I’m not even sure how else to describe what I’m feeling.
My awesome bloggy friend, Jess, and her husband, just finished their very first marathon over the weekend (great job, guys!).
That’s 26.2 miles, by the way, all at one time, in case you weren’t sure how “far” a marathon actually is…
Their experience brought back so many memories of Tim and my first – and second – marathon. The training…the crazy, 3:00AM mornings when we would start our long runs because it was so blasted hot in Atlanta.
3:00AM was the only choice we had unless we wanted to melt into the pavement when the sun finally came up, thank you 80 degrees AT THREE IN THE MORNING with 80% humidity.
But…the actual races…the feeling of accomplishment afterwards…oh, the AFTERWARDS.
The first marathon “afterwards” was in Hawaii on the Big Island for Tim’s 40th birthday. Immediately after finishing the race, we had to walk – yes, WALK – about a mile back to our hotel and check out. Actually, Tim showered and then checked us out while I took a shower because they wouldn’t give us a late checkout. We finished about an hour later than we planned, thank you 80+ degree heat that we weren’t prepared for (note to everyone: never train for a summer marathon in the winter. Do it the other way around!).
Still, we finished. We were dying…but we finished.
The second? We flew home from Schroon Lake, NY the next day, packed up a few final things and then moved to Colorado a week later, so we didn’t have much time to dwell on WHAT NEXT?? because, um, moving across the country was next.
We were way happier at the finish, here. Obviously.
Both marathons hold a lot of significance, obviously.
Both took a ton of time, RE: training.
Both made me feel closer to Tim in a way I really cannot describe unless you’ve done something similar with your significant other. It changes you…in a good way…and the mutual suffering brings you closer in a way I cannot explain. It is completely different than childbirth – where I AM THE ONE DOING THE HARD PART and Tim is the cheerleader.
Childbirth and a marathon are not at all the same. I know people like to compare the two but, really, it is like comparing an octopus and an apple.
The bonding during and after childbirth is not the same, probably because Tim will never understand or relate to a baby appearing from the lady bits and also probably because you’re bonding with your new baby versus with each other.
But training for and running a marathon?
We bonded over those miles. Stuck like glue.
Then, the feeling you get when you cross that finish line after months of training, days upon days of early morning runs and many, many moments where you have nothing left in the tank but keep going, anyway, and the suffering during the actual race – especially the last few miles…it is all so, so worth it at that final moment…even though you’re still in pain and your entire body hurts…once you cross that line…you know all of that sacrifice was worth it because you did it.
You beat those 26.2 miles into submission.
You are a marathoner and no one will ever be able to take that away from you.
Now, sadly, I will never get *that* feeling again with Tim. I mean, yes, I’m grateful that I was able to experience that bonding, period, with him, but it is a hard thing to swallow, knowing the farthest Tim and I will run together from now on is 13.1 miles.
No offense, half marathon, but you really aren’t *that* hard. You don’t hold the same kind of satisfaction.
Tim is done with 26.2. He did what he set out to do and has decided he’s not doing another one. Granted, the actual logistics of training for another marathon are near impossible right now with Kellan, but once he’s older…totally doable.
Except…I’ll be doing it all by my lonesome.
That is kind of sad.
Ok. I’m lying.
That is really sad.
I trained for my first marathon by myself and lemme tell you – it is WAY HARDER than training with someone by your side, step after step, mile after mile, early morning after early morning.
However, this is pretty much how it feels when you finish your first ever marathon, whether you train alone or not:
(Check out that old ipod shuffle! And I love the Cliff Shot Bloks hanging out of my pocket…they don’t come in packages like that anymore…)
Truly, I am mourning the fact that Tim will not be my long running partner anymore. It will be easier to accept over time…but right now?
Footnote: Most people think I am crazy because I like to put myself through this kind of torture for one day – one minute – of bliss.
You know, I probably am crazy.
I like to think of it as a good kind of crazy.
But that’s just me.
(Definite buffness on Monday and Tuesday in the firm of stroller jogging…even though Tuesday was freezing versus the crazy heat of Monday. Oh, Colorado…you are so bipolar sometimes…)
(How’s YOUR buffness going??)