Jet lag hit us! My boyfriend and I arrived in Athens, Greece the day before. We explored all day and stayed up till the late night hours. The lack of sleep got to us and we ended up sleeping until 1pm the next day. Once we got out and about in the city it dawned on me, I NEED TO GET MY MARATHON BIB!
It was a quick realization, if I do not get my bib for the marathon there will be no marathon for me the next day! Thank goodness I had thought of it because we had a few short hours left to find the place we had to get to. However, it was a little hard to not notice the hundreds of other marathon runners who were wearing their shirts pre-marathon. We asked 5 people passing by to make sure we had the right directions and headed to the Faliro Olympic Arena right on the water.
My heart was pounding as I stood in line to get my bib number. Everything that could go wrong was running through my head. What if I didn’t sign up correctly, what if there was no bib for me to pick up at all, what if they would not allow me run… As I approached the women at a table she smiled at me and asked where I am from. I responded, “The United States.” With a hesitant smile I gave her my license. In two seconds she was writing my number down and pointing to the line I had to go get it. It all started to become real. Before I knew it I was joining the thousands of people getting their bib number to proudly participate in the 2018 Athens Greece Marathon.
As we wove through the hundreds of pop-up stores who were supporting the marathon and selling their merchandise, we were inching closer to getting my own marathon shirt. At the end,which seemed like a marathon itself, we got to the exit. We got outside and the light of day was almost over. We were right at the bay and watched a gorgeous sunset in front of us reflecting off the water. In that moment I felt like I was at the right place, at the right time, conquering the goals that I have set forth for myself.
Even though the light of day had faded, we were still ready to explore. We took the bus back into the center and headed for some gyros. We found Souvlaki on right near the Acropolis Museum. We enjoyed every single bite and almost went for seconds. We held back and went to explore the museum right across the way.
As we walked in we were captivated by all the ancient sculptures, artifacts and pieces of marble that were once part of the Parthenon and the Erechtheum on top of the Acropolis along with many other structures from areas around Greece. My boyfriend was so enticed that he touched one of the marble pieces to make sure it was real and got reprimanded by a security guard. I do not suggest anyone touching the marble but it definitely gave me a good laugh at him. We wandered around and reached the top. From there is a beautiful view of the actual Acropolis. We were there during the evening so it was lit up and had such a strong presence. It was hard not to marvel at it. After much meandering around, reading the descriptions and taking in the history we headed back to our hotel.
We had one final dinner before the big race day with a glass of wine and lots of water. I was ready! The only thing between me and the marathon was now some quality sleep.
Live Well and Run xox