Monday, May 16, 2011

Marathon Musings ~ A Guest Post

A Note From the Sideline (by Amy's sister and mom)

Now that our sister/daughter is an accomplished marathon runner, we are becoming accomplished marathon spectators. We have to admit that when gearing up for the Sugarloaf Marathon yesterday there were moments we had our doubts about whether or not we should actually go. After all, it was two hours away and suppose to be in the 40s/50s and raining. We had other things to do. I had to work that night and the list goes on and on and on. And then we said ~ Holy crap! Amy is about to run 26.2 miles in the freezing rain and we are the ones making excuses as to why we can't make it! I guess even seasoned marathon spectators need some training and perspective occasionally.


So we hop in the car and begin our journey. We make a quick stop at the grocery store for some flowers but quickly decide they are too expensive--hey, even marathon spectators have to draw the line somewhere. We get back in the car and realize 5 miles down the road ~ Crap! Amy is running a freaking marathon and we were too cheap to buy flowers. Okay, so maybe we aren't that seasoned of spectators, but we are working on it.

Two hours and 20 tiny towns later, we arrive at the scene of the Sugarloaf Marathon and 15k in Kingfield, Maine. It's crowded. It's raining. The runners who have already finished look to be in so much pain that they could fall at any moment. There are men walking around with bloody nipples (Seriously, who would want to do this?).  Apparently Amy and her friends find some sort of appeal. 

We then set off in the comforts of the car to find Amy and her friends on the route.

 First, we see Christine and Susan ~ Wahoo girls! So exciting - our first spotting! We keep going in search of our main event--Amy. Next, we see Suzanne running in a pack of unidentified cohorts ~ That's nice that she found someone to run with. But still no Amy. So we head on. 

In the meantime, we continue our lengthy discussion about how miserable this looks, how much we dislike running, how we have no desire to run a marathon, let alone any other race, and how our beloved sister/daughter is absolutely crazy. 

Then we see her--towards the back of the pack running alongside Jen! From a distance, she looks pained. But as we pull up for a closer look there they are smiling. Smiling at mile marker 21 in 50 degree rainy weather with blistered feet and tight muscles. We run down about 10 yards to meet them.  They are in high spirits, tired, but positive. We stop for a few photo ops, run a few strides with them, and promptly get back in the car. 

We take a moment to shake the rain off and catch our breath after our 20 yard dash next to the marathoners. My mother looks at me and says ~ Ooh, that made me queasy. 

We, again, set off on the trail to find our next cheering spot. The discussion continues, only this time, statements include things like ~ Well, I would definitely never run without someone to run beside and I have no desire to do a marathon. That would just be torture.  

The next viewing spot we find is across from a water stand.  We sit, watch and wait in the rain for Amy and her sole sisters to come through the water tent. The hydration consultants are upbeat and greet everyone as they take their order ~ Water or Gatorade?  And they have "Eye of the Tiger" playing on loop very loudly.  As obnoxious as that song is, there is something about it that is just adrenaline producing.  Then we see Amy and Jen coming up over the hill and think WOW!  How amazing that they are still going and still smiling. And we think to ourselves about how amazing this feat is. 

Prior to her new running career, Amy's biggest athletic accomplishment was finishing in 8th place at the Maine state YMCA Swimming Championships her Senior year of high school (which anyone who knows anything about swimming in Maine knows was a wonderful accomplishment, yet not a huge athletic triumph). Yet here she is running her 3rd marathon in 2 1/2 years in the freezing, 50 degree rain with a smile on her face. Okay, maybe "crazy" and "determined" may mean the same thing depending on who you ask.  

We can't help but swallow hard and cheer Amy and her friends on to let them know how proud we are.

 We get back in the car and head for the finish line. Almost all the runners are through and packing up their things. It is pouring rain and freezing and we wait. We talk about how maybe we could start walking, but definitely not running and only with other people. We can see how people did the Sugarloaf 15k, but definitely not the Sugarloaf Marathon. And then we see Amy and Jen ~ Wahoo!  They are still smiling and soaked and are still running. 

The Sporty Moms (left to right): Jen, Amy and Christine
They finish the marathon hand in hand with a crowd welcoming them at the end. We see the camaraderie of the runners, the sense of accomplishment in Amy and our pride for her. Okay, Amy, you're not crazy. You're just a little stubborn... and fit. and healthy. and amazing!

Great job to the Sporty Moms, Amy, Jen, Christine and their friends Susan, Suzanne, and Emilie.


By the way, as we get in the car to head home we are cold, wet, a little queasy from our 20 yard dash. We are also inspired. A 5k it is! Maybe next time, we'll be the ones with the spectators.

After all, as Will Rogers, an American cowboy, comedian, humorist, social commentator, vaudeville performer, actor, baseball player and one of the best-known celebrities in the 1920s and 1930s, said ~ We can't all be heroes because someone has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by!

Thanks so much to Amy's mom and sister for cheering us on throughout a very wet, very cold morning. The support means more than you could possibly imagine! A 5K it is? We'll keep you to your word! Thanks again! 

Previously on Mainely Running