Like a good wife, I have been supportive of this even though I can't even run a mile myself without stopping for breath. Well, mostly supportive. You see, his running schedule involved running a short-to-moderate amount (three to nine miles roughly, with some longer bouts toward the end) most days that he ran. He just ran this in our neighborhood. Granted, the circle is only a half-mile loop, but at 5:00 in the morning, it worked out great. But Saturdays. My precious Saturdays. On Saturdays, he ran his "long run," which meant that he usually drove to the Battlefield (a 40-minute, round-trip drive) to run. He ran for a long time on Saturdays and didn't usually get home until about 11:00 or so. Ugh. I must admit, I have struggled a little with adding another half-day to my "work week." Sorry, honey.
The longest that he ran prior to the race was 22 miles, and that was two weeks ago. Most training programs don't have you running the entire 26.2-mile distance until you actually run the marathon. Last Saturday he was supposed to run 14-16 but he only ran 10. His ankle has been hurting some during (and after) his runs, and he didn't want to hurt himself and be unable to run. And then this week he got sick. He's been taking some medicine to help him, and perhaps he shouldn't have taken any last night.
I know it sounds like I'm making excuses. I'm really not. Matthew certainly wouldn't. He did finish the marathon! His time wasn't nearly as fast as he would have liked, at 4:25, and he had to stop and walk, but he did it. (Yes, that's four HOURS and 25 minutes. I don't even last that long watching TV!!) He hit the "wall" really early, like at 13 miles. The "wall" is evidently runnerspeak for the part of your mind that starts talking to you saying, "You know, this is really stupid. You can't do this. Your body needs to stop." (As most of you know, my wall is on autopilot and plays continuously in my head.) He pushed through it for the next six miles but had to stop and walk at 19.2. He tried walking/running for awhile, but he said that of the seven miles he had remaining after his initial stop, he probably walked about five miles total.
We talked about it before that it was okay to stop and walk, that most people do, especially on their first marathon, and he was prepared for that, but he still is slightly disappointed. Not just in the walking but in his time. His goal was 3:40, and he wasn't really close. He said he's actually not as disappointed as he thought he'd be, so that's good. I tried to relate, and all I could come up with was the slight disappointment I had when I learned I'd have to have a C-section when I had Andrew and I couldn't give birth naturally. The C-section wasn't the way I'd wanted to give birth, but the end result was the same. But this example was flawed because once I had a C-section, I learned one of the world's best-kept secrets. I will now let you in on this, as some of you know it already from my and your own personal experiences: C-sections are the bomb. Once I realized how wonderful they are, there's no way I'd ever attempt the "real" way. Never. Seriously, no joke, I love them. I need to form a support group. So, as you can see, this example wasn't the greatest. But since the only experience I have with athletics is running hurdles in the 8th grade (we had four track meets and I was really just there for the boys), I had very little to offer.
The good news is that this is only his first marathon, and he is learning all kinds of different tips and techniques to help him run longer and better. There is actually a marathon at Walt Disney World in Orlando on January 11 of next year. It's expensive to enter ($145 I think) and the trip would be expensive, as we're about 10-11 hours (driving) from there. I am not really prepared yet to take the boys to Disney, as Benjamin is so young and breastfeeding. Plus, you have to take out a second mortgage to pay for everything. BUUUUT Matthew's work, CIGNA Healthcare, is sponsoring the Disney marathon, where, incidentally, the runners run through four or five Disney parks (how cool is that). They sponsored an essay contest for their employees (300 words of "Why I Run"). There are four prizes: two for the marathon and two for the half-marathon. The winners get admission for the race they applied for, roundtrip airfare (for one), and a hotel for two nights. We should find out next week who the winners are. I helped him a little with the essay, but there was only so much I could contribute. I mean, look at the title. Had it been, "How the DVR Has Changed My Life" or "How to Fit Lots of Dishes in the Dishwasher" (one of my many hidden talents), he would win for sure.
He's passed out in the bed right now. He says he's fine but he is SUPER sore. Oh, boy, I love this man so much. I'm so proud of him, and I couldn't be any more blessed to have him as my husband and the father of our children. Our eight-year wedding anniversary is coming up in 11 days, and I just feel like the luckiest wife ever. Okay, enough sap. Time for the pictures. :)
Here is some gear he got in his packet. He didn't wear the hat, as he's not that guy. But the shirt he did wear. It's a really nice long-sleeved, dri-fit t-shirt with the name of the race and the date on it. His race number was 3, which is awesome b/c it's my favorite number.
Right before he left this morning:
Surprise! You just ran a marathon! Coming in from the garage afterwards:
"May I please go shower? I don't even *read* your blog!"
Too bad we don't have a "man room," or this baby would go right up on the wall.
I checked. It's not chocolate. Darn.
Well, tonight, Matthew, Benjamin, and I are going to my mom's school's Fifth Annual Fundraising Dinner and Auction. It's so much fun. Hopefully B will sleep in the carrier so we can enjoy ourselves. Andrew doesn't know it yet, but he is going with my dad over to my brother's house, where my brother and his wife and kids are going to grill out and have a bonfire. Oh, he is going to LOOOVE it! (I can't tell him about anything fun that's going to happen after his nap or he won't nap.) Then my dad is going to take him back to his house for a bath and to go to bed. I will have to ask my sister-in-law Edie to take some pictures.
Oh, and Benjamin and I are returning to church tomorrow for the first time since before his surgery. Yay!
Have a great day and rest of the weekend, everyone!