The Marathon

Jeff ran his marathon Sunday. 
I had NO idea marathons were so much fun!
For the people watching the marathon.
I’m not sure if they are fun for the people running.
You’ll have to ask them.

We left one child behind with grandparents (he had a very important football game) and took 4 kids for this little weekend getaway…which I reminded them quite often, the sole purpose of which was to support their father. 

We stayed in a hotel room, 3 to a bed.  That was NOT the fun part.  Why do kids get SO hyper in hotel rooms?
024 When one of the beds got too squishy someone decided sleeping on the floor on layers of pillows was a better alternative.  In the middle of the night, I was jealous, because I wish I would have claimed the space first.
Here’s Jeff at the 11 mile mark.
 034  035 The kids loved seeing him (and vice versa), and although the streets were packed, with the help of Abbey…she has a special talent with direction and maps that I don’t possess, we navigated the streets successfully.   I had a huge stroller and a very very good little 7 year old who had to keep up with us.   We were able to see Jeff at 3 different points, and during the 25th mile, Abbey and Isaac ran with him a little.
We did a lot of waiting…which meant certain someone’s did a lot of laying all over filthy city sidewalks.  053052 054Here’s Jeff at mile 25 pretending like he can’t finish.  (He really is pretending, I’m not joking.)  I really couldn’t believe how good he did, and how great he looked every time we saw him.  It’s not that I didn’t think he could it, it’s just that he wasn’t that confident in himself.
A couple days before the marathon he was getting all nervous and edgy.  I finally gave him a little pep talk in the car on the way down.  I told him there were 3 scenarios.
1. He could try running the marathon but quit if it got too hard.  And then he’d have to tell people he was running a marathon that he quit.
2. He could try running the marathon and end up having to walk.  And you know everyone wants to know, after they've heard you’ve run a marathon, if you walked.  I don’t think that is really a fair question (usually asked by people who can’t run a block) but nevertheless, you’d have to say yes.
3. You could run the marathon.  The whole thing. 
That’s it.  It’s not complicated.  So shut up about it.  (I didn’t say that part.  Well, maybe I did, under my breath.)
His time, since you want to know. 3.48.
At the end:
074Trying to stand up after the race: 076 Trying to walk back to the hotel after the race:078 I didn’t MAKE him push the stroller by the way, although it appears so in this photo.  He needed to hang onto it like an elderly man needs a walker.
He says he’ll never do one again, but asking that now, I think, is like asking a mother in a labor when she’s going to have her next.
Give it time.
P.S. Watching a marathon makes you feel like you want to run one.  It did for me.  I got a little envious.  All these women running…all different ages, all different shapes and sizes, all different speeds…it’s awesome.   But when it comes to actually lacing up my shoes and getting my butt outside in the chilly air, hmmmmm…I think of 1000 other things I should/could/want to be doing.  Darn!


  1. First, hats off to Jeff for his time. I've run two, and that's a very respectable time. And he schooled me, so . . .
    Yes, a marathon is very like childbirth. I'd do one again in a second if my hip wasn't whacked.
    And we stayed in hotel last weekend in Utah. I don't know what it is. My kids were lucky to come out concussion-free from all the bed-hopping.

  2. Congrats to Jeff. What a great time! I am sure it was inspiring all around. So great for the kids to see him do it.

    emily@remodeling this life

  3. WOW! Congrats to Jeff!! What a great finish and great time he made. Most of us change our mind after the pain goes away... it's like crack. gotta get your next fix. I've done 3 half marathons. ANY full marathon runner is my hero!! :)

  4. I am so impressed. Really. I don't know how they do it. But they do, and good for Jeff. I think if running races becomes your thing, then your bound to do it again.

  5. wow!!! i love how you compare it to childbirth!!

