Oh boy did I ever! This weekend was a true testament to this. When we got married last summer we should have had this added to our wedding vows. Not only is he my husband and best friend but also my business partner, co-worker and of course my running partner. We are also both certified running coaches and I have watched my husband for the past few months on a pretty awesome project.
One of his students that he has known since early childhood recently turned 13. As part of his Bar Mitzvah celebration he chose to run a half marathon and to raise funds for a cause that is very dear to him. I won’t divulge much more because I have asked him to share his story about all of this on here soon.
I watched them set out each weekend for their long runs and once a week for an additional training run together. I even was lucky enough to get to work with this boy a few times during his weekly runs and it was so fun to watch him transform as a runner and young man.
I had mentioned (and whined a bit) the past few weeks that I have some tendonitis in my foot that has kept me out of running. I had to bow out of the 10k that the boys were running as a preparation race for the half marathon and that was a bummer. Yesterday was the half marathon and as the week was coming to a close I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to participate in the race. I was bummed and although my foot was getting better it wasn’t 100% and I figured I would be better off waiting to get back into running.
I arrived back in NYC on Saturday night from a week in Chicago and was thrilled to see my husband waiting for me. That was until I saw him hobbling around with his own case of tendonitis that decided to flare up a day before the race. His big toe was red and swollen and didn’t look good. I talked him into some help (aka torture) and had him keep his foot in an ice bath for most of the evening.
We talked it over and decided it might be best for us to do a team effort for the race. So I suited up (it was a superhero run after all and our boy wanted us to run as Team Batman), put on my bib and met the boys at mile 5. It was my husband, our student and his friend from school and they were all looking great. I jumped in and to my surprise found out that the foot was holding up nicely. Our original plan was that I would take over at this point but the running actually seemed to help the foot a bit and he was able to stick it out.
We all ran together for the rest of the race and we adults finished the last 3 miles each with one of the boys as they split apart a bit. It was a really fun experience and both of our feet held up nicely with the even pace. I really enjoyed the last quarter of a mile as we approached the finish behind a wooded area and one of the boys could hear the crowds roar. I told him to take off and it was a blast to watch him sprint his way to the finish. Just before he ran away I told him to enjoy this and remember that he was about to become a half marathoner.
I can be very selfish about my running. Sometimes the distance and speed come more easily to me than others and although I recognize it, I am not always as easy on my husband. I have dragged him along on 20 mile runs and rolled my eyes when he has needed a drink of water or a restroom break. But when it comes down to it we have always been and always will be one awesome team. I watch him with admiration as he patiently teaches young children and guides them through new sports and activities. To be able to be a part of their journey to the finish of a half marathon today was an incredible experience. I am so proud of everything he does and he constantly shows me what it is like to be a great leader.
A congrats to everyone who ran long or raced this weekend. And a very special congratulations to Zach and Raf on their first ever half marathon. Not bad for 13!