Today, Mark and I went to Philadelphia to pick up his marathon race packet. We had a nice autumn foliage-lined drive past the boathouses and up to the art museum. The next time Mark sees that road will be on the last leg of his marathon--which means he won't really be seeing it at all. I know. I ran the Chicago marathon 4 years ago. I have no memory of the last 6 miles of my race.
In the spirit of that event, Mark and I had lunch at Maggianos, which is where I ate (in Chicago) before my marathon. It is a weird mix of deja vu and sadness. 2007 is the first year since 1998 that I have not completed at least one road race. Nothing. Not even a 5K. From marathon to nothing in 4 short years. I hope that 2006 wasn't the end for me. I hope that I still have more running in my future. Walking around the expo was powerful inspiration. I especially liked the running shirts with sayings. "This seemed like a good idea 3 months ago." "This is my race speed." And "Run like a girl."
I also have Mark as an inspiration. He hasn't run regularly since college. Of the two of us, I was the steady runner. (Plodding, but steady). But this year, due to a weight-loss competition at work, Mark lost 45 pounds. Only after that did he start a running regimen. He didn't start out training for a marathon. He did a pretty good 5-mile race and decided to go for a half-marathon. After that event, he figured, he was already half-way there, so he decided to try for the full marathon. It's been an interesting 3 months. He's asked me about different things about the marathon. Some things, I remember, and some things, I gratefully have retained NO memory. I need to ask T, my running partner, what she remembers. She is planning to stand beside me and cheer for Mark. I will be glad to have her there. I can't speak for her, but this gig as a spectator has revitalized my will to run. I hope my body cooperates.