all the stories have been told, the race reports posted & while i am still mulling over fueling and nutrition and will post about that soon, i need to write about the most important things. my coach, husband & friend. i had to wait a couple of days to do this, because if i sob over my keyboard one more time, my laptop will surely start to spark and short out. but i think i have a handle on the waterworks this morning.
i'll start with marcia. the friend to whom i have been referring. she's more than a friend. when we first met five years ago, there was an instant connection, an instant karma & there was no turning back. we were in this. and we dragged our husbands & kids into it too. we are amazed at how much alike we are in some ways and in other ways we are so different we wonder how we can possibly like each other so much. friends like this come along once in a lifetime. so you just hang on & never let go. no matter what happens along the way.
marcia is a pro at race support. her husband, (my coach) has run - including sundays' - 18 (19?)marathons and i think she's been to every one. she comes to races armed & ready with maps, pace bracelets and watches. she plans when & where she'll be, how long it will take us to get to a certain point and when she'll need to be at the next point. and she nails down all the coffee stops in between. and all the while, she will document the day with her amazing photographs (here and here). and when you are lying in the grass in a glucose deprived delerium, she strokes your hair and reassures you that there is always a plan b. she and my husband rode 30+ miles all over the columbus course on sunday. she pedaled around on an old steel moutain bike, hopping sidewalks and has the bruises to prove it. i look forward to the day i can be on the other side and cheer her on at her first triathlon. her friendship is a gift and i am so glad i stopped to chat with her that day five years' ago.
steven. i've sung his praises here many times. so this will be short & sweet. he drives the marathon mobile to and from the races, and sitting up in the drivers seat, he misses all the fun conversation in the back. he too rode 30+ miles around columbus on sunday, he rings the cowbell, he lugs all the finish line gear for me. he cheers. and he rides up on the sidewalk at a moment when i need him most. i will finally get the chance to pay him back just a little bit when, this saturday morning, i take the kids down to the USGP races to watch him in his first ever cyclocross race. i can't wait to be the one ringing the cowbell for him.
coach. i never know where to start with coach. he hangs back with me on the big dog runs as i struggle to bring up the rear and encourages me to stay focused. he puts up with mile after mile of heavy breathing that makes any conversation impossible. he talks me off the ledge. he knows how much i like to geek out over the numbers and is always quick to provide all our stats. he pushes me and challenges me to do better. he paces me in half marathons 10 days after running the boston marathon in a nor'easter. he runs a marathon with me one month after doing a half ironman. i was worried that he'd have to endure 3 hours and 45 minutes of heavy breathing and little conversation on sunday. had no idea he'd be dealing with much worse. and while i've been on the other side of one of his races to cheer him on & even run with him a bit - it paled in comparison to all he's done for me. i don't quite know how to thank him for all the support for which i am beyond grateful. and so i'll just keep running, doing my best & hope he stays on this wild ride with me.