My Marathon Man

Well, yesterday was a very big day around here. After months of training and preparation, the time had finally arrived to put all those miles and meters to the test. It was with a jubilant and beatific heart that I supported my husband as he ran in the OC Marathon.

As you can see, this was no local community event. Nearly 30,000 people, some journeying from as far as New York, turned out for the race.

With that said . . . I believe I have earned the right to brag just a smidge. Yes? For what kind of wife would I be, if I didn’t boast a little, right? And this being Michael’s first half-marathon, I am ridiculously proud of how well he did. Below are his stats. The goal was to come in under two hours, which he did! Yay, Michael!

Would it be terrible to say I am proud of me as well? This weekend marks my earliest wake-up call EVER, rousing at a dismal 4:15 in the morning. It’s a deplorable time of day, I assure you. There was no rising sun to greet me, no pastel-hued sky, streaked with oranges, pinks, and yellows, and there were no melodic birds to sing me a wake-up song. Mist, drear, grey, and dark — this is 4:15 a.m. I would not have had it any other way, however; for one being the very fact that, with any long-distance activity, where distance and stamina are imperative, one must “prepare” by partaking in something called “Carb-loading”. And, being the self-sacrificing wife I am, I supported my husband in this, too. Here is a peek at what we had for dinner the night prior.

Shrimp Bistro Pasta

Luau Salad

Linda’s Fudge Cake

It was not easy, mind you, but I suffered through every bite.

After our bellys were full, it was time to tuck ourselves into bed for a good night’s sleep. Or try to sleep, anyway; we were all pretty jazzed. I’ll tell you, 4:15 came with all the splendor of a root canal. But alas, moaning and vacillating, I trudged my way toward the bathroom, dunked my head in the sink and assembled my bleary self in an impressive twenty minutes.

Below are a few pictures of the day.

And they’re off!

After dropping Michael and his sister off at 5:30, we headed straight to Kean’s for a cup of eyelid-prying coffee, not above pressing our enervated cheeks against the glass when they wouldn’t grant us entrance a minute before 6:00.

Ah, bliss.

Coffee in hand, we quickly got back into the car and made our way to a look-out point where the runners would be passing by shortly. This is at mile 7.5. My stud is the strapping man in the yellow shirt, black shorts, with the black-pack strapped to his chest, desperately trying to break away from the bottlenecked herd! He even managed a small smile for me. Or is that a grimace? I can’t tell . . .

Run, my love, run!

run  ~ A very short clip of Michael crossing the finishing line. I would like to apologize in advance for the obnoxious and obscene woman shouting in the background; she simply loves her husband very much. ;)

He finished! Check out that medal!

So proud of you!

I cannot help but laugh as I look at this picture. Take a peek at my hand. Do I love my husband? Yes. Do I want to touch his disgustingly sweaty body at this point? Not so much.

Michael’s sister, Kristin, on the left, and his mother, Susan, sandwiched between her exorbitantly tall children.

Michael’s training buddy, Aaron, and his lovely wife — and my dear friend — Tiana!

Mother and son.

After the sudorific activities had come to close, and our marathoners had showered, it was time to EAT. (On his phone, Michael has an app that stats how many calories he burns on a run. On this run alone, he exceeded 1800!) Anyhow, we left the decision of where to eat up to them. And they chose . . .

The Lazy Dog Cafe! Michael and I dine here almost every weekend. Fabulous food, atmosphere, and if you have a dog, you’re welcome to bring him/her along and sit on the patio. They have a great selection of beer, too.

And what did Mr. Maraonther himself choose as his post-run meal?

Why, a hamburger and french-fries, of course!

What a day . . . The whole experience of being there, cheering on someone I love dearly, surrounded by others doing the same, was somewhat heady. I can see what makes an avid sportsman avid. Additionally, I was very inspired by the variation of people who came out for this event. There were some men and women well into their fifties and sixties, who, might I add, were keeping up, if not surpassing, those significantly younger. I am a firm believer of long-term health; the way you treat and care for your body in the early years, will have a great impact on how good (or bad) it feels later on. I exercise regularly and eat well, not only because I desire a healthy appearance, but because feeling good is important to me. Running a marathon, though? . . .

