Monday, October 21, 2013

dear unsung heroes of the marathon

Marathon runners get a lot of recognition for what they do.  Maybe even too much when you consider that all we’re really doing is training our body so that we can run to the point where it literally starts eating itself.

Don’t get me wrong: as someone who has experienced this entirely self-inflicted self-destruction, I know that it’s no walk in the park.  It takes work.  But I also know that behind every marathon runner is a significant other/parent/friend holding things together when we’re on the verge of meltdown because we can’t find our left sock.

These people are the true heroes of the marathon because without them, we would have self destructed long before our muscles got the chance to do it at mile 20.  So I want to thank you, unsung heroes of the marathon, for letting us destroy ourselves on our own terms.

Dear every significant other/parent/friend of a marathoner,

Thank you for listening to our months of training madness but thank you especially for those final two days before our race.  It takes a level head and a lot of practice to keep your cool as we pace the apartment in near tears because we’re out of dish soap.  Just know that it’s just the taper talking.

Thank you for remaining calm when a minor hitch in plans sends us into crisis mode.  If you weren't able to hold things together when the rental car place runs out of cars, causing us to leave an hour and a half later than expected, we would undoubtedly combust… or at very least, go bald:

Thank you for keeping high spirits as we spend the subsequent two hours glaring meaningfully out the window with our earphones blasting Linkin Park.

Thank you for embracing our roller coaster of emotions that rises and falls with the weather conditions.  A lot of people might resist our goofy “we made it in time for the expo” selfies just as the rain finally stops, but not you.

Thank you for waking up before the sun rises so that you can drive us to the race.  We need that extra thirty minutes to really focus on the details of our “List of Things that Can Go Wrong.”

Thank you for being the most active and dedicated fans on the planet, racing the clock to make it to every viewing point and (don’t kill me, Derrick) even peeing in bottles in the back seats of cars so as to not waste precious viewing time.  And you do it all with our Canon cameras in hand.  Without you, we’d never know what we look like mid-race, or at least without a huge “PROOF” stamped on our torsos.

Thank you for disregarding all race organizers’ directions, sprinting to the finish line when you realize that we’re struggling and thank you for holding us as we sob that we pulled our hamstring at mile 26.  Thank you for not pointing out that we’re acting like the leg is to set to be amputated and instead forcefully ordering the closest race volunteer to bring us some ice, stat.

Thank you for keeping quiet as we tell ourselves to “man up” and pull it together enough to call our anxious mothers.  You could have told us to man up back as we limped dramatically through the bagel line but you didn't, marathon fans, you didn't.

Thank you, most of all, just for dealing with the insanity that surrounds anyone who’s willing to run for 3 hours and 6 minutes without a bathroom break.  We might be the ones peeing our pants but you, marathon fans, are the ones waiting with a dry pair at the finish line.

You truly are the unsung heroes of the marathon and for that, we thank you.


all of us nuts who will be hobbling around for the next 2 weeks

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1 comment:

  1. Hahaha!!! This made me laugh. I love your sense of humor and story telling!