Christopher and I have done a lot of soul-searching throughout our training for the Wisconsin Marathon.
He’s blogged about many of the basics—creating a training plan, fueling your body, dealing with injury. I’ve blogged here about our runs. And we’ve filmed several webisodes about our journey.
But we haven’t really shared too much of those introspective, emotionally-driven conversations.
Christopher wrote a post talking about support along the road to 26.2. And I feel compelled to share my thoughts on the subject, too.
Runners thrive on support—motivational quotes, inspiring stories, tweets and Facebook messages from friends, funny signs along the sidelines and cheers from the crowd along the race route. How else could we get through races—especially those that creep into the double-digit distances?
Christopher and I have heard it all since we decided to train for and run a marathon:
- “You’re one of those people.”
- “I would run only if someone was chasing me.”
We chalk it up to ignorance and/or insecurity: People either just don’t know what to say because they’ve never run and can’t fathom running, let alone running a marathon; or people just don’t know how to be happy for those working their asses off to accomplish something amazing.
Yes, Christopher is writing about our journey for the paper. Yes, I am blogging about it here. And yes, we talk about it with others, either online or in person.
But no, we don’t talk about it all. the. freaking. time.
Christopher stopped bringing up the marathon at work because his co-workers are not supportive and, in some instances, have been downright mean. I never really talk about it with my non-running friends because they don’t understand and, frankly, I don’t want to open myself up to what can best be described as ridicule.
So, we just stick to our inner circle and the few people who have come out of the woodwork to show their support.
We would much rather hear:
- “Wow! Good luck!”
- “I could never do that, but I’d like to. Got any advice?”
- “That’s great! What made you decide to run a marathon?”
We want a kind word, a show of support or even an opportunity to share our stories (and, maybe, just maybe, inspire others along the way). We crave those things for they keep us plugging along through the training and will undoubtedly motivate us through the race Saturday. We need all the good vibes we can get.
Christopher and I are very lucky to have supportive families and friends—and many friends who are runners, too.
We’ve gotten lots of inquiries and well wishes so far and are sure to see more in the coming 24-plus hours. We will see some of our family and friends on the sidelines, calling our names and cheering us on. We will even get our medal from a dear friend who is volunteering at the race.
So, we’ll keep that good juju in our back pockets (I’ll keep mine in my SpiBelt.) on race day and hope our blog posts, videos and conversations will help others be better supporters of anyone in their lives going after their own personal gold.