Friday, April 30, 2010

Marathon Madness

That title has more than one meaning. The first being that Joe is running the marathon this weekend.

I know. Nuts.

Who in their right mind chooses to run 26.2 miles?

All at one time? In a city full of hills and bridges?

My honey, that's who.

And I couldn't be more proud of him. He did it last year and his time was amazing. He finished (his first time ever running, I might add) in 4 hours and 1 minute. I was so proud! His sister Leanne and our kids and I all waitied (im)patiently for him at the finish and we were so overwhelmed with emotion when we saw him. Here's a picture our niece Meghan caught at the exact moment he passed us.

Does that look like a guy who just ran 26 miles??

He trained so hard. It seemed like he was always running, Probably because he was. But it paid off. He wasn't one of the many that were carted off the road passed out or those whose bodies just totally shut down from lack of hydration and fatigue, like this one guy's did. It was awful. He looked like Gumby. I mean, everything just stopped working. And then he collapsed. And no one saw it except the 350,000 of us on the sidelines. The officer "guarding" the course was too busy yelling at someone who dared to cross the imaginary line from the sidewalk onto the road to notice this poor guy flat out in the middle of the way--around a bend--and there were other runners coming. It was a tense few minutes. Finally, another runner came back and helped the poor guy up and walked with him to the finish. What a story he has to tell.

I don't want Joe to have that same story.

This year's training has not been as, shall we say, diligent or consistent. Between a new position at work, a new location of work, grad school, R's soccer practices and games, and these 4 crazy kids, he's had to squeeze in running when he can--which isn't often. Sometimes it's been as late as 11:00 at night.

So, prayers are accepted and sought for him for Sunday.

The marathon expo is so fun. There's just SO much energy in that place when you go to pick up your packet. One of my favorite parts? The Army guys are always there. They're so cute. And I respect them immensely. We always stop for the kids to tell them "thank you" for their service. They rewarded our thanks with 5 million giveaways for the kids. We will never be at a shortage for small rubber footballs, lanyards, or pencils. For friends and family with birthdays coming up, guess what you'll be receiving?!

While it can be so much fun at these things, it's also such a nightmare when we take the 4 crazies with us. (Those are the kids, by the way.) It is wall to wall people; strollers, runners who think they are already running a race to visit every vendor and booth, scary mascots dressed up torturing my kids by trying to talk to them...Okay, so maybe they aren't really scary. But to my kids, a 7 foot pink panther is just as terrifying as Freddie Krueger was to all of as when we were 13. Seriously. Both R and L cried their way through the first half of the expo, they were so freakin worried that this darn mascot was going to talk to them.

For any of you with strollers, you know how taxing going to a crowded event can be. Not only do I have to worry about rolling over feet and strange toes, but I also have to watch that the child does not pull everything off the rack, throw out shoes, socks, bottles, etc. And today, I had to protect myself and the childrens' heads from getting clobbered with some woman's enormous purse. She was wearing it over her shoulder, but pushed back under her arm so that it looked like a dorasl fin on one side. Do you know what I mean? It was out of her way so she could shop in peace, but it was like dodging a medicine ball. This thing didn't actually qualify as a purse, but more like a designer duffel bag.

And everywhere I went-she went.
And everywhere she went-her ginormous bag went.
Everywhere her ginormous bag went-it seemed there my kids' heads were.

People are just clueless in crowded settings like that. Not only do they insist on stopping right in the middle of the aisle, but they look at you rudely when you have to run over their feet to get past. I mean, what would you have me do? It's either leave some tread on your shoes or listen to my kid scream because the Pink Panther is 20 feet away. L was practically clawing up Joe's leg for safety.

Dick's is sponsoring the marathon again this year. I'm glad they supplied signs for the kids to color on and hold up for Joe as he runs past. Another great idea Dick's marketing department came up with?

Cow bells.
For free.
For all of my kids.

Sure, it'll be great fun to ring the crap out of them on race day, but on the way home in the van...not so much.

I think that's it for now. I'm sure there will be more after the race. I just hope it isn't me informing you that Joe ate some pavement.

Why did I just giggle as I typed that?
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