It’s tough to hang out with a marathoner before and during race day.
As runners we drag our kids, spouses, mistresses, and life partners through the tangled and crowded messes called “expos.” If you are a Siamese twin whose better half wants to run a marathon, you are screwed.
Damn, that’s weird
We then ask these “support staff” to drive around strange cities, or better yet, decipher confusing public transportation just to watch us run by for 30 seconds. They must do this several times over the course of one to five hours.
When I spectated my first marathon last October, I could not BELIEVE how exhausting, draining and exhilarating it was to be a spectator. I’ll never take this for granted.
Ken, the kids, my aunt/uncle and my cousin, her husband and their son went to ridiculous lengths to find me during the Boston Marathon at 7 miles, 13.2 miles, 20 miles and the finish. They pushed their way through crowds, got into traffic jams, struggled to find parking spots and waited patiently until I arrived. They met me with smiles, encouragement and love. They never once complained. They accepted my sweaty and grotesque hugs and didn’t mention that maybe I needed to change my underwear.
The night we got home from Boston, Emma, age 10, wrote a memoir as a school assignment. It is a daughter’s perspective on the day. It steals my heart:
My favorite part is “I felt like the coolest kid in the world, for having a runner mom.” Priceless.
A week from tomorrow I get my turn to watch it all go down. Ken is running his first marathon. One of my clients, Deb, who is 50, is running her first marathon. My dear friend Joie will complete her second marathon. I’m all choked up just thinking about finding them along the way and watching them finish. Thank God they’re all doing the same one.
You can say, “It’s just running, it’s just a race.” But those of us who run know that completing the race represents so much more.
It is the final expression of miles upon miles run in the cold, wet, heat. Of solo training runs that sometimes tax you to your core and sometimes build your confidence to the sky. Of self doubt and self pride. It symbolizes doing what we said we were going to do. Of finding our inner strength and challenging it beyond measure. It simply makes us better. To share that with those who mean the most to you is the ultimate gift.
Damn. Way too early on a Saturday to cry at my own post.
Off to watch the snow fall,
PS: Don’t forget my Sporty Girl Jewelry Giveaway!