Friday, May 17, 2013

A Marathoner's Life

Sometimes I swear it's me who runs the marathons.

From tempo to interval runs, bonking, "junk" miles and negative splits, I'm all into the jargon.

I tell people that Wayne goes out to run a "quick" 7 or 8 miles. Because to him, that's a short run. Never mind the fact that I've never run anything over 4 miles, and that it took me nearly an hour to do. (That's practically walking, in case you were wondering.)

My perspective on running is a bit jaded, especially as a self-described non-runner.

So you probably can't understand why I was looking forward to getting up at 4 a.m. the Saturday before Mother's Day to drive to Brookings, SD, to watch Wayne run his 9th marathon. I have come to love spectating at these events. This one was no different. Actually, it was different, which is what made it all the more fun.

We arrived in Tracy, MN on Friday night and hit the road early the next morning to complete the trip to Brookings. It was 37 degrees out and as a seasoned marathon spectator, I knew to dress for the weather, since I probably wouldn't be hanging out in my car. Lined tights and four layers of shirts and fleeces did the trick. Wayne, on the other hand, donned a sleeveless shirt, arm warmers, and shorts. I got cold just looking at him.

I dropped him off at the start and went to McDonald's for my secret love: Egg McMuffin sandwiches. I haven't had one in years. And because I know my dad's an early bird, I called him and had a nice chat at 6:45 a.m., uninterrupted by kids and household chores. What a treat!

Pretty soon it was time to start spectating, so I grabbed the race map, my GPS and went on my way.

The Brookings marathon only allows 300 people to run the marathon distance, so it's a very small race. There is a half marathon and a 5k distance for a total of 1,000 runners, still small by comparison to others.

The course wound through town, and was well marked by volunteers with flags and orange cones. They didn't have to close any of the roads, so as a spectator it was easy to drive around to see Wayne run. I think I saw him 8 or 9 times along the route. I would park at an intersection, get out and watch him run and cheer him on. Then I would get back in my car, drive north five blocks, park and cheer him on as he ran the next mile. I may have only driven 5 blocks, but the race course had wound around a whole mile through city streets.

Drive park cheer. Drive park cheer. Get cold and go for coffee. Drive park cheer.

It never warmed up the entire race -- 37 degrees for 3+ hours. And because it's the plains the wind never let up, with gusts up to 30 mph. In May. Yeay for a northern climate!

It was so much fun. For me, that is. Wayne said the wind really sucked. Or at least, he used words that sounded like that, he may have said something else.

I could tell when he'd be coming because I would recognize the runners just ahead of him, who I would cheer on as well. But by mile 19 I could tell that the people who used to be ahead of him had faded and he was out in front of the majority.

Doesn't this look exciting?! Yep, it must've been pretty quiet out there for him, running by himself with no music for over 3 hours. Just the way he likes it.

He ended up finishing 12th overall and 2nd in his age group. His particular age group was incredibly fast -- the winner of the marathon was 52 and completed in a time of 2:38. The winner of the age group younger than Wayne's took 1st place for his division with a time a whole 15 minutes slower than Wayne's.

But still, he ran his 2nd fastest marathon in gusty, windy conditions. We celebrated by going out to a local place for a brew and a good meal before driving back to Tracy.

What a fun day. I must be a marathoner's wife since that's my idea of fun.

1 comment:

  1. Cheer, drive, park and cheer. Wayne must've felt like he had seven or eight wives. It sounds like a good time and the jargon is delightful. I'm so glad you can share his sport, I am sure it means a great deal to him. Or, maybe you have seven or eight husbands. Hmmm!!! Have to think about this.