Welcome to Wednesday Word, a weekly linkup for everyone, not just health and fitness bloggers. Each Wednesday you will have a single word prompt to write about.  Let your imagination run free and share with your readers your interpretation of that word, or simply use it as inspiration for your post. Today’s word is radiant…..  I’d love to have you link up, and if you do, please remember to follow my six simple rules.


Radiant – Having or showing an attractive quality of
happiness, love, health, etc;
bright and shining
~ Merriam-Webster


Last week as I watched the Olympics, I loved seeing the women runners finish their races looking absolutely radiant. They were running well, winning medals, setting world records, and they made it look so easy. For many, their makeup was applied more expertly than mine was on my wedding day, yet that’s not what make them look so radiant. Sweat glistened on their skin, self-confidence radiated from their whole being, and unbelievable talent moved their legs.

Back when I ran marathons, I usually looked like a hot mess crossing the finish line, or dare I say, “26.2 miles of bad road.” My clothes were soaked and stuck to my body in places they shouldn’t have been, I had salt caked to the sides of my face, and my frizzy hair stuck out in every direction until I learned to always run with it in a ponytail.

Yet, why shouldn’t I have felt that I looked radiant after every single marathon. In actuality, I did, even though many of my marathon pictures dared to disagree. My legs had just carried me 26.2 miles, my lungs and circulatory system had just delivered oxygen-rich blood to those hard working muscles, and I hadn’t let my brain talk me into quitting.

I probably felt most radiant finishing the 1998 Marine Corps Marathon. I’d just finished my third marathon, earned my third BQ, had coached about one hundred runners who were somewhere behind me about to finish their first marathon, my husband and sons were on the side-line cheering me on, and I was having a great hair day. I felt healthy and happy, and I crossed the finish line exuding radiance.


I could end my story here, but decided to have a little fun with race photos where my friends and I look radiant and not-so-radiant. I crowd sourced my MRTT friends and asked them to play along. After getting their pictures, I asked them what made them feel radiant even in the pictures they considered their worst pictures.

Let me start this off with this lovely sampling! I may look like I might fall over at any moment in this Chicago Spring Half Marathon picture, but I was really having a good race. Yes, I was hot and tired, but that’s to be expected in a half marathon in the full sun.

ChicagoHalfProPicDebTongueOut (1)

Photo credit: Athlinks

In fact, when I saw another photographer about a half mile later, I looked quite radiant!


Photo credit: Athlinks

On to my friends…

Erin says, “I love that pic because I felt so great inside and out. I’d been working so hard that summer on my running, it was a beautiful day on an awesome course with an amazing friend. And I was literally flying on a runway – bliss!”


Photo courtesy of Potomac River Running

When pushed to tell me if she didn’t feel at least a little radiant approaching the finish line in this picture that she describes as by far her worst race picture, Melissa said, “Despite it being a tough race and hot, it was my first race as an active MRTT-er and the energy and positivity that I received along the way was what kept me going.”


Photo courtesy of Potomac River Running

When asked what made her feel radiant crossing the finish line, Tammie said, “I think I look good for finishing a half marathon. I even tripped and fell during that one around mile 2. So not bad.”


Photo credit: Disney PhotoPass

Beth said, “Knowing I’d just completed the most physically and mentally challenging marathon course – and I survived it!” is what make her radiance show through in this picture taken after the San Fransisco Marathon. 


Photo credit: Beth

Since most of Susan’s friends were running the 20K while she ran the 5K, she said, “I had no one to talk with nor any music – just me. At this point in the race as I was about to run up a steep hill, my friends cheered, ‘Go Susan.’ It made me smile and fueled me to run hard up the hill and pass a few people!” giving her a feeling of radiance.


Photo credit: Lesley

Of Kelley’s race day outfit and feeling of radiance, she said, “If I could turn back time, I’d really rethink my running ‘costume.’ I stopped in a Starbucks on my way to the race, and the barista said, ‘How sweet of you to dress up for your husband like that for Valentine’s Day!’ Me: ‘Ummm, this is my race outfit. I’m on my way to a race.'”


Photo courtesy of Potomac River Running

Jessica says, “It was hot and I was sucking wind. I ran a decent race. I went out waaay too fast for how hot it was. Positive – my body looks fit and strong. I also gave it my all to finish despite feeling not so strong.” Just for fun, I looked up Jessica’s time for this rare evening race and she ran this four-miler at a 7:55 pace. No wonder she was sucking wind, she was working hard! 


Photo courtesy of Potomac River Running

Feeling radiant as she finishes the Firecracker 5k with her daughter, Cheryl says, “I think my mini me in this pic makes me look like a proud mom in a proud mom moment.”


Photo credit: Potomac River Running

When Danielle sent this picture to me she simply said, “You’re welcome!” When I dug a little deeper and asked about her race, she said, “Oh boy – LOL. I felt like I looked.” Danielle ran a great race that day and even though the camera caught her grimace, she should be proud of her performance under tough race conditions.   


Photo courtesy of Potomac River Running

Whether you think you look radiant in your race day photos or it escapes the camera, pat yourself on the back for a job well done. You were out there, right? 


When do you feel the most radiant? Do you usually look radiant or not-so-radiant in your race photos?  


Grab My Button!

Deb Runs


Next Wednesday’s Word: Radical