Monday, November 18, 2013

Hubby's Second Marathon

It was less than two years ago that I met my husband.  He wasn't a runner - something that I thought had to be on my list of desirable qualities in my dream man!  I thought that my future partner would need to be a runner, pretty active or at least passionate about something.  I am a little obsessive after all.

When we met and started dating, he knew that I was pretty active, social and an avid runner.  Though, I'm not quite sure he knew what all that entailed.  After things got serious, I added him to my seasonal gym membership.  I tried to fit in all of my coaching and workouts in when my kids were gone at their dads and would still continue to try to cram everything into a couple of nights each week.  After date night, he could/would join me at the gym for a workout.  This was my routine.  Some may call this selfish.  But, that was a big priority for me - and still is - to keep my kids and myself first.  So, he joined me in January for a treadmill run a couple of times a week.  I remember how accomplished he felt when he ran that first 1/2 mile in place on the treadmill.  Soon, it grew to a mile.  And, then we headed outside for some 3-4 mile runs in February, since Wisconsin was experiencing some nice winter months.  I remember us running on the path in the dark and doing an out and back course.  When we got out to our furthest point, I wasn't sure what our journey back to Point A would be like.  But we survived the run together and he was exhilarated after finishing.  

He worked up to his first 5K race, which he completed in his hometown that March.  And later that fall, we traveled to California to visit his parents and complete his first half marathon.  And, he beat me (stinker!).  The following Memorial Day weekend, we crossed the finish line of his first full marathon.  And his training continues.  It's been an amazing journey seeing him transform in so many ways, and having him share in my passion.  It's something that I am so very thankful for.  Some may say that he's been my little couch-to-marathon project at home.  Perhaps. 

Like I said, he was not passionate about running - but he was passionate about me.  And that's where all of our love started and grew from. I now realize that solid relationships grow on a solid foundation of loving each each other unconditionally (that really means something - it's not just a saying) and sharing in each others dreams and passions.  He took up running and being active.  I took up attending UW Hockey games and visiting breweries and other miscellaneous things that he enjoys.

It's fun sharing and learning about life - and running - together.

He actually competed in his second 26.2 mile journey earlier this month.  This time, he ran it alone.  Well, my friend joined him for portions of the race.  Madison Marathon always puts on a great event.  Usually the race was over Memorial Day weekend, but it was moved to the cooler fall months - since we have battled year after year with weather factors.

The kids made him some fun signs.  (He has a minor obsession with Heinz ketchup, if you are wondering).  And, family and friends came out to support him.  It was so much fine spectating a race in my hometown.  I know all the ins and outs of the course.  I think that we saw him close to ten times out on the course.  I always enjoy running.  But, I think I enjoy spectating a race just as much.

He was flying and ahead of pace for the first thirteen miles.  He was running ahead of the 4:00 and 3:50 pace groups.  I was amazed by his focus and determination.  I just hoped that he could keep it up for the second half.  We would drive the marathon mommy minivan to various spots along the course, and drive along the route (sometimes honking!) to the next one.  It was so much fun anticipating the next sighting of him and those around him.

My friend Dwight wore full army gear for the full marathon, complete with a loaded sack on his back.  He did this for Veteran's Day, in honor of all veterans, as well as his two older brothers.  What an amazing job he did, too - just over four hours in all of that gear!

It was an amazing day spectating - the weather was sunny and warmed up quickly for November.  When we saw him around mile 20 and then again around mile 22, I could tell he was really struggling.  He had spent an entire week in Las Vegas for work and a lot of time on his feet.  I ran with him for a bit and encouraged him to just move one foot in front of the other.  We then drove to the finish line to see him finish on the Capitol square.  He finished in 4:17 and some change and knocked about 10 minutes off of our previous finishing time together.

I look forward to completing the next one - together.

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