Sunday, September 30, 2012

In The Time It Takes

Training for a marathon is hard.  Yeah.  I've never done it, true.  But we'll be wrapping up my husband's training this week, with the marathon in 7 days.  Training takes time and focus.  His time, his focus. 

So we get less time, less focus.

That understanding comes from 4 full marathon training seasons and countless halves.  With this 5th full, we finally got smart: family runs.  We pack Addie into her oversized jogging stroller and Cate and I lace up our own shoes on weekday evenings when the mileage on his plan is on the lower side, as opposed to the weekend runs that are in the double digits.  Sometimes the miles he needs to put in on his shorter runs still slightly exceed our comfort, so Cate and I will turn off at our halfway point and finish out while Michael pushes Addie the rest of his distance.  First half family run, second half mother/daughter and father/daughter runs.

This has certainly made the training schedule easier on me, on the girls.  We get more of Michael's time, more of his focus.  I also think that despite having to ratchet his pace down considerably, towing his family with him once or twice a week provides an extra layer of motivation and energy for the marathoner himself.  His stride looks a titch jauntier to me when he's got Addie in front of him and Cate at his side, me grinning at all of it from behind.

The photos above are from last week's partial family run.  Addie was busy and so could not join us.  At our halfway point of Cate's longest run to date, we stopped to take in the fall colors before they are gone. 

Rather, they stopped to enjoy the colors.  I stood back and witnessed with a thin phonecam between us, these extra minutes two people I love had to do something good for themselves, for each other, I watched them look out, each pointing at something wondrous across the river, I saw them lean in and share a laugh, sometimes talking, sometimes not, their hands constantly moving; at times play-punching each other, often one hand hooked in the other's.

Come May or June, well after the aches from the marathon have worn off, Michael will reservedly offer the interesting fact that registration for the 2013 marathon has opened.  He will test the waters a bit as he makes his way around to telling me he's thinking of running it again.  He will expect my usual pause as the thought of all the hours of his absence settle back in.  He will wait for my mild and guaranteed, albeit not wholly heartfelt, encouragement.

And this time I cannot wait to surprise him by skipping the pause and asking with most sincere enthusiasm if he has the training calendar worked out so we can highlight the family run nights.  We will all look forward to these weekly family runs with a purpose for another training season.  There will likely even be a bit more jumping for joy.

Michael's firstgiving page will be live for a few months after the run.  He is again raising funds for families like ours affected and enriched by Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome.  Click here to see how you can help: 26.2forRTS26.2forRTS.

No comments: