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26.2 Miles of Torture

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I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it on here before or not, but Husband is a running machine. He recently ran his 1.5 mile physical fitness test in 8:42, and just a few years ago he ran a half marathon in 1:36. In my eyes he is a running god!
His Colonel talked him into signing up for the Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon. He was super hesitant to do the full marathon, but went with it anyway. 
The morning of the race we peeled ourselves out of bed at the ungodly hour of 4:15 am. And after dropping hubs off at the starting line, I drove out to the 2nd exchange point (for the relayers) which also marked the 14 mile point in the marathon. 
I hadn’t thought this all the way through until I found myself sitting in my car, equipped with my coffee and kindle. At that point it was only about 7:00 am. The race didn’t start till 8:00, and given the hour and a half running time it would take for husband to reach me, I was looking at a few solid hours of solitude in that spot…sans port-a-potties. It was rough.
Finally Husband came around the corner.

I was on snack duty and greeted him with half a pb sandwich and his shot blocks. I was a little nervous because he looked tired. Apparently the water stations and restrooms hadn’t been placed as frequently as we had been told they would be, and the path to that point had been a gradual uphill. 
He reluctantly took off again and I decided to go to the 3rd exchange point instead of going straight to the finish line.

He was looking a lot stronger at this point. He didn’t stop to say hi, but waved as he passed. I was happy to see him doing better. 

Feeling assured I went on to the finish line. At the pace he was running I expected him around the 3:30 mark, and definitely no later than 3:45. I chit chatted with the other spectators, and of course gushed about my amazing running god of a husband that should be coming through any minute. 
Except the minutes kept passing and there was no husband in site. 
At the 4:00 mark approached I got worried. I knew something had gone wrong because there was no way he wouldn’t have come through yet. I also knew how upset he would be if he didn’t at least finish sub-4:00.
At 3:59 he came through. 

He confirmed my observations, saying that at mile 19 (last place I saw him), he was feeling good and felt like he had gotten on a good pace. But at mile 20 his legs locked up. So bad, that he actually had to stop and sit down on a bench to try to loosen up his rock hard quads. 
From there he fought to run, but would only get about a half a mile at a time before having to walk again. This went on for the last five miles of the race.
He was so upset, but I was still so proud. It’s such an accomplishment to even finish a marathon, and he was hurt and still finished it in sub-4:00. I know he doesn’t agree, but I think he is incredible for doing what he did. 

I’ve tried to convince him to run another one, but he refuses. He’s moved onto swimming as his next challenge. Maybe next time I will be cheering him on at his first triathlon? 

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