A Different Race Report

This race report is different from the others.  This race was very important to me but I didn’t run it.  I worried about all of the details that a runner would.  I worked to find solutions and to mitigate risks.  The race was the Marine Corps Marathon but I didn’t run it, my Lady did.

I felt blessed to be in the position that I was.  Some spouses support their significant others in their passions.  Amber and I share a passion for endurance running. My experience with marathons put me in a position to help her in a way that few could.  I know the silly things that athletes worry about.  I know the important things that athletes worry about!  I know that forgetting a stick of glide or your favorite silly band can result in a complete mental breakdown.  So when Amber unbuckled and climbed all through the car at 75 MPH because she couldn’t find her purse I calmly pulled over.  Sure enough, the purse was in the trunk and Amber’s blood pressure returned to normal at least until the crisis of the sports bra!

I can’t admit to knowing much of anything about sports bras other than they protect things I care very much about.  Against all advice, Amber decided to buy a new bra the day before the race.  After waiting 45 minutes for entrance to the expo we were unable to find decent sports bras.  There was a selection of about zero.  We searched the entire expo, most of it twice.  Something, perhaps divine intervention, told me that we ought to look at the sponsor’s booth one more time.  Amber did not want to.  I insisted.  Sure enough there were three or four different quality bras available!  I’m still not sure how we missed these bright pink things on the first pass.

A missing wallet is always a stressor.  Lack of underwear can be a stressor at least sometimes for some people.  Probably the biggest stressor is finding appropriate food at the right time while travelling.  I looked at maps of our travel route and found a restaurant that would be perfect.  More importantly we’d arrive at just the right time in the morning.  I went over the schedule with Amber.  She was worried, rightly so, about fitting in a shake-out run.  For that task she found a good location along the way as well as a place to eat.  I created a map with metro stations and restaurants we’d want to go to plotted.  I made reservations for restaurants.  I reserved a room two blocks from the White House and very close to a convenient metro station.  I made lists.  Lots of lists.  Will we need plastic bags?  Oh yes.  Wine?  Duh, this is for Amber!  Salty snacks?  You bet, and they’d better be accessible in the car.  I made lists of things I’d need and lists of things Amber would need.  I made lists of the lists and I checked them thrice.


I was not nervous on race day, not really.  I did not get to see her cross the line nor was I the first to see her after the race (my only regret).  I wanted Amber to achieve her goals but the fact of the matter is that she’d already made me proud.  The outcome, the finish time, was not in any way important to me.  Seeing her happy and proud is what mattered.  Being a part of that was a gift.  I’m happy to report that she did very well!  She ran at about the pace and time that I expected she could.  She earned a 34+ minute PR with a 3:47.  She made it to race day healthy and happy.  She worked harder than many people dream of and I was there to witness the pay off.  I can’t wait for the next one.


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