Sunday, October 01, 2006

A Hunk of Tin and a Running Shirt

If you think the shirt and the medal are the only rewards to running a marathon, you should think again. Getting through the 26.2 miles without shedding a tear is a memory worth savoring. Who cares if you toddle in an hour and a half after Mbarak Hussein, who won the TCM this morning in 2:13, clipping along at a 5:06 per mile average pace. Yikes! I guess it gets you done quicker.
I had a great team with me on race morning, with CO the chief driver, AN the head navigator, and the wife as head cheerleader and organizer. CN was there for sweatband selection at the race expo.

It was a warm day, with temps in the 80's by the time it was all over. Not ideal for a marathon. But I survived another one, saw some of my favorite people, and enjoyed a good weekend. Here are some photos, including the race start, two key supporters, a Ford GT we spotted on Cedar Avenue, and the sunset to our good weekend.

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7 comments:

Dan said...

Congratulations on another fine finish!

Anonymous said...

Congrats John! Glad to hear you were able to run this year.

P

JN said...

If you haven't seen it, check out the efforts of Dean Karnazes, who is in the midst of running 50 marathons in 50 consecutive days: http://www.endurance50.com/
Today he ran his 16th marathon quicker than I ran mine. Hmph.

Deana said...

I understand that all this obsessing about time is a runner thing; as a spectator, I'm just happy that you crossed the line.

As I pushed myself through today, bleary-eyed and foggy-headed, I kept wondering, "Why I am so damn tired?" I mean, it's not like I ran 26.2 miles. Yet all day, I've been wiped.

Then I caught word of another 49-year-old runner who didn't make it to the finish line. George Spears' race ended in mile 6 when he suffered a heart attack and died.

Physically, watching a marathon is pretty simple stuff: find a parking space, walk a few blocks, clap your hands, shout encouragment, walk a few blocks, climb into the car, drive to the next spot and do it all again.

Mentally, watching a marathon is a bit more demanding: note the time, calculate the pace, glance at your watch, scan the sea of faces, check your watch, recalculate the pace, scan the sea of faces, watch other runners struggle, calm yourself, repeat these steps until you spot your runner's face. Then, sigh with relief and watch that face speed into the distance. Repeat this process until the end, when you look straight into that runner's eyes and hear him say, "I'm okay."

Was George Spears' wife waiting at mile 7, scanning the crowd for his face? Did she talk herself out of a panic when he was 5 minutes behind pace? Did she make a list of possible reasons why he would be 8 minutes behind pace? Did she remind herself that it is a rare thing for a runner to die in a marathon? I don't know. But, I do understand better why I, too, need a day of recovery after the marathon.

Cheers to those who are willing to run the race; it is an awesome accomplishment. I am very proud of you, John! Cheers also to those on the sidelines. Being a spectator is no small effort.

w. pauli said...

Way to go John...I am going to the Metrodome today...not to run a marathon however...Congratulations on your success.

dbechen said...

Congratulations, we're proud of you, I can't even imagine what it must feel like. Tell Deana " Way to go" too, sounds like she had a long day too! Remember the hot tub is up and running!

JN said...

The hot tub sure sounds good; now if we can just find some time to come over and utilize its good features. I'm sure my legs will be sore for a few more days and I'll be looking for some relief. Thanks for your "attaboys!"