As promised, this is Mrs. LB's guest post. Mrs. LB asked if she could post this and I gladly accepted her. With any luck, she'll do this regularly.
Now, onto Mrs. LB's post...
Okay, I admit it, my eyes do glaze over when runners talk about running. Someone pointed this response out at my husband’s running banquet and I immediately recognized myself in her speech.
I want to pretend that I’m insanely interested in how song 12 on the playlist led to a faster mile or how in mile 4 of 21 the incline started to have an affect. But, I’ll be honest, mile 4 sounds exactly like mile 21 to me. One mile sounds just as torturous as the next.
Obviously, I am not a runner. Not even close. I understand that it’s one of those activities that you have to experience to truly understand. I am so proud of my husband’s efforts; his drive and motivation to become healthy, fit and eventually a full-blown marathon runner. I brag about him and tell people his story. I’m amazed at his fortitude and willingness to push his body to even longer distances.
Having said all that, my eyes still glaze over when he tells me about the 12-mile turnaround run to his parents’ house and back. I try. I really do. Asking questions helps but I know he can feel my eyes getting that far off look. I sometimes feel like a bad runner’s wife so I try to make up for it by helping him get in as many runs as he can.
I’m also beginning to see that long-distance running is like a religious experience for those who do it. In some ways, I kind of get it. The faith it takes to believe you can finish 26 miles before collapsing. The way you feel almost invincible in leading the battle against those 26 miles. The zen-like state you must be in when you keep moving your legs no matter how much they hurt or how much you’re bleeding. The heaven you must feel crossing the finish line as all your emotions rush forward and flood your fatigued body.
But, I get it in a way a documentarian understands the tribe she has spent time filming. I see it but I don’t feel it.
Before any of you readers think about suggesting I can feel it if I only start today - just one mile and then one more - don’t try it. In the same way long-distance running is like a religion, so is the attempts to convert that go along with it. Some people can’t be converted. Let’s just count me as one of them for now.
So, in the vein of religion, I guess I’m asking for a little absolution for my eye glazing. I will cheer my husband in as many races as I can get to in order to do my part. I actually enjoy watching races. I have now learned that marathoners don’t like to be told they’re almost there - even if they’re literally almost there. I guess it’s not helpful after 25 miles.
I will volunteer and run water stations when I can to support my husband’s efforts. I will help him find the best shoes out there and get carb-filled food before a long run. I will wash (and rewash) the smelliest running gear ever so they’re fresh and ready for the next run.
I will not, however, be able to truly understand how he felt when he crested the hill near our house in record time. I’m going to keep trying though and maybe one day my eyes won’t glaze over.