May I be honest and tell you that quite literally scares the gum drops out of me? I don’t think I could do it. There were complications at my birth; the umbilical wrapped around my neck, which brought about an emergency C-section. I believe this may have affected my lungs and breathing. Holding my breath for any longer than 15-20 seconds is painful and when I sing I must consistently gulp for more oxygen. My IT bands (the tendons running along the side and front of the thigh) are tighter than guitar strings. This makes running very difficult.

I don’t run. It hurts. Badly.

However, I deplore the word “can’t” fervently. And I suppose if someone would have told me three years ago that I would someday complete a 750 page novel, I would have thought them mad. My God is not a God of can’t. Anything is possible through Him who gives me strength.

So . . . I am thinking of beginning to train now, in preparation for next year’s half-marathon. Truly, this would be a great challenge for me, but to do this with my husband would be something I doubt I would ever forget. I shall indeed pray about it.

How about you? Is this something you have done? Would ever do? Is there a goal in which you need to push yourself toward? I would love to pray about that if you’ll let me.

Happy Monday/Tuesday, my friends!

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49 thoughts on “My Marathon Man

  1. Holy cow! That is a LOT OF, let me repeat LOT OF people. I would have loved to have been there to see them start out. How the heck do they go without tripping all over eachother?

    Must have been an awesome experience. Kudos to the Hubby. Those are pretty impressive stats in that many people.

    • Jennifer,

      It was insanity! But surprisingly it was well managed sanity. But you’re not too far off with the cow reference; truly, it was much like spectating a stampede of prairie beasts. RE: “not tripping over another” — truthfully, I don’t know. Michael says that you just sort of inch your way forward one shuffle at a time, trying not clip the back of people’s ankles. I imagine once they have taken to the course, the “herd” thins out in areas, the front being the least copious area.

      Awesome, it was . . . and thank you, I will pass him your kudos. ;)

  2. Whew! Good for your hubby and go for it. Running is certainly not my forte. I blame it on bad knees. I’m reading this while eating a bowl of ice cream by the way. ;)

  3. Pretty impressive all right!!!! Not only the amount of running and training that took place, but the impressive wifely sacrifice you had to make the night before with the whole carb loading thing. Must’ve been so hard .:)

  4. Dang, that is FAST!! I’m seriously in awe of your husband’s speediness. On my best days I’m almost double his best average lap time. You have every right to be proud. I’m proud of him through you!

    Girl, TRAIN! Train slowly, train smart, train with people who know more about running than you do, but train. If your doctor says go for it, there’s no reason not to. You should have seen my first letter asking for support when I started training with Team in Training: “Hi friends and family! Guess what? I’m training for a half marathon. Aaaaand you can stop laughing now.” Because I knew they would be. Me, the girl least likely to run, ever. The girl who actively spoke out against running. The girl who called her new friend stupid after learning she ran for fun. But it’s the best thing I ever did.

    When I started training there definately was pain, but I got it checked out, and there was no injury. It was just the kind of normal pain that comes with using your body in a new way. The aches and pains subsided after a few weeks, and I kept going. A never ran, either, until he saw me do it and figured that if I could do it, anyone could. :) He had knee problems, didn’t think he could handle the impact, until he ran and found out that he could. My new running evangalism is based around “if I can do it, anyone can.” And a lot of people from my church who supported me through my training have started running and have found that they can do it, too.

    You can do it, Cara! If you want to. Don’t let the can’t’s keep you down!

    • Christy! You are such a strong support and inspiration! I feel empowered and lifted up by all you had to say. Thank you for sharing your enthusiasm and positivity with me. :)

      I have already begun to train! This week I have run 4 miles, and hope to log in another 4 by Sunday. The ankle has recovered — still a bit tender after runs, but that’s to be expected — and the foam roller is working wonders on my IT bands; my only issue is this reoccurring cramp on my right side. I am going to go to the doctor next week, as I have intestinal issues that refuse to work themselves out, argh, but I am hoping that my body will adjust to the rigors of running and the cramp will go away!

      How awesome that you and A can do this together!

