Marathons and the Iron Man
Are you a marathoner?
I’m not. Not even a marathon tv-watcher! I don’t do anything for long periods of time.
About 6 years ago my sister-in-law asked my husband to do the 2010 Iron Man with her. He said “sure!” and didn’t think anything of it. Suddenly she’s got him signed up for running club and sent him a whole schedule of workouts and swimming tips and this and that. When the reality hit him, he was like a deer in headlights. “What have I done?!”
Over the next year he trained with a running group (sometimes) and did the Victoria and Vancouver marathons, but didn’t really do much else. Sure, he swam laps at Kits Pool. Thrice. He rode his bike up Cypress Mountain. Once.
I was pregnant with our son at that time, and when it came time for him to actually go DO the Iron Man, our son was less than a month old. I was worried. He was gone for 5 days – you go a day or two early to settle in, check the route, etc, etc. You do the race. You stay an extra day or two to recover. I was not only worried because he was driving to Penticton, I was worried that he’d have a heart attack because he hadn’t trained! I’d be left at home with 2 small children and no back-up plan.
My husband finished that race with 15 minutes to spare using a borrowed wetsuit and a clunky old bike he bought for a couple hundred dollars. He ran the last half of the race in the dark with a smile on his face, spectators dwindling, everyone else long gone and in recovery. When he passed that Finish Line, people – strangers – cheered! They covered him in blankets and gave him his medal and congratulated him like he’d come in FIRST!
I wasn’t there, only heard about it late that night (the race finished around 11pm!) I was relieved, and so, so, SO proud! And grateful! Grateful that those people stuck around, cheered him on, and made him feel accomplished.
And that’s how I feel today. For the first time in ages, I won something. And I didn’t just win, I won something BIG. Never in a million years did I think that I would win. Sure, I qualify for stuff. Lots of times. But I never expect to win – I’ve played this game far too often and for too long to expect a win. This ain’t my first rodeo! But it’ll be my first time to Barbados!!!
When I won today, I was in shock! Utter and complete SHOCK! I still tremble when I think about it. And I am so truly GRATEFUL to those who have congratulated me already, and to those that I KNOW will be happy for me when they find out. We are Friends + Strangers = Frangers (or Striends, if you prefer). But your kindness and generosity of spirit always amazes and humbles me.
I feel like I’ve run the Iron Man.