I married a good man. Sometimes it bewilders me that such a smart, funny, kind, and completely normal (not to mention French, of which I am the antithesis de la femme francais) man married me. When I met him, his idea of sport was swimming 2 times a week for 20 minutes… and, once in a while, taking a small hike in the woods. I somehow transformed him into a man intent on qualifying for the Boston Marathon, willing to undergo punishing tempo/interval/hill sprint runs 5 days a week to do so. He was so intent on his goal, yet without ever deviating from the God-honest fact that he is a very, very good man.
Mr. P’s choice qualifying event was the Providence Marathon, which occurred last Sunday. So intent on attaining a 3:15 qualifying time (though he really needs a 3:10 or less, given how the online registration for the Boston marathon favors lower qualifying times by allowing them access earlier), he booked a hotel room close to the starting line in Providence for Saturday night. Of course, we were totally game, except on Saturday morning I had my long run (22 miles of trail, be still my hips, ’specially that twigging left one) and Little Boy had his YMCA sports class not to mention the birthday party of his BFF… so everyone was exhausted by the time we arrived in Providence Saturday evening, except for my good man Mr. P, whose legs trembled with taper-induced anticipation of the arduously-fast 26.2 miles that awaited him at 7:30am Sunday morning.
We awoke early so Mr. P could gobble a bagel and an assortment of electrolyte goodies. I hoped Little Boy would sleep, but the novelty of being in a Hilton hotel room awakened every little fiber of his being… except the happy part. He was seriously bummed when I told him that we would not being eating breakfast until after Daddy started running (because we had free passes to the breakfast buffet). He sulked. We walked to the starting line in cool but humid and at times rainy conditions. Not optimal for a marathon. But, we cheered Mr. P as he took off on his 26.2 mile odyssey to qualify for the most famed running event in the world. Then, we took some pictures around the main square of Providence.
Again, not a very happy Little Boy — sleep-deprived and peeved by the intermittent rain. We headed back to the hotel to avail ourselves of our free voucher breakfast buffet. I had copious amounts of smoked salmon and ham; Little Boy took one bite of every single baked good and declared it “not good.”
After a dip in the swimming pool, we headed back to the finish line. I chatted with a nearby woman whose husband was also hoping to qualify for Boston. Since he was in his early 30s, he was shooting for 2:55. She was quite friendly until that point, and then grew quiet, sullen, and extremely alarmed when he didn’t materialize. 3:05, 3:10… I also grew anxious, awaiting Mr. P. The 3:15 pacer came by, with a lone runner at his tail. It was not Mr. P. Then, a minute later…
There he was, my good husband. A minute later than he needed, but he looked amazing. My Mr. P. Finished at 3:16. He did not qualify for Boston, but now he knows it is very, very possible.
And me? Can you believe I married such a good-looking man? Even at Mile 26.2, he looks amazing.