I’m about to share two points that are somewhat unrelated, but will make sense.
1. I’m super nerdy about the Chicago Marathon. Maybe it’s because I love that it runs right by my apartment, but going out to cheer and watch as people run through my hood makes me ridiculously happy and inspired.
2. I’m also super supportive and nerdy for my friends and the things that are important to them. Maybe it’s a fault, but if they have a dream, I’m all about supporting them and helping them make it happen.
This year, those two points intersected.
In January or February, my male platonic life partner Ryan told me he wanted to run the Chicago Marathon. And (thinking he was kidding), I said that if he did it, I would run part of it with him. Well, then he registered for it (f*ck) and things got real.
I probably could have told him I was kidding and yeah, I wouldn’t do it too, but I’m a woman of my word (something that shocks many people), so while I was already training (painfully) for a 5K, he started marathon training in May and I really stepped up my game.
And after months of training, sweat, trips to Fleet Feet and just talking about it. Marathon day (yesterday) came.
To keep on track with my 10K training, I had to run 5 miles yesterday, so I promised I would run that distance with him as support. Up to that point, I had only run 4 miles (which was insanely painful) the weekend before, so 5 miles seemed daunting. And the entire time I was waiting for Ryan to appear on the marathon route, I was nervous.
But then suddenly, as I was standing with his parents and family (who were in town to support him too), he appeared at mile 7, gave me a high five and we took off together, with his parents cheering behind us.
I ended up run/walking 8 miles with him. A new distance record for me. And, NO PAIN IN THE LEGS. The entire experience was surreal. People cheering, music playing, people high fiving you as you went along. The energy was insane. And being there with one of my best friends, laughing, sharing Gatorade and gripes about the aches in the legs, made it even better.
I met him at the end of the marathon too, seeing him exhausted and holding his medal and feeling this intense burst of pride and joy for him. We both had a milestone that day and got to have them together.
Totally worth the agony I am feeling in the legs today.