26.2 miles (that’s running–not driving)

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Running 26.2 miles deserves a cake!

I have to warn you from the start, that this post is completely unashamed bragging on my husband Tim. So if you’re not into that kind of thing, you may as well just stop reading right now.

Tim and I met during college, and fell in love during the summer of 1992. One of the many things I liked about him back then was that he wasn’t one of the “dumb jocks” walking around campus. Instead, he was a talented music major, who also worked at an adult job — doing carpentry when not in class or studying.

He couldn’t have cared less about any type of sports, and even all those many years ago, he DID care that I was an artist.

Almost 18 years later, he still cares absolutely nothing about sports. And he still cares tremendously about my career as an artist–enough to cheerfully haul me and my paintings around to wherever I ask him to take me.

Well one day about four years ago, this smart man of mine decided to go our for a run around the pond in Milwaukee’s Humboldt Park. I don’t think he got very far the first time, but he tried it again. And again. And again. Until not only was he running around the pond, he was running around the park. And then the city.

And then the next thing I knew, he was running a 5k (3.1 miles.) And then a 10K (6.2 miles.) And then a 15K (9.3 miles.) And then a 1/2 marathon (13.1 miles.)

And thenon Saturday, October 30th, 2010 he did the most amazing thing. He ran 26.2 miles.

Do you have any grasp on how far that distance is?

Tim showed me in a recent car trip we took together, and my jaw dropped at the thought of him running that far. It is a very, very long way. (Check it out the next time you’re driving…you won’t even believe it’s possible that a person could run that far.)

There actually are a good number of people who DO run this far, but since THIS “people” was MY husband, I just had to brag him up a little bit for achieving such a lofty accomplishment.

I actually know about a handful of marathon runners — including both my brother-in-law AND Tim’s older sister. I am quite impressed by both of them too. Impressed enough by all THREE of these family members, that one day last fall… I too, who never cared a lick about sports, and was always the last one picked for team sports in PE — went out for a run. But since I can still only run about a 5k’s worth (and have no plans to run much more than that)  it makes the distance of running  26.2 miles all the more AMAZING to me.

The not-so-amazing part of all of this running is this: Just like ANYTHING that’s really worth doing, you just have got to suck it up do the hard work of WORK.

For the past 18 weeks, Tim has worked his tail off — diligently following Hal Higdon’s Marathon Training Program. His alarm goes off before 5am every day (sometimes even 4:30am) so that he has enough time to run before work, or before Nathan and I wake up on Saturday mornings. He runs because he cares about it, and he runs because he likes it. But it’s still WORK.

All this bragging to say: Congratulations to my super-man husband for running so many miles, both during his training this past year, and then on Saturday at the Spinx Marathon. You deserve a cake!

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Here’s Tim’s post from http://www.dailymile.com after finishing up his first Marathon on Saturday, October 30th, 2010.

Spinx Marathon •  26.29 mi •  time — 04:12 • pace — 09:34

Well now I know what it’s like to hit the wall. I started the race with the 3:50 pace group and stayed strong at a 8:40-45 pace until mile 16, then things went downhill. I started slipping between 16 and 18, then really got nailed at 18.

I muddled through until mile 20, and that’s when the cramps started. Calves, quads, hamstrings, groin – each pace that I tried made one of them cramp. I put up with this through about mile 22.5, then just worked on putting one foot in front of the other. The cramps started up again about mile 25 and stayed with me to the end.

Once I got over the idea of finishing in a specific time (which was probably foolish for a first), then I just concentrated on getting done. I’m hurting in ways that I haven’t felt before right now, but happy to be done and to have accomplished this.

It was great to see so many DM’ers there, plus other people that I knew. Thanks to Marie and Nathan for all the support. It was a gorgeous day, and such a fun event overall – and best of all, it’s over. By the way, this run put me over 900 miles for the year, and 2,000 lifetime miles, which was kind of cool.

4 thoughts on “26.2 miles (that’s running–not driving)

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