      You are wonderful, thank you!!!
      Xoxo,
      C

  5. Congrats to your husband on his success! I admire anyone who has this kind of discipline. And to you…look at those cool action pics! Good job! You crack me up in the video clip!

    • Donna, thank you!

      LOL — the video clip . . . I think you may have been the only one to watch that, thank GOD! I debated whether or not to put that up there, as I sound like I should have a straight-jacked clocked around my body, but it was just too good not to share. I am glad YOU enjoyed it! ;)

      Hope you are having a wonderful week thus far!

  6. What fun! A fun day (despite your grumbling at the late night start – a grumble and a little adversity are necessary ingredients for a rousing story of triumph, after all), a fun piece of writing, and a fun challenge for next year. Yes, and fun to read:)

    • You are so right, M! Normally, I am not much of a grumbler, as attitude dictates thoughts, and thoughts dictate behavior, but I thought a bit of grousing added that touch of atmosphere and setting. Wife first, but writer a verrrry close second. LOL.

      So glad you enjoyed this! I certainly enjoyed writing it.
      :)

  7. Not sure how long you two lovebirds have been married, but I hope and pray that your impassioned love lasts a lifetime. Congrats on the half marathon–and the all the yummy food consumed pre-and post-race. Made my hungry!

    • You are very kind to make such a statement, thank you. It may or may not surprise to learn we have been married for nearly 8 years. :) We work very, very, very hard at our marriage. It is, most definitely, the most difficult, challenging, and frustrating relationship I have ever encountered. I would trade it for nothing.

      Thank you!! Ah, the food. I am paying sorely for that this week. LOL! Sorry to have made you hungry. Go drink a glass of water with a wedge of lemon; curbs the appetite!

  8. First let me extend my congratulations to your husband for finishing his first half marathon, in the top 37% if I read that correctly. His stats are amazing! Second, I want to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your post because it placed me there among the crowds cheering him on. And finally…..the shrimp bistro pasta looks to die for!! Did you make it yourself? My mouth is watering as I type this…

    Have a wonderful evening!

    elisa

    • Elisa, you are so kind! I will pass these congrats on to him. :) And yes, you read correctly; top 37%! So, so proud of him!

      I am thrilled you enjoyed the post and could vicariously root and cheer for him. Did you watch the clip at the end? LOL — I sound like a barnyard animal!

      Ah, alas, I did not make the shrimp pasta; though it probably wouldn’t be too hard to recreate. It’s from The Cheesecake Factory, one of our most favorite restaurants!

      You have a wonderful day as well, my friend!

  9. YAY Michael! my husband has run marathon’s , tri-athalons and such…It is always thrilling for him as well as for us! I am not a runner though, I broke my right leg in 4 places as well as twisted my pelvis…me running is almost comedic! I will add you and your challenge to my prayers however. :)

    • Thank you, Jess! Wow! A triathlon would certainly be a feat . . . Not sure if the hubby or I will ever go that far, but it’s certainly not out of the question. You are right, though; such a treat to be able to support and cheer them on as they meet their goals after so much time spent in training and preparation.

      Oh, you poor thing! I am not one who entrains the cant’s and wont’s, but I do believe that some injuries or birth defects can absolutely alter one’s ability to partake in certain sports and activities. You obviously have found other ways to exercise and stay fit, as you look wonderful. ;)

      Thank you for your prayers, friend!!

  10. Congrats to hubby! Yay!! What a fantastic accomplishment and you have every right to be proud. It would be great to train and be a part of it next year. let us know if you decide to and how your training goes.

    • Thank you, Jenny! With an ambivalent heart, I am looking forward to coaxing my body into submission. The temptation is to push it, and that’s usually when you incur an injury. I will have to smart about this, listening to my body every literal step of the way. Will do! :)

  11. That’s so exciting, way to go Michael! Those stats are great! I have to ask what kind of shoes did he wear and did he get blisters? I love this post and all the pictures. That pre-race dinner looks so good! And I think it’s wonderful you are considering running next year. You are a strong woman and I know with His guidance, you can do whatever you set your mind to do. I’ll be running a 5K (baby stuff) Memorial Day weekend with my girlfriends that I grew up with. We have been friends our whole lives and still get together once a month to do something fun or crazy or both! We’ll all be turning 50 within the next year. It sure doesn’t feel like I’m that old. :)

    Xoxo!

