Sunday, May 15, 2011
Capital City Marathon
Today, I got up at 4:30 am. Why is it that important things in life seem to occur early in the morning?! At least for us lately. Since January, Ernie has been training to run the Capital City Marathon. Which has confirmed for me that he is, in fact, insane. Every Saturday, he's gone in to Olympia and run with a training group at 7 am. Sometimes the runs were 8 miles, and they ranged up to 22 miles. 8 miles seems like a ridiculously long run to me, and I'm assuming to most people. Right? Anyway, that's not the point. All that has been leading up to today, and the Capital City Marathon starting bright and early at 7 am!
Except it wasn't bright.
It was definitely early though. Ernie ran two half marathons last year. Put those together and he has run 26.2 miles, but not all in one stretch. That's a huge feat to accomplish, and I didn't think he'd want to drive all the way home to Yelm after putting his body through something which I consider completely unnatural. So, Sophie and I got up at 4:30 and hopped in the car (drug myself to the car, maybe) and off we went!
Back to the 'not bright' part...we woke up this morning to pouring rain and gray skies. Ernie had been praying for cooler weather, since the past few days have been warm, but I am sure this really isn't what he meant. Especially since he wears those ridiculous little tight running shorts. (In his defense, he does look nicer in them than most of those emaciated-looking Career Runners.) Halfway there, I also realized that, in putting a sleeping Sophie in the car, still in her jammies, I didn't think about getting any shoes for her. Go mom. I loaded her up in the jogging stroller (and covered up her feet with her coat, since it was pouring) and we went and saw Ernie off at the starting line. After getting Starbucks of course, which is located conveniently across the street. :)
Of course, I couldn't let Sophie go all day with no shoes, so we went and got breakfast and then got to Target as soon as it opened. Sophie considers it a success because she got to pick out some pink polka dot Hello Kitty boots. And I got to go to Target...but I swear I didn't forget the shoes on purpose.
We got back to Sylvester Park, where the finish line was, and Sophie "made" Ernie a neon yellow sign (she told me to write "GO DADDY!" on it). We found a place to see the people coming up the finish line, and we waited! It was still raining a lot and pretty cold. It felt okay for a while, but it started to get sorta miserable. Sophie got cranky standing, and in my tradition of forgetting things today, I hadn't even thought about taking the jogging stroller to the finish line, so I got to hold all 37 pounds of her, plus all the rain her wet clothes had collected. To add to that, she fell asleep on me, so she was dead weight for quite a while. It was still pretty exciting, watching all the runners cross the finish line and hear people cheer. Oddly enough, they all looked excited at having run that distance. (I know, I can't figure it out either.)
I got pretty nervous, standing there, waiting for Ernie. So many things ran through my mind. He tripped and broke his ankle along the way...he pulled a hamstring and had to quit running...those things didn't worry me because I thought he could fail at all. It worried me for him, because of what it would do to his feelings. He would feel like a failure if anything went wrong, although I think even just setting this goal for himself was amazing.
But then I saw him! Its not always easy to pick out individual runners in these things, because they all tend to dress pretty similarly. Especially since they get a 'race shirt' when they register, and people seem to like to wear them for the run. Ernie, however, is a different story. Remember how I said a lot of these people look emaciated? Well a lot of them are like, 5'8, 90 pounds soaking wet. You know. Ernie's about 6'2, 200 pounds, and with his shave head I can pick him out above every one else. So I saw him coming, and I hurried to wake Sophie up so she could cheer, and I scrambled for my camera. But dang it if I didn't get any pictures because my husband was *sprinting* toward the finish line. As if running 26.2 miles wasn't enough, he had to run too fast for me to even get him on film! This run seemed hard. So many people I had seen come towards me looking like death. So many were limping, many were barely dragging themselves toward the end, taking as long as they could, with their steps still being considered a 'run'. Some were even walking. The weather today seemed to kick so many butts. But when I saw Ernie coming toward that finish line, he looked awesome! He looked far healthier than he did last year for the Tacoma Narrows Half Marathon, and he ran twice as long this time. He ran 26.2 miles in 4 hours, 17 minutes. His first marathon, in less than desirable conditions. I think that time is such a huge accomplishment. Especially to do it so well. I even got a lump in my throat and some tears in my eyes. Seeing him accomplish this goal at all was such a proud moment for me, but to see him be able to do it so well was just so...there really aren't words. I didn't want to be the nerd crying at the finish line so I shaped up but still. I just don't think he realizes how proud I am of him. Sophie was so proud, standing there yelling "go daddy go! Run daddy run!" and waving her sign.
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