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  7. So funny how you wrote about watching a marathon making you envious. I know EXACTLY what you mean. My neighbor just started running and when she told me I thought "What the heck, I should do that." Then she ran a 5K and I really started to feel envious that I could do that. HA - but like you, I have yet to lace up the sneaks and get out there!!! Heehee...
    Congrats to Jeff!! I'm impressed by anyone who runs them!! :)

  8. Wow! Good for Jeff! My husband and I both ran in a half marathon on Saturday. There is a marathon on the same course, and I'm always soooo relieved to be almost done with my race as the marathoners take the turn-off for the next half of their race. Ouch. I have zero desire to go beyond 13.1 miles, but I absolutely admire anyone who can do 26.2.

  9. I completely agree! Watching a marathon...makes you want to run one! Those marathoners are so inspiring.

  10. That is an incredible accomplishment! Very inspiring and I know that I could never do it! I tried to run a 5K back when I was in my 20's and it nearly killed me!!

  11. Congratulations to Jeff! I recently ran a 5k and thought that was difficult! Kudos to him - he should be so very proud of himself.

    My daughters ran cross country and had a t-shirt that read, "My sport is your sports punishment."

    Yeah to Jeff!

  12. i can't even begin to fathom what it takes to do that. i can barely make it through my 3 mile run on my comfy treadmill at my comfy gym. WOW! i bet you are soooo proud of him.

  13. Congrats to your husband!! My husband just ran the Chicago Marathon for Naomisfund.com & I felt the exact same way watching him & all those other great runners. It was amazing to see all the different runners & so fun to watch. I was also inspired to run one myself, but then I came back home to my four girls & decided I run enough during the week keeping up with them. :)) Jeff looked great @ mile 25...that is a great feeling when you cross that finish line! Not that I can say I really know that feeling, but just watching...one can assume that's how you would feel!! :))
    I love seeing your pictures--you have 5 sweet children & I could just eat your 5th one up!!! Soo cute!! Take Care!

  14. Thats awesome!! my sister just ran the Womens Nike marathon in San Francisco this past weekend. She is ALWAYS wanting me to run with her-but I told her: I only run if someone is chasing me. Its just not my thing. LOL

  15. Wow, good for Jeff! I'm kind of jealous, too. Not outrageously jealous. Just enough to think, "man, I wish I had the time and motivation to do that." Then take another sip of nice, hot, sitting-still-while-I-drink-it coffee.

  16. KUDOS to your husband.
    I'm tempted to run a 10K or half marathon, but I don't really have the desire to go for the full. I've heard that once you do a half, you want the full. Hmmmmm ...

  17. Way to go Jeff! I've done one, and checked it off my things to do before 40 list, but no more. Training takes too much time. I don't know what it is about hotels, but my kids get hyper too!!! Glad everyone had fun.

  18. Congrats to you - a marathon is always something I've wanted to do, but it's the time commitment I'm not ready to make! Awesome for you Jeff and to you Sarah for being fine while he goes out for hours to run!

  19. Wow! That is quite an accomplishment- Congrats to your hubby! I'll bet you felt like a proud "Mama" when he crossed that line. After all most of us end up mothering our husbands in one way or another. And..why DO kids act so weird in motel rooms? It was always like a free-for-all when my kids were little and we went anywhere too! Good luck with changing that- Diana

  20. GO JEFF! And such a great time! That is awesome. I'm with you though Sarah! Quite happy to be cheering people on from the sidelines. :)

  21. What a GREAT time! Congrats to him! I run the half marathon that we have in town every year... and when I'm done, I think I'll run the whole next year... but when it comes down to it, I don't want to spend the TIME to train for a whole and do the half. Last year, my 12 year old daughter trained and ran with me and I have to say it was great bonding time! When you're out running for an hour or two they just start telling you everything going on in their lives!

  22. Des Moines marathon by chance? Several of my friends ran the 1/2 marathon this weekend in Des Moines and one brave friend ran the full. She started to train this spring, not sure how she did it - she has 2 young kids and works full time.

