Back in May we took a few-weeks old MAD and M and headed to downtown Cleveland to cheer on one of my college friends who was running the Cleveland Marathon. We caught him around mile 17 on the lake shore and erupted into cheers and shook our cow bells and waved our signs. Then we loaded back into the car and drove to the finish line where we cheered for him again. Tom is a fast runner so we were in place to see the first athletes cross the finish line right around the 2:30 mark. Tom ended up in 38th place out of nearly 12,000 finishers. Not bad for someone who smoked and drank with the best of them back in college. On the drive home Mark said he wanted to run the same race for his 40th birthday.
I didn’t think much of his comment until later in the summer when he downloaded the Couch to 5k app to his iPhone and started going out a few evenings a week to complete the run/walk training. Every other night without fail he went out after the kids went to bed and in just a few weeks he was running the entire 3.1 miles. I was surprised and impressed by his dedication because I figured it would fizzle out after a few weeks, like most exercise programs. But he caught the running bug and on a Thursday in in August I saw a flyer for a 5k race that weekend and (jokingly) said he should enter. He did and had a PR of 25 minutes.
Of course he did have the cutest cheering section of all the runners.
With a 5k under his belt he loaded the Bridge to 10k app on his phone and started increasing his runs. This time he had registered for a 10k race just 5 weeks away and had a goal to train towards. Needless to say he was up to 6.2 miles in no time and finished with an impressive 55 minute time.
Before this race M asked if she could cross the finish line with her daddy and I might have teared up a bit when he took her hand for the last few meters of the race. She has so much fun cheering for him and she was so proud to cross the finish line with him.
As soon as that race was over he was back at his every-other-night training. Leaving for 2-hour runs at 8:30 PM, running in the dark and eventually pushing himself to complete over 13 miles. Of course the search for a half-marathon began and in 2 weeks he’ll be running that race and we’ll be on the sidelines shaking our cowbells, waving our signs and cheering him on.
Over the last 5 months I’ve become a “running widow” and I couldn’t be any more proud.