    Lori

    • Thank you, Lori! He has been keeping up with the comments, but I will pass on your congrats to him, too!

      LOL — the shoes! Those are Vibram Five Fingers. It must have been 3 or 4 years ago, now, that Michael came home talking about these “special” shoes that are designed to simulate a naked-running foot. So, like any sound, rational wife, I gave him a look and said, “Have you lost your mind?” But, turns out they are actually pretty darn awesome, and since then have become unbelievably trendy. Michael “forced” a pair upon me about 2 months ago, and it wasn’t more than a week later that I fractured my foot; however, I have run 4 miles this week, and the ankle is holding up!

      Thank you of your your encouragement and support. Yes, with Him, I can do anything!

      50?! My goodness, you don’t look anywhere near that age! You are gorgeous, Lori, not to mention clever and kind. Truly, 50 isn’t old; really you’re just half-way there. ;) How wonderful that you and your friends make the time to get together and let loose for some crazy fun!

  12. Just to let you know, I feel your pain about 4:15 in the morning. However this is my wake up call daily…. well 4:15 the alarm goes off… I lay in bed till 4:30 thinking about how much I hate waking up at 4:15. HAHA!

    He looks great for having just ran! I wish I looked half that good after my 4 mile walk. HAHA! His stats are awesome as well. Glad you guys had so much fun that day.

    I am not a fan of running either. I tell Trent that I can’t run because bad knees run in my family and I really want to be able to walk when I am old…. So far he has bought it!

    • Oh, Jenna, really? Yuck! I am sorry to hear that; though, I suppose you are probably able to end your day much earlier than most, right? A long, long time ago I used to have a job that started at 6 and was finished by 2. Was kinda nice, actually . . .

      LOL — I actually thought the same thing when I saw him. I was afraid he was going to look like walking death. He’s extremely fair skinned and usually comes home with dark purple splotches under his eyes after long runs. Thank you for your well-wishes!

      Bad knees really are a hindrance; however, I just can’t accept “can’t” for very long. And as this passion belongs to my husband, I want desperately to share it with him! But if you are Trent are content to walk, I say more power to you!

      • Yes, I am at least content to walk and since Trent loves me, he will walk with me.. As it sounds like you will start running :)

        No, I do not get out early. I work 12 hour days. BUT I do get paid OT, so it all works out in the end,but I will take your pity. HAHA!

      • I love walks with Michael — some of our favorite time is spent simply walking. :)

        Whew, twelve hours, eh? Well, OT is something at least; hopefully the sumptuous vacations make up for those long hours!

  13. Such a fun morning supporting our men! We are going to do it next year with them for sure! We can do it Cara! haha Love you so so much!

  14. You’re just a young ‘un! I remember my sister running her first half-marathon when I was in my 20s, and I couldn’t imagine running for close to 2 hours! But now I’ve done three 10-milers, three halfs, and one full marathon. It’s weird how we change! I do some blogging about running, and there are some other great running blogs, too. If you do decide to train for it, just keep the small goals in mind… thinking about all 13 miles at the beginning is pretty daunting. As you mentioned, it’s like writing a novel… you can’t worry about the other 80,000 words until you get started on the first chapter. Good luck!!!!!!!!

    • Ah, well I do thank you kindly, Anne . . . As I slowly creep upon 30, I do not “feel” as young as I once did; however, feeling young is up to me!

      What a wonderful collection of achievements you’ve amassed! A full marathon, to me, is tantamount to jogging to the moon. LOL. As you say, I shall start small, training my body to endure short runs. Luckily I have a very supportive husband who can guide and coach me along the way!

      Thank you so very much for stopping by and leaving your advice/comments. Much appreciated.

  15. A HUMUNGOUS CONGRATULATIONS TO MICHAEL, CARA! And in under two hours?! Woah, I am SO impressed! (And already huffing and puffing / clutching my side just thinking about it, haha ) So inspiring&uplifting to read about!

