I am amazed by my wife, once again.
A few months ago, Emily and a few of her friends from work decided to do the half Flying Pig Marathon. She asked me to join them, and I graciously declined. As the race grew near, her Pig partners starting dropping like flies. I believe that sore knees where the prominent culprits in their decisions not to run. Well, that and the realization that the race began at 6:30 a.m.
Emily stood strong.
She decided to go ahead and do it anyway. Again, she asked me to join. Some friends of mine and I discussed doing the four-person relay, but that idea didn't last long. I chickened out on six or seven miles, while Emily is preparing for thirteen.
So, yesterday morning, our alarm went off at around 5:00, and I immediately noticed that it was raining. Em was not phased. She got up, put on her sweet spandex gear, asked me if it looked dumb, I said "yes, but in a cute way," she accepted this answer and we were out the door. Most of central downtown was blocked of, so I dropped her off around 8th street. From there, she walked down to the starting line. I drove back home and hopped on my motorcycle. I figured the bike would be easier to navigate the road closures. I rode to Victory Parkway and waited for her there. I was right by the eight mile mark, and it was the end of a long, up hill trek on Gilbert and through Eden Park. Em said that she was planning on walking the race and might run here and there. I know her well enough to know that she would run more than a little.
I was at that spot from the time that the guy in first place ran past until Emily made it there. The guy in first made it to mile eight in just under 40 minutes. Freak. The first 100 or so runners were nuts. They made it up that hill and to that spot in less than 50 minutes. The next group were the fairly hard-core runners, but not robots. That group brought thousands of people. Then came the joggers and power walkers. It was an absolute sea of people. For and hour, Victory Parkway was completely filled will spandex, and somewhere in there was my wife. Em and I found each other, I gave her a kiss and a granola bar and she was on her way.
I rode downtown to the finish line, and watched people limp off the course. I was amazed to see what people will put their bodies through to achieve their goals. Some of the people that were finishing the full marathon looked like they needed wheelchairs or stretchers. My back and legs were killing me from standing around watching.
I received a courtesy Flying Pig text message that Emily had finished in 3 hours and a few seconds. We spotted each other in the crowd and started walking toward the bike. She asked me if I would go get it and pick her up at the corner we were approaching. She was going to stretch and rest. I jogged a couple blocks to the bike, and I was exhausted. We went home, both took naps, and I headed out with a friend to enjoy the Sabbath with a nice game of Frisbee golf.
Today, Em is feeling good. She is stretching as I write this. Maybe next year I'll grow a pair and run with her. As for this year, I'll just bask in husbandly pride, and probably wear her medal to class so people think I did more yesterday than just stand around and look sweet in my motorcycle jacket.
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