Sunday, April 25, 2010

We Needed More Cowbell

***This is a post from my sponsor, my lovely wife, who continues to support me despite my flights of insanity.  We've talked about giving her some posting rights to talk about marathon/running support, but after yesterday's race, she decided it was time to jump into the fray.  So everyone say hi, and be nice.  After all, she has to put up with me.***

     The first half of Joel's marathon was going really well. The text messages I read as he passed the 5k and 10K marks indicated that he was running amazingly fast mile times. The text I received when he crossed the 13.1 mark indicated that his pace had slowed but not so much that I was concerned. We had friends that were watching for him at Mile 18 and they were going to call me when they saw him go by. The kids I and were waiting at Mile 20. At some point while we were sitting at Mile 20 I saw the 3:30 pace group run by and I still had no news from mile 18 - that was my first indication that Joel’s marathon was not going well. I called my friends at 18 and got no answer. I waited a few more minutes and called again and they told me what I already knew – that he wasn’t doing well. So the kids and I continue to wait at Mile 20 watching all the other marathoners go by and slowly ticking off the minutes that we weren’t seeing Joel. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not good at math but there are two exceptions to that – I can calculate the sale price of anything very quickly (think “take an additional 20% off items already reduced 60%”) and I have become very adept at calculating mile splits to estimate a race finish time. The numbers I was calculating in my head were not good. How slow was he running out there? What was going on with him? And then we saw him. He was wearing an orange shirt and orange calf sleeves so he’d be easy to spot but honestly that’s not what I noticed first. What I noticed as he came into view was that he was swinging his right arm wildly (he later told me he was trying to work out a cramp) and he was struggling with every step. When he reached us he took out his ear buds and told me he’d started cramping up at Mile 11. I said something ridiculous like “Keep it up! I love you!” and watched him run down the hill and out of sight. What I wanted him to do was stop running – but that wasn’t my call. Because storm clouds were gathering and big fat raindrops were falling the kids and I headed back to the car to hang out for a while before we headed to the finish line. It turns out a tornado warning closed the marathon early so Joel was diverted at Mile 22-ish. We missed the finish but cheered wildly for Joel when he found us in the parking lot. He had finished every mile that they let him and he hadn’t quit and I was happy and relieved and proud all at the same time.

     On the ride home I kept pestering Joel with questions about what happened out there? He gave me lots of answers about cramping and powering through and a bunch of other stuff that doesn’t matter now because as we drove into Bellevue he said something . . . something that made me irrationaly angry at him. He told me that he had taken a Zyrtec before he left for the race that morning. If you read Joel’s blog you may already know that he had a disasterous training run a few weeks ago after taking Zyrtec. When I asked him “What were you thinking taking Zyrtec this morning!?” he told me that he thought he had built up a tolerance since then. I think I said something like “REALLY!? Didn’t we have a whole conversation about how great it was that you figured that Zyrtec thing out before Marathon Day?!!” And then I’m pretty sure I called him a dumbass. And that’s what it’s like being married to me. I am in Joel’s corner 110% all the time.  But I call him out on stuff all the time too. Some might call me harsh and maybe I am but he worked and trained so very hard to get ready for yesterday’s marathon and he cramped up at freakin’ mile 11 because he didn’t remember that he already knew that taking a Zyrtec before a long run leads to massive dehydration and less than optimal run results. Running a marathon is hard enough without handicapping yourself with a Zyrtec pill before you even leave the starting corrall. Today I am more sympathetic and we’ve been looking for races to run to help put this run behind him.   As defeating as yesterday was I know that we’re going to keep marathoning because even though I’m not the one running the races this marathon stuff is addicting. Racing is in our blood now. I also know that I will never go to another race without taking my big orange cowbell because even Joel admitted that yesterday might have gone much better if there had been more cowbell out there on the course. 

1 comment:

Julie said...

Hi Joel,
Sorry about the and learn. I think you still had a great time:) Sometimes we all feel like there should be more cowbell!!

You and your wife crack me is just like at my house!! Hearing about your conversations makes me feel normal...sort of:)

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