  16. First off congrats to your hubby!! That is awesome. I’ve never been a long distance runner…I played sports through college and volleyball, basketball and fast pitch do not require running like that. That being said I have decided that I would like to expand my running and have started running the past couple months. I am down to 11 minute miles… (hey that is good for me! LOL) I loved hearing you cheer your man on…it was not even close to obnoxious ;)

    • Thank you, Ninali! Yes, you and I sound about the same: sports in high school, but never much long-distance running. Way to go on the 11 minute mile! That is wonderful! Depending on how tired on I am, I vacillate between 10-12.

      Oh. you’re sweet to say, but I know I sound like a mental patient escaped. LOL. What we do for love, eh?

      Hope you and the children are acclimating into your new home!

  17. That’s pretty cool! Good for your hubs and his sister!

    Running doesn’t come easy to me it never has but I have started to try and run a mile as fast as I can every other day. Surprisingly I have found I like to do it when it’s totally quite just me the treadmill and focusing all my energy on what I am doing in that moment and it’s like meditation it’s great. I will never do a half marathon though.

    Good luck to your endeavor to become a runner, just listen to your body. Check out a resistance stretching DVD on Amazon it helped me a ton.

  18. This post is so sweet. Its so nice hearing your love and admiration for your husband. I’m sure it was much easier for him to complete his 1/2 with you behind him supporting and encouraging. Every New Year, I reflect and amend my ongoing bucket list of things I would like to do. A half marathon is actually on my list; however, l share similar sentiment in that it also terrifies me. I do not have the best lung capacity (but I’m sure with endurance building it would improve) running bores me to death, and I hate the idea of failing. All of these things hold me back from trying, but I also can imagine how much pride I would feel from accomplishing the race. I am torn… I’m looking forward to hearing your decision! You will have to keep your readers posted :) Also, thanks for sharing your great pictures! I am now craving a tasty burger ha.

    Best,
    Amber

    • Thank you, Amber! I think one of the greatest qualities you can bring into a marriage is fierce support. Not the sort of wishy-washy, half-hearted “Good job, honey”, but the fervent, genuine, look-like-a-fool support that speaks loud and clear to the one receiving it. I am quite an extrovert, so this can very easily resemble insanity, however. ;)

      Does your husband run? Would this be something you two could do together, to help alleviate some of the boredom and make it more of a bonding experience? I admit, I have always enjoyed running, and would have been a runner had I not struggled with knee-pain, breathing, etc… For me, it was only a matter of conquering the hindrances. Now, this might sound like a platitude and somewhat trite, but you mentioned failing, and as I struggle with perfectionism, I am very familiar with this toxin in my own life. What I had to do in order to move past that block, was change my opinion/definition of what failure was. Was it putting my all into something, and in the end not meeting the desired goal? Or was failing never trying at all? As I pray about making a decision in regard to the half-marathon, I will be praying that you might make yours, too!

      Oh, that burger . . . let me tell you, it was sensational! Do you have a Lazy Dog Cafe near you?

      • Ugh.

        I was in need of a distraction and decided to pop on over here and re-read some of the lovely comments people left, only to find that I had replied to you with the most poorly constructed comment EVER! Talk about lazy; I obviously didn’t proof-read before hitting the “post comment” button. How embarrassing! And I call myself a writer. Sorry you had to go through that, Amber. It’s edited now.

        Hope you’re having a great Friday!

        ~ Cara

  19. Cara,
    Loved your description of food and foot races. My hat’s off to your husband and to your joyful support of his efforts. I completely relate to your attitude toward running. Not a natural runner myself, I finally took it up about ten years ago just becuase it is an efficient workout. I’ve never aspired to a marathon, half or whole, but I applaud all those who do!
    Judy

    • Thank you, Judy. It was special for me, being there from the very beginning, all the way up until he ran his last step.
      Definitely an efficient workout — I have logged 6 miles this week and going strong!

  20. That is fantastic!! What an accomplishment. I know you are so proud of him. Those food pics look fantastic!! Makes me hungry and it’s only 9 in the morning. :) Have a wonderful day, Cara!

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