Monday, October 13, 2008

Spectating

Yesterday we went to Chicago to cheer Rod's sister on in the Marathon. It was a strange feeling all together. Not running it myself. The race cancellation last year and all the baggage that went along with that. My Dad and Rod's Dad both gone from this earth. I attempted to just push all my feelings aside as God decided to work on my heart to appreciate everyone who came to cheer me on last year.

There is a whole lot of waiting and walking for spectators of the Chicago Marathon. Thankfully, I had brought snacks for the girls as well as paper and crayons. We didn't get to the marathon until my sister-in-law was half way through the race so that cut off some of our waiting time. Then there was all that goes along with having a newborn - feeding and diaper changes - it helped make time go by. Still, it's difficult to get into a position where one can actually see their loved one run the race. The finish line was a mess last year that I never was able to experience. This year I attempted to find a place to watch the runners so I could experience it as a spectator. I found it too difficult to attempt with kids unless you really want to make it your goal. You can find a place to watch people but without an obvious sign for the spectator or the runner, it's extremely difficult to find each other.

My mother-in-law was able to spot Rhonda once around mile 13 but Rhonda said she never saw any of us. It was really interesting being on the spectator side this year. Minus the newborn, I probably would have tried a lot harder to find Rhonda or a couple of my Team in Training teammates that I heard were running in memory of my Dad.

To everyone who cheered me on last year, I didn't realize the effort involved. Thank you over and over again. And as for a future marathon, being a spectator just stirred the fire. I want to cross the finish line in Chicago! And I definitely learned I need to wear identifiable colors (like a Team in Training jersey) and my support team cheering me on needs large signs on a pole with big balloons.

Rhonda finished under 5 hours and didn't collapse in the unseasonable heat (although not nearly as hot as last year - she said there was ample water and Gatorade at every station this year.)

Congratulations Rhonda and all the other marathon runners. It is truly an accomplishment!

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