How many times have I heard those words? It’s a classic cheer for marathon spectators, along with “Woo-hoo” and “You look great!” (That last one always makes me worry for some folks’ eyesight.) Now – the “almost there” can either be good or bad to hear. Before I’m back out on the running courses again, I’d like to offer some advice to marathon spectators: unless you are standing within YARDS (say about ½ mile or less) of the finish line, we are not almost there. Yes, it’s common sense to think that compared to a full-on 26.2 miles, a measly 3 or 4 may seem like almost there, but out of 100 marathons, I don’t believe I’ve ever hit mile 22 and felt like I was almost there. Please, save those two precious words for a spot on the course that’s shorter than a diaper dash and keep to the “woo-hoos” anywhere else.
Now – while coming into the final month of my running abstinence may appear to be “almost there”, the problem is it’s the month of October. Leaves are changing, the air feels crisp and the sunny days in the low 60s are what make fall one of my favorite times to be outside running. As I watch all of the lovely happy running folk soaking it in around me I can feel my toes tingle. It is MARATHON SEASON and I’m missing it!
Then again, I’m not really missing it. In an effort to give back a little, I will be working at the Chicago Marathon this weekend. While I’m certainly excited and honored to help out with such an event, I’m pretty sure it will be a tough experience to be jealous of about 38,000 people at once! While I’ve always hoped for good weather on race days, this time it’s on a whole new level. I know it’s harder to watch these races than participate, but if the weather isn’t good it’s downright miserable. So – fingers crossed for decent weather, safe & healthy runners, and enough willpower to keep from ditching my post and going bandit in the race.