The Marathon & The Marriage

josh and jenny

Let’s see, in 2013 Josh stood at the end of, I dunno, a bunch of finish lines. NONE of them easy ones either. I spared him from most, after seeing how miserable and terrible the task of waiting for me actually is but some, I couldn’t help, I really wanted him to be there for. The Beach to Beacon was one of the worst, seeing as though he had to park like a mile away, only to sort of see me at the finish line, waiting in the rainy heat for 57 amazing minutes. Boston’s Run to Remember consisted of being woken up by my Mom and my Auntie Donna, who entered the hotel room screaming: “DO YOU HAVE CLOTHES ON!?!” Officially: he didn’t, as he had literally just stepped out of the shower. Then, they all waited (in the rain for most) with my two children who are absolutely zero percent of a picnic for a total time of 2 hours and 14 minutes. (This was my very first half after returning to running). The icing on the cake was that they were all holding magical signs that I missed, so zoned in on the finish line, that I completely forgot to look for them. Because it was the first large race since the Boston Marathon bombings, security was extremely tight. No one but runners allowed at the finish, medals distributed inside, same with food and water, with an extremely difficult means of exiting. The true gem, however, was the BAA Half Marathon, in which I made him get up at 5 in the morning (after sleeping on an air mattress), with NO coffee, NO breakfast, not even the OPTION of having breakfast or getting coffee, I mean, god forbid we’re not seventeen hours early for a race. Only to stand with my mother (who was thoroughly enjoying making fun of everyone, stating multiple times we were definitely in the ghetto) and Walter (recently divorced gentleman on the prowl) for 2 hours and 8 minutes. Did we get breakfast immediately after? Absolutely not. Why do that, we had to stick our hands up our bums until I almost tore someones eyeballs out of their head for some eggs. Grouch is an understatement. If I had a machete after that race in my hand, I would have shanked someone with it, for sure.

I saved the best for last though: Colt State Park half marathon. I made him exit his birthday party early because I needed my sleep. Then, I made him get up super dooper early so that he could sit on a bench, in the cold for 2 hours. Although this race was the best in terms of visibility (I got to see him three times), sitting outdoors, directly on the water, with a sweet breeze must have been everything he hoped for and then some. At the finish line, the only one he actually got to greet me at all year, so elated by my time of 2 hours, he picked me up and hugged me. My response: “Put me down before I throw up all over your face.” Nice, right??? Super. Then, in true Jenny fashion, I threatened everyone’s well-being until they took me to get food and proceeded to order 2 entrees. And then eat them both.

This was all PBM (pre Boston Marathon, that’s right, I gave it an acronym)

I think at the end of 2013 he was starting to feel relieved, I mean, we had made it right??? Jenny did everything she set out to do. Mission accomplished. Let’s move on. When I got the call about running Boston, I could almost see the life drain from his face. It was like someone just slapped him right across the cheek. And he was happy, don’t get me wrong, he is an AMAZING support system but this shit gets exhausting. We have two small children and I’m asking a lot. I eat, sleep, breathe, think, analyze, compare, breakdown and am anxiety ridden over running. It’s all I talk about. If I were him, I would probably stick a hot poker right up my butt. It’s like when he talks about woodworking: BOOOOOORING.

I live in running pants. I wear make-up like minimally because why put it on when you have to take it off to run??? Most of the time my hair looks as though I just got dismissed from the crazy ward. I go to sleep at the same time as my grandmother. My legs hurt. Since losing weight, I think I’ve lost most of my boobs. I over promise and under deliver in the bedroom. And I don’t really cook as much as I used to. I ditch him every Saturday morning for like ten hours (okay, maybe four) and I’m pretty sure I wake him up by accident every time I get up for a 5 AM run.

As runners, I think we sometimes forget that the marathon consumes not just the one running it, but the whole entire family. Everyone that can be affected, will be affected. It’s an incredibly selfish task. But I’ve never been selfish, not once in my whole life. I’ve never asked everyone or anyone to just let me have it. I’m a giver. If someone asked me for my favorite J.Crew dress (precious) or the shirt off my back, I would give it to them. Wouldn’t even think twice about it. And most of my life, I’m catching up because I went out of my way for someone else. That’s just me. That’s what I love about me. But right now, for the next few weeks, I’m not going to say I’m sorry. I’m just not. I’m going to try my hardest to give back what I ask for from my family but I won’t feel bad about it. It’s time to shine. I’m ready.

I just felt that I had to acknowledge all the love and support I get from my special person. I know this is hard for him. Not just because it takes away from sex and time and life. But because he knows I am a little bit broken, my heart condition is easy to forget when out on the road but it’s always there. He knows that. Sometimes I have to remind myself of that. There aren’t enough thank you’s in the entire universe for the support he provides me. So although I joke about finding Allison at the finish line at Boston, my first embrace will be with Josh. A loving moment, filled with joy, not just because I did it but because WE did it. Together. I don’t work without him and that’s the damn truth.

So thank you Josh. The man of my dreams. I love you so. I wouldn’t be here without you. I wouldn’t be in Maine, with this chance, without you. Maine Track Club gave me the ticket, but you handed me the opportunity to ride long ago. Here’s to many years and many brilliant moments–together.

 

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