10.19.2008

Welcome to the club, MARATHONER!!!

Next to childbirth and one's wedding day, the completion of one's first marathon may be the most memorable and emotionally-charged day in life.  I propose that witnessing a friend complete their own first marathon must follow next in line in the progression of tear-jerker moments.

Today I had the unique pleasure of watching my friend, Mike/PowerOfQ, complete his own first 26.2, a mere 2 weeks after I crossed the finish of my first marathon distance event.  

As Mike hugged and kissed his family members (not a dry eye in the house, folks) shortly after running across the timing pad, I felt that same raw emotion return from my own moments across the finish line in Milwaukee.

It was such a unique perspective to watch Mike's wife, Rebecca, watching him as we tracked him down on various spots on the course.  It gave me a little glimpse of what DH must have been going through watching me run, though the 2 times he saw me on the course prior to the finish line I was comfortable, chipper, and happy with the world and with my race.  Rebecca and I saw Mike really laboring towards the end and I know she felt sympathy (and relief every time we spotted Mike still upright and moving forward with strong form) for him while I felt complete empathy, having been in his proverbial running shoes so very recently.

Somehow I have never managed to attend a running race as a spectator, before.  As a marathoner it's nearly impossible to see and hear one's fans during those later miles of the race...all one's energy is absorbed by the body's need to keep moving towards the finish line.  Eventually tunnel-vision seems to take over, or at least this was my limited experience.  It's like peripheral vision and sense of hearing are dulled.

Today Mike joined a relatively exclusive club of those of us who can call ourselves "marathoners."  It's a title that is respected by those who have BTDT, as well as those who think we're nuts (but in many cases are just a teensy bit jealous of the determination it takes to train for and run the distance in the course of a few hours).  Like everyone else who has done the "10k after the 20 mile warm-up" before him, he earned the bragging rights that go with the accomplishment--even if he never again chooses to run the marathon (though I don't think that will be the case).

To everyone else who ran their first marathon this weekend (especially you runners at Grand Rapids and Detroit--GO MI peeps!), HUGE, richly-deserved kudos go out to you!  I hope you are as proud of yourself as your family, friends, and fellow runners are of you.  Enjoy your pain...it's proof positive of a job well done and a temporary side effect of hard work.  And be kind to yourself in the next few weeks...2 weeks out and I'm still fighting the remnants of a cold and finding that there are still some achey muscles to remind me that the marathon is not yet done with me.

Now you have a shiny new PR...and I hope we'll meet up at a future 'thon! :D

4 comments:

  1. That is wonderful. Although my husband doesn't do a lot of running, it would be fun to watch him run and cheer.

    I can't wait to be a marathoner :)

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  2. Woo hoo! Congrats to Mike. And I LOVE those signs. They're awesome!!

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  3. GOT, I hope you do reach your marathon goal, someday. It's really a fantastic thing. I'll warn ya', though...it's totally addicting!

    :D

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  4. Thanks again, sista! You RAWK!!!! I needed you out there, and I appreciated it. Rebecca did too.

    Q

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