I’m in the throes of a Boston Marathon hangover. And I didn’t even run it. That’s next year. *dances all saucy in the kitchen*
I cheered. And cried. And cheered again. Then I drank delicious IPAs and celebrated with my Other Half. It was a perfect Monday. He ran yesterday. Which is funny to me because he’s really not a runner. He’s a cyclist at heart but with an undeniable runner’s gift. Brat. If I didn’t love him so much, I’d hate him. I don’t talk that much about him here. Every once and a while I’ll marvel at some ridiculous athletic achievement of his, but otherwise, I’m pretty private about us. Which is just how I like it.
He qualified for Boston straight out of the box. Ran one marathon and qualified with 10 minutes to spare. Insane to me. Simply insane. I am in awe of him and of that kind of talent. While he was quietly proud of his BQ, he was never outwardly stoked about it. That’s just the way he is. Modest. So there he was, training for Boston and BOOM. Injured.
Probably for the first time in his life, he struggled. He struggled with his body. He doesn’t struggle. He puts in the work, and it comes. Naturally. However this time, he couldn’t work. He was grounded. It was an injury which needed rest and rehab. Both of which he neither had the time, nor the patience for. At least initially. I think it humbled him in some ways. Not that he needed humbling, but when everything comes easy, then suddenly becomes difficult, I think you gain incredible perspective. It gives you pause. And you learn to respect your gifts. It also angered him to no end. I honestly thought he wasn’t going to run.
Day after day, week after week he became more and more patient. Listening to his body. Stretching, rolling and doing yoga and core work. Honoring his body. I think in many ways he used to take his gifts for granted. I think that has changed now. It has humbled him.
Slowly he began using the elliptical and discovered the stair mill, which, if becomes an Olympic Sport, he’ll medal in. After 5 weeks of “not running” he began to run. And it was like starting over. The aches. The pains. I still was worried. And not necessarily convinced he’d run Boston without blowing up or really hurting himself. Every few days he’d give me the countdown. “T- 15 days ’til I’m on my bike.” And so on…He was ready to wrap it up. Over it, I thought. Maybe he never even cared about it, I often wondered. He was so quiet about it. But there he was, still training, still doing the work. Every few days he’d run longer and faster with less and less pain. He was slowly getting back but with only several weeks to spare. My nerves quivered.
The Boston Marathon. Here it was. The day had arrived. I think I was more excited than he was. You know me by now. I get excited about everything. Genuinely so. On Sunday it was a perfect cup of coffee and my new sequined Converse kicks. It doesn’t take much.There’s something to be excited about every day. He’s the same way. Being happy is part of who we are. That includes being happy for one another. For sure. Marathon Eve I was far more nervous than he. I was laying out his gear. Getting his Skratch Labs ready. Lining up his gels. Obsessing over every detail.
And what was he doing?
Laughing about something taco related on Instagram. “Lookit this shit, Babe!”
Calm. Collected. Relaxed. Either like someone who knows exactly what they are capable of, or, perhaps someone who doesn’t care that much about it. I wondered…
Yesterday morning I walked him over to the buses, kissed him goodbye and told him how proud of him I was. I was choked up. It was a long road to Boston. Even though he initially jumped in the car, revved the engine and peeled out of the driveway. He’s running Boston. I shook my head slowly, smiled and ran off through the throngs of runners to meet Tina for breakfast. 6am: Are you up? I’ll run up to you. Let’s meet in the middle for coffee. The response: Shit yeah! I’m leaving. Orange jacket. I’ll see you on Comm Ave. Stay to the right. And she’s off. That’s a friend.
After Coffee Chat, I ran off to get a good spot to watch him finish. I was near The Spot. Right by the finish. I couldn’t help but remember. Waiting and reflecting, heavy hearted yet hopeful. My friend Meghan joined me to cheer him on. She came all the way in. Such a lovely, genuine person. Love her. Then, I spotted him. Running beautifully. Striding easily. He was finishing. He heard us screaming our heads off and threw his arms up. YEAH! So damn proud. I cried. He is something! He finished. Right at the exact time he said he would, qualifying him again for next year. When I asked him how it was he told me all the details. The crowds. The cheers. The hills. And then said a little sheepishly that he got choked up. He got a little overwhelmed.
Why? I asked
Because. He paused. This Is Boston.
My heart overflowed.
And so did his runner’s one. 🙂