This past weekend was the Chicago marathon. And though I’m not a Chicagoan, DD and I made the trek from Detroit because he’d signed up to run his first marathon.

Leading up to it, we were a bit worried. He’d been having knee issues that had impeded his training and aggravated his body to the point that he was worried he may not be able to run at all.

Once we got to Chicago, things seemed to change. He got caught up in the excitement of the pre-marathon expo. He connected with his friends who were also running and the worries seemed to wipe away.

Saturday night, we had a big pasta dinner, he iced his knee, and he seemed good to go.

Sunday morning, he woke up and headed out bright and early. I left the hotel shortly after and met up with his friends at the 5K marker. We saw DD and his buddy, happy as can be, running strong early on.

We moved on to mile 12, hoping to see them again. And we waited. And waited. And waited some more. We began to fear we missed them. That they’d increased their pace.

As we began plotting our next spectating move, I got the text.

His knees had given out. He couldn’t run. He’d had to drop out and was boarding the bus to return to the finish line in Grant Park.

Now, I’m not a runner. But there’s something about marathons that has gotten under my skin the past couple years. As I meandered through the Magnificent Mile toward the 5K mark on Sunday morning, I caught glimpses of the elite runners speeding by. For some reason, I always get a little teary eyed watching. Something about people accomplishing their lifelong goals, I’m sure.

That’s why, when I got DD’s text, my heart dropped. This was something he’d been working toward for the better part of the year. And something he’d been thinking about and dreaming of for years.

And he couldn’t get it done. I can’t even imagine how that must feel. He was especially frustrated because he realized he could do it — his endurance was high — but his body just wouldn’t let him. Not this time. And on Sunday, we weren’t sure if his body would ever let him do it.

The rest of the day is a blur. There was a rush to Grant Park and a frantic search through the crowds to find my injured boyfriend. There was his bittersweet glances at all the runners crossing the finishing line as he limped along, just out of reach. There was the Nike market research chick, who saw his Nike shoes and pushed him to answer questions — even after he admitted that he hadn’t finished the race. There was a cab ride with a shady cabbie, more ice for the knee, and a long drive home.

Tonight his buddy, who practices sports medicine, looked at his knee and it looks like the issue is fairly common. And completely treatable. Which means that with a little rehab, and a better training program, DD will be able to run a marathon some day.

I think the next time will be the time. And I think crossing the finish line will be so much sweeter.



Filed under DD (aka My Man), rambling nature, S is for sports, travel

11 responses to “26.2

  1. ria

    my cousin is a runner and he had to take some time off for therapy and a knee injury. i’m glad DD will be able to cross the finish line one day

    It’s good to know this type of thing is fairly common!

  2. trendycamper

    Interesting post. I feel bad for DD not finishing, but at least he’ll be able to run another day. Elite mountaineers will tell you that it’s far more important to know when to stop and try again some other time than it is to press on in the face of injury and peril. By stopping when his body told him to stop, DD has given himself the opportunity to complete many more marathons in the future.

    I completely agree!

  3. i’m sorry to hear DD didn’t get to complete the race this year. I’m happy to hear his injuries are completely treatable!

    Thinking of you and yours,

    Thank you!!

  4. What a disappointment… but at least now he’ll have an expert by his side! 🙂

    Yes…now if only he’d had that expert before Sunday! Or done what the training program told him to do 😉 Can’t win ’em all, I guess!!

  5. oh fuck. my heart sunk when you mentioned this happened the other day. i can only imagine what a kick in the balls that must have been for him.
    and i say kick in the balls because these are the exact words that manfriend used when he had to drop out of the half marathon with me last weekend. it’s so… dissapointing, to train for something so hard, and just like that, everything can change.
    but, the good news is (for both of our guys!), that they can train again for their races, and next time, the finish will be that much more worth it.

    A major kick in the balls. But you are so right… they both will make a huge comeback!

  6. Ohhh, such a bummer for your boyfriend!! I have mixed feelings about marathons, too. Are our bodies REALLY meant for that kind of punishment??? Are we built to sustain such wear and tear and grind on our joints??

    But, I hear you—I cry every single time I watch the Boston Marathon. The effort those runners give, the heart on that course, is incredible.

    As I was fighting through the finish line crowds, I saw the runners coming across. They all look like zombies, limping to get their gear. I thought the exact same thing about putting their bodies through it. I’m much more of a low-impact gal myself 🙂

  7. As a finisher of 26.2 (x5), I can tell you my greatest fear was injuring myself before the race. So much time spent training down the drain. Or maybe not. Maybe DD can take something away from training this year (he must have a love of running on some level, right?!). And it will make it that much sweeter when he does finish his first marathon!

    He totally can. He had never gotten over 10 miles until he started training. And he still loves doing it. So that’s a positive!

  8. walkingonsunshine18

    That sucks but he’ll get it done next time around!!!

    Yes he will!!

  9. I am SO sorry to hear about DD and his knees. That is so heartbreaking. Next year he’ll finish and it’ll be so much sweeter.

  10. Pingback: 26.2 (times two) « A Super Girl

  11. Hi, I’m new here, but DD should still be super proud of all the training he did. Marathon training is a huge undertaking that a lot of people cannot even fathom! I know he will be able to do one someday!

    I was signed up for the KC Marathon on 10/17 but had to cancel because of a stress fracture. At least he made it to the race! Hee hee 🙂

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