Yesterday I played Sherpa for my wife during the Naperville Women’s Half Marathon. It was chilly (30 degrees) and snowy (but the streets were clear) and she ran really steady and strong.
She’s now run a series of three or four solid half -marathons with a solid 10K (or three) thrown in for good measure. Her training is paying off.
As it should. She’s a disciplined woman who rises five days a week plus weekends for early morning workouts. Some days it is a swim session with the Master’s Group. Other days we zip to the Vaughn Center to swim together. Well, not together, because she’s much faster than me in the pool.
I love watching her swim. She’s got a clean swim stroke and it’s a solid part of her triathlon game. She’s also a really strong cyclist. More than once I’ve gotten through 60 miles with her only to find her pulling away as she gains speed over the last 10-20 miles. Or perhaps it’s me slowing down.
She’s good at getting into the zone and going.
It’s her running that she’s had to work hardest to improve and sustain. We both compare ourselves to times we ran ten years ago, which isn’t really fair. But in some ways she’s running more consistently and steadier than when I met her six years ago.
Like all triathletes, her dream objective is to pull all three disciplines together on race day. She’s doing the work that will make that happen. I’m so proud of her for that. When I hug her strong body I can feel the athlete in her.
That connection was on full display watching all those women covering all those miles in yesterday’s half-marathon. I love seeing all that determination and self-discipline on display. I think about about how all those gals also have relationships in their lives that sustain them in one way or another. The crowd waiting at the finish was testimony to that.
So while I praise my wife for her endeavors I also praise all women for their pursuits. I had to chuckle because there were at least twenty men who ran in the Naperville Women’s Triathlon yesterday. They raised a few eyebrows but no one really complained. Men are not banned. It’s just primarily a women’s race. The first male finisher ran about 1:44 while the women’s victor clocked 1:22. She was clipping for sure.
After the race, we found one of Sue’s triathlon friends Betsy, a talented athlete we see at swim sessions now and then. They looked like Snow Bunnies in their white racing gear.
It’s all good. It was a cool, gorgeous morning to ride my bike around and cheer on my wife and all the other ladies (and gents) who ran 13+ miles on an April morning. It never struck me to be jealous or envious of their efforts. I was too busy being happy and proud for everyone involved.
We’re doing a sixty mile cycling trip in Galena for our second anniversary coming. For once this spring, there is no snow predicted for the weekend.