I have been involved with endurance sports, mainly triathlon for about 10 years now. I still can vividly remember my first triathlon, my first marathon, my first Ironman. The list could go on but you get the point.
Slowly over the years, my husband has gotten involved with running and biking. I guess he got sick of hauling my to all these races and watching from the sidelines. He always ‘threatened’ that he was going to do a marathon. Well, talking and doing are 2 very different things. I guess I got sick of hearing about it and wanted him to DO IT! So, what does any good loving wife do. Unknown to him, she registers her husband for a marathon and gives him the registration receipt as a Valentines’ gift. Yah, he was a little speechless. I’m not sure he appreciated the gesture fully! But he didn’t back out and has actually committed to the training process with more dedication than I ever could have imagined. He printed out a canned Hal Higdon marathon training program and has stuck to it quite religiously.
His FIRST marathon is now coming up this Sunday. We will be running in Tucson, AZ. I’m doing the half marathon and he’s doing the full.
I am totally loving this because I am watching from the other side. Yes, I am racing the half and I have trained and will hurt and run my guts out. But, it is a totally different animal than the marathon.
Seeing all the things Jack is experiencing for the first time is really fascinating. I guess we all do it but to see the process from the other side has been awesome.
1) Race strategy talk. How fast he should or shouldn’t run. Goal time. Nutritional plan. Clothes.
2) Mental preparation. How is he going to deal with the dreaded last 6 miles? We know it’s pretty much all a head game by that point. But thinking that through ahead of time is important. Unfortunately, there is absolutely no way to know how you will deal if you’ve never done it before.
3) Taper nervous energy. “I don’t feel like I’m doing anything.” “I feel like I’m getting slower.” I’ve said these same things to myself many times. Now to hear him saying them makes me giggle. When Jack has extra energy or time, he cleans. Good for me! I’m not complaining.
4) Can’t sleep. Thinking about the race. Been there, done that. Still do that.
5) Phantom pain. “My knee was hurting on that little run. That never hurt before. What’s that all about.” He talks about all these new little aches and pains that come out of the wood work for no good reason and don’t last. But, messes with your head!
Pretty soon he’ll be a novice no more. I think he’ll do really well. My fingers are crossed. But I don’t know…... I may have created a MONSTER!