  23. That's a great time and he looked good there at the end. Kudos to you--I've trained for and run two full marathons and a few half marathons, and I know the training time Jeff had to put it meant you did a lot of heavy lifting at home. This makes me want to run another one!

  24. Congrats to him! I've done a couple of halfs (halves?), and yes, I walked some and no, I'm not ashamed to admit it. Seriously, it was still 13 miles! ha ha

  25. Congrats to Jeff! Our younger daughter ran her 4th marathon in Chicago on 10/10/10...hot an not her best time which was 3:30. I so admire all marathon runners, but have no desire to run one. Daughter's next one will be Boston. Can't wait to go watch.

  26. First, Congrats to Jeff!!!! It is so much fun to watch and run one. I did one 7 years ago and I can't wait to do another or at least a half...one of these days that I find the time to train for it. I think the training is the worst part...really, it takes so much time out of your week.

    And his time was great...I think I did 4:30ish...7 years ago, which means I was a lot younger then I am now!

  27. well...it would have been cool to have 26 comments for this post on marathons but i am messing that up with comment 27.

    watching a race is exhilerating.
    it totally makes everyone want to do it.
    it's contagious.

    i can't imagine EVER ever EVER running a marthon.
    i don't think i want to run for 3 hours unless someone is behind me with a gun or coming after me.
    that would be the only situation that i would do it.
    and i would die from a heart attack before i made it anyway.


    way to go jeff.
    you are a rockstar.

  28. I LOVE the picture at the end where Jeff is trying to stand up. I can just imagine the seemingly magnetic pull between his butt and the sidewalk!

    I used to hate running. I could run for about 5 minutes before I had to quit and walk. It was sheer drudgery. But I started getting in better shape doing other types of exercise and before I knew it, I could run (and I use the term loosely) for 20 minutes straight. Then 30 minutes. Then I did a 5K and finished in 28 minutes. It was such a high! So I decided to see if I could run for 45 minutes without walking. I continued building up to where I can now run for an hour without dying, although my feet and back are whipped at about 45 minutes. I have much respect for Jeff, there's nothing like setting a truly challenging goal and accomplishing it.

    The thing I have discovered about running is that it is a great form of meditation. I love being out alone, sans children, and smelling and seeing the country around me. I love the solitude and the feeling of connecting with my body. I love to talk with God while I run. I love to get my mind right while I run. Running has become a major mental health boost for me.

    If you want to give it a try, start small, just 5 or 10 minutes running and the rest walking. And as far as finding the time, just do it with Patrick in the stroller, I take my 2 littlest ones with me often. You'll slowly build up your stamina and before you know it you'll be putting Jeff in charge of the kids while you sneak away for runs on your own. The important thing is to enjoy the mental and emotional benefits of taking time for yourself every day.

  29. no no watching bleeding people and hobbling people run by at mile 25 does not make this chick want to run one!! ;) I was the cheer squad for a 25 mile marker many moons ago... bleeding people... ;) seriously... That is something to celebrate!! A friend ran the Portland Marathon last week and she is on cloud 9!! I am secretly considering a mini tri this year... then I get cold wet feet... ;)

  30. Congrats, Jeff!

    I ran my one (and only) marathon at age 25. I didn't train nearly long enough (only 2 months) but kept telling myself that if Oprah can do it at 40 then I can do it at 25. I finished it. I hated it. I will never, ever, ever, ever run another full marathon again. A half, maybe. I would go through 10 more horrible labors before I would run a full marathon again.

  31. Wow, that's a great time! Nice work Jeff! I just ran my first 10K this summer and that made me re-think my goal to run a marathon. 10K is just perfect. :)

  32. Great job, Jeff! His time is awesome and he really did look great in all the pictures. Very inspiring...maybe after grad school.

  33. Hey - was that the Baltimore marathon? The course goes through my neighborhood! Congrats to Jeff!