There have been several key players – runners and non-runners – behind me during my training cycle but it has been my family (Dave, The Oldest Dude and The Littlest Dude) who have been behind me every step of the way. Recently, they have been beside me too.
I didn’t truly recognize the support that the boys were giving me until the past week. Since it was the last week of summer vacation, or the week before school starts, I had been at school every day to get my classroom ready. As bad timing had it, my husband decided to go away for a few days to Northern Ontario. While I admittedly enjoyed being able to hog the bed and sleep diagonally each night, I was a little stressed about having the boys on my own while getting things set up for school. The combination of busy days, a working teen, a heat alert, an absent husband and the beginning of the last build-up towards the Chicago Marathon were bound to end in disaster.
Each night, I was able to run as planned. The oldest dude planned for a night at home on Tuesday so that I could get to a workout with my club. On Wednesday, The Littlest Dude rode his bike with me when I ran. Thursday was a write-off, but I simply bumped that run to Friday. I went out on my own early on Saturday morning and ran a disappointing 16K; the heat got to me…again. That afternoon, with all three boys in the house, it was time for the “talk.”
“Look,” I said, “I have 5 more weeks. School starts next week. I’m already tired. I need help around the house and I need a bit of support with my running. It’s hot – too hot. Some days, I need one of you to ride with me.”
They understood and it immediately showed. The next day, I headed out into the trails for a late afternoon run, with the humidex hovering around 37C. The oldest dude met me half-way with water and Gatorade, and he managed to take some pictures of me running.
Yesterday, I had two shorter runs planned with a yoga class in the middle. When I was about to head out the door for my second run of the day, The Littlest Dude called out, “Wait! How far are you going? Can I come with you?” He strapped on his helmet and stuffed my phone in his pocket. Half way through, we stopped so he could take pictures; using my phone has become a real treat for him.
It was my husband’s turn to shine today. I got home from school and discovered that he had done some dusting – the first of the three jobs he has for the week. After I have been doing all of the cleaning for the past two months, it was a relief to have someone else take over part of it.
From the beginning of my training for Chicago, I knew that the start of the school year while finishing my marathon build-up was going to be a challenge. Today, I have finished Week 1 of the three most difficult weeks. Everyone at home is doing what they can to take away some of the day to day tasks and keep me running. All I need to do it keep chasing my dreams.