, I’m just very happy to have finished as well as I did (3:48) considering the last 5 months that my family and I have experienced.
On May 16th, my husband, three children and I were on our way, by car, to a hiking weekend in New Hampshire when an impaired driver veered into our lane and hit us in a head on collision. Thankfully, the kids and I only suffered minor cuts and bruises but my husband’s leg was very badly injured in the crash. He’s had several operations and it will still be months before he can walk. As bad as it was, the accident could have been so much worse and the fact that we were spared more serious injuries is always on our minds.
Considering my husband’s injuries and the fact that my children were relatively unharmed, I feel guilty and selfish even mentionning that my left knee was badly bruised in the crash and that I lost 8 weeks of marathon training.
This time and more than for any other marathon, my training took a backseat to the needs of my family and my husband’s in particular. He’s had 3 operations, countless hospital, physio and doctor visits, and has often needed extra care and help at home in the last months. It’s been an exhausting and emotional few months. I have worried about the kids’ trauma and my husband’s long term recovery all while working, keeping the house running and getting dinner on to the table every night.
All things considered, I was thrilled to take my place in my corral on Sunday, on a very chilly morning, with over 30 000 like-minded people. I thoroughly enjoyed the sights of Chicago and the encouraging crowds that lined the entire course. When I saw that my time would be a little longer than I had hoped, I took it in stride an remembered that a few weeks ago, it did not even look like I would be running the marathon.
As I made the final turn onto Michigan Avenue, in the last 5k, I caught a small happy sob in my chest…I knew the finish was near, that I had overcome the dificulties of this race (including, ahem, 4 visits to the loo), and I knew that, with toughness and perseverance, my family would overcome the consequences of the car crash too.