Saturday morning, I woke up to what I thought was a Gospel revival outside. Groggy and confused, I couldn’t figure out why the Catholic church nearby had taken such a drastic change in worship style.
Then I remembered it was Saturday, not Sunday.
What is going on?
I couldn’t see anything out the window, so I threw on a hoodie and stepped outside. Down the road I saw it.
Oh boy! I had completely forgotten that was going on today. I ran back upstairs, eagerly grabbing my shoes and telling the fiance I was heading outside to cheer on the runners. He seemed confused by my excitement that this event was taking place so early on a Saturday morning, but at least me being outside cheering was a lot more quiet than me standing in the bedroom bubbling with early morning energy.
I grabbed Gertie and threw on a hat and we were out the door. Of course, Gertie was terrified of the whole scene. She sat there shaking. Party pooper.
Good job! I started yelling to the trickle of runners/walkers that were still passing. By this time most of the runners were either running the half, or were speed walkers. I didn’t see very many full marathon bibs.
I wasn’t satisfied. I needed to do some hard core cheering. Back inside with shaking dog, I ran upstairs to tell the fiance I was going for a jog to find a new cheering spot. Again, he was not terribly amused with my exuberance. I shut Gertie in the room and changed into running clothes myself. (Gertie cannot see me wearing running clothes or she freaks out because she thinks she’s going for a run.)
I took a quick peak at the course map online so I could figure out where to stand. I decided the 20 mile mark would be a good spot. I remembered 20 miles well – just two miles before I yacked during my own attempt to run a marathon back in 2005.
I ran down to Volker & Main where the 3 hour pace group was getting ready to pass. Dang. These people were fast. So impressive. I stood there shouting words of encouragement and in a state of awe until I got too cold from my own run-induced sweat – the 4:20 people were just passing.
I really wish I could have stayed longer and cheered on the back of the packers (like myself), but my coldness won out.
During my run home, I tried to figure out why watching a marathon on a cold, wet Saturday morning was so exciting to me. Why was I so obsessed with the marathon? I have been my whole life.
I kind of thought running one myself would make me less obsessed. But it hasn’t. Every year I tell myself I’m going to train for another marathon and every year, I let life interrupt my focus. It’s not just the 26.2 miles that overwhelms me; it’s the months and months of training I know it takes to get the job done. I tell myself I enjoy my little 3 mile runs several times a week. That I can be a real runner without running another marathon. That another 26.2 just isn’t in the cards for me.
But something tells me it is. Watching the runners of all sizes, ages and levels yesterday reminded me that anyone who puts their mind to it and devotes time to train, can run a marathon. I’m inspired by my bloggy friend, Barb at Running Jayhawk who has not only run several marathons, she’s now training for her first Iron Man.
So thanks to the hundreds of runners who inspired me on Saturday. And special congratulations to friends Kirk and Andrew (Molly’s brother) who finished the marathon and Shelly who ran her first half. Maybe I’ll be among you sometime in the future.