As I was driving in on the usual ride to work today, I realized that this weekend will mark another milestone. Five years ago this weekend I had my first experience at a marathon. Doug and I had just been dating for a month or so and he was running in the Gobbler Grind Marathon.
The night before, we attended a concert with friends and we were up until all hours of the night/morning. Then he got up and ran a marathon. I remember thinking why is this so important? I mean...26.2 miles? And he's up til 2:00 am? Why do people do this? There were a lot of questions. Most of them started with...why?
Not knowing what this was really all about, Doug gave me his approximate finish time. I didn't get up with him to see him off. Instead I opted to sleep in and head out to the finish line to see him there. (Something most people who don't understand would do). Luckily, this is a pretty small marathon so I was able to sit in my warm car and was able to watch people cross the finish line as the snow flurries came down. Still thinking why? It's cold outside. It's snowing for Heaven's sake. Why, people, why?
I was there for Doug at the finish line to give him a big smooch and to congratulate him. But honestly at that time, had no clue. No clue on what it actually meant to travel 26.2 miles. No clue on why people actually do this. No clue on what it takes to run this distance. No clue on what it meant to have someone waiting for you at the finish line.
Five years have come and gone. This year I will be running the half marathon. Doug will be running the full. I will, again, be there when Doug crosses the finish line, cheering him on and to give him another big smooch. The only difference this year is that I have a lot more knowledge and understanding of this thing called Marathon. And now...I understand WHY.