i wasn’t prepared for how i’d feel this week, especially this morning.  watching the marathon.  not running it.  i found myself itching terribly near the end of the week, as friends who were running got prepared, and i wasn’t.  then i had to cancel my volunteering for the race, as m ended up having to work and i can’t afford or even justify getting a sitter.  this morning i was alternately excited, looking up the start online, madly checking the weather, etc, and feeling increasingly like bursting into tears.  i bundled up the boys after m left, got a few toys together, and headed down the whole 3 blocks to the sidelines. 

we live at the 1/3-of-the-way mark, so most folks still look pretty fresh but some are starting to show the strain, especially as we’re at the end of a long incline.  my legs itched.  my heart ached to be a part of it, to be feeling exactly what i’d felt last year at that point … finally doing what i’d dreamed of doing for years, running up my “home stretch” and seeing familiar faces.  we picked up free little cowbell shakers and hats from TWC’s booth, watched some of the disabled athletes go by (i teared up watching the man with one fake leg … and no real ones … haul himself by on crutches) and then the pack of lead males.  i screamed Go Ryan! for Ryan Hall, watched a few more (including one of the expected-to-lead males limping by miles behind the pack) and then took the boys to the park. 

the ache dimmed a wee bit as the race progressed. perched on the back of a park bench, i alternated between scanning the park to check on my boys, running after fynn, and watching the race.  i felt very torn in two directions.  of the two people i was hoping to see, i missed the first one though i was right where i should have seen him, and almost missed the second but she saw us and looked fabulously rested.  fynn got a huge kick out of putting his hand out for high-fives, squealing in delight with every hit.  quite a few runners did a quick detour just to give him one.  i also got to see the pace leader that i ran the first 20 miles with last year, bobbing along under her green balloons as usual.

i’m home now, partially glad i’m not out there slogging away, and wistful that i watched it go by.  i do truly love running.  the time alone, the energy, the feeling of doing something that stretches me to my limits.  i think i’ll enter for next year, just in case.