During the race, on the pier -
MarathonFoto has photo evidence that my next new friend was with me longer than I was aware; however, Paula came into my life at mile 7. Heading down the pier (click here to learn about this cool place), "C" and I took our first extra walk break. I had suggested that we walk the entire pier but"C" was having NONE of that (jus' sayin' "L" would have let me). I was kind of whipped at this point. Not completely done, but fearing the second half of the race. Dreading the fatigue that was going to be setting in soon. Paula circled the back side of the pier with "C" and I. I said "hi" and we became fast friends. She said she did the walk-run thing and I invited her to join us at least for the rest of the pier (nearly a mile back to the shore). Paula was also a first time half-marathoner and agreed to try to stay with us. Once back on the shore this man on a bike kept yelling very positive and encouraging words. He seemed to be where I was quite a lot ("C" says she remembers him being "around" during the first half of the race - but I was soaking in all "the excitement" of a race and really couldn't say whether or not he was there; however, having seen photo proof that Paula was near me earlier in the race - it makes sense the guy on the bike was near me the first half of the race, too). My friend "M" was a HUGE help to me the last 2 - 2.5 miles of my first half marathon and this guy was like an "M" angel sent to help me along the course. There are NO WORDS to describe how thankful I was for him so . . .what's a girl to do. I yelled "I love you man!" Turns out - the guy on the bike was Paula's husband. What? What are the odds of that (especially when there are dozens and dozens of people within 50 yards of me)?!?! Paula continued to be around "C" and I through mile 10 or so and then I didn't hear from the bike guy again which meant that Paula had fallen a little behind us. I missed both Paula and her husband (I regret that I can't remember his name- maybe "C" remembers). They were extraordinary people who were like angles on Sunday sent to help me get through the hard parts.