Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Maxathon: Part Two


As we left our last installment, dawn had broken on Max's big day, Marathon Day, the culmination of months and months of hard work and training. The starting line beckoned, and we were ready to roll. What could go wrong?

"I don't have any shorts," Max said.

I'd booked him a session with my massage therapist for the day after. "Coach says no massage for a week," Max had said. I'd made sure our rental house had a hot tub. "Coach says ice bath, no hot tub," Max had said. I'd promised him a cold beer at the finish line. "Coach says chocolate milk," Max had said.

My guess was that Coach was going to insist on him wearing shorts, too.

But there stood Max in his wicking team shirt and wicking socks and special athletic shoes, and a jaunty pair of classic linen-blend pleat-front cuffed Bermudas with cuffs, belt loops, and a watch-pocket. "I forgot to pack my shorts," he said, miserable.

We all stood around in mild shock, visualizing our friend being the only person in the marathon with no pants on. It was an interesting picture, but not ideal from an aerodynamic standpoint.

"It'll be all right," Linda said, because that's what she does. "They'll sell them at the starting line, or we can buy some later in the day and meet you on the course." Max has known Linda as long as I have, over forty years, but in spite of the fact that Linda always makes everything all right, his misery was undiminished.

"Or you can try mine," I said, proffering a pair of loose shorts--unremarkable, but at least they were lightweight nylon.
Leukemia & Lymphoma Team In Training

Max put on my shorts. They were a little snug, but not as bad as they might have been. We were both surprised and a little taken aback that they fit. It seemed like one of us should have been insulted, but we couldn't figure out which one, and quickly moved on. He looked marginally less bleak.

But the shorts weren't optimal. It turns out that athletic shorts for boys have all sorts of cupboards and caches and architectural elements in them to keep things from flapping around and scaring the horses. My shorts had none of that stuff.

We made our way to the starting line and there, at the end of Linda's outstretched magic finger, was a booth selling running shorts. Dave had cash, the booth had a pop-up dressing room, and soon Max was suited up and ready to go. And off he went.
Linda and Dave and I went back to the house and had a leisurely breakfast. We followed up with a little hike. It was getting into the high nineties and the early breeze had sputtered out, so we retired to the house to sit in the shade and watch birds and relax. At the hour Max had hoped to be done, we were at the finish line with the chocolate milk, fanning ourselves, and by gum, there he was, motivating across the line in six and a half hours precisely. We'd had a fine, refreshing day, but just between us, Max looked a little frumpled and shreddy. A little like he'd let himself go.

It took a village, but Max mastered his marathon. Dude is totally on his own lancing those blisters, though.

Happy Anniversary to my sweet Dave. I'm in for thirty more.

47 comments:

  1. They sell shorts at the starting line. I am amazed!

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    1. So was Max. Linda made it happen. She does that.

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  2. They sell athletic shorts at the starting line? How many walkers/runners have forgotten to pack their shorts for this to be a profitable notion? Are these shorts that make you move faster, freer, with less chaffing and more wicking? Do they come with butt dust to reduce the intra-cheek friction? The whole notion of high-tech athletic gear bemuses me. Another field I will never tiptoe through.

    Yay for Dave! And yay for you guys!

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    1. Having done myriad long-distance events of one kind or another without any new technology in my shorts, socks, shoes, bra, or elsewhere, I am here to say they're all probably well worth the money.

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    2. I could use a little butt dust myself in our Aussie summers.

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    3. Gosh, I hope butt dust is something you put on and not something you manufacture yourself, because if it's the latter, you need to hydrate more.

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  3. 30 years? Congrats! For our 10 year anniversary, my late husband got me a lovely diamond and ruby ring. I made us matching sweatshirts that said "10 Long Miserable Years" (a family joke). We made it to 25 Long Miserable Years and I miss him like the dickens. You and Dave seem like a matched set of goofs (in the nicest possible way).

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    1. I would never assume "goof" was anything but the highest compliment. Thank you!

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  4. "Someone should be insulted" that is a funny line!

    Running a marathon is a big deal...now tell him to STOP!!

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    1. We have been loudly assured that that was Max's first and last marathon.

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  5. Congratulations on thirty years! Completing a marathon is a huge feat and Dave should be very proud of himself.
    I have thought about running, but the thought of exposing my legs in running shorts is really, really scary - especially for spectators.

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    1. I'm with you. Altogether too much flapping going on.

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  6. On the slim chance that it was unintended, may I say that a post about a marathon was a perfect setting for a footnote about your 30th anniversary? Congratulations, and may you enjoy many more years together :)

    Congrats to Max, as well, not just for finishing in his projected time but for finishing at all, given the heat on top of everything else. I can't even think in hot weather, let alone undergo intentional physical exertion.

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    1. Completely unintended! I've heard that the later years turn into a sprint. Hm.

      Yeah, Max rocked it. 6-1/2 hours. That's fast.

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  7. Happy Anniversary! And another thirty is completely possible---my sister's in-laws made it to 70 years!
    And congrats to Max. I wouldn't even have attempted it, proper shorts or no proper shorts!

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    1. We'll have to be 90. It's a long shot. We did have seven years before the official thirty though.

      Max's Eventual Shorts were very spiffy.

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  8. Gongrats to Max and to you and Dave! My beloved and I just had our 25th (babies, I know) and signed up for another 25!

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    1. I remember when I turned forty Dave was thinking of turning me in for a pair of twenties. He didn't do it though.

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    2. He wasn't wired for two twenty

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    3. Ow. Nice of Murr to set you up for that one.

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  9. We're approaching the 34 marker.Sometimes, it feels like a marathon, but, like any endeavour that requires work, well worth it.
    As for your Marathon Man - big High Five.

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    1. 34. Isn't that the diamond anniversary?

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  10. Whew, a happy ending after all. If running a marathon makes a person happy, which I'm told it does. I'm impressed that they sell running shorts near the starting line AND have a pop-up dressing room. Clearly they know their market. Congrats to the runner and Happy Anniversary to you and Dave!

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    1. I'm almost positive finishing a marathon makes a person happy.

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  11. Amazing. A marathon and he finished with a huge smile-unbelieveable, Happy 30th. Aren't these years the best ?~!

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  12. Congratulations to Max and to the two of you for completing your own 30 year marathon. We were 30 years and two days when I lost Ella; I promised Tanya 30 years so I have to make 90.

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  13. Looking back on 41 years of marriage, I don't see it as a marathon so much as the only conceivable way to have made it this far through life. Although there may have been some endurance involved...

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    1. What? Not sunshine and lollipops every moment of the day?

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  14. Congratulations on your 30-year anniversary! You two really fit together. And congratulations on the marathon completion to Max! :-)

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  15. Isn't 30 years of marriage the new 70?

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    1. Holy cow. I seriously doubt we'll make 70. So I'm going with what you say.

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  16. My FB friend Gage offered this pithy comment:
    "It surely brings an added definition to 'flop sweat'."

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  17. Desert the guy when the pain really sets in.

    Oh, well. Happy anniversary to the both of you.

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    1. What desert? I've got thirty years more pain to dole out. Oh. You meant Max.

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  18. Good things take time - like marathon races and marriages. Happy Anniversary and please extend further congratulations to Max.

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    1. Thank you! By the way, I am so enamored of your profile pic.

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  19. Well, congratulations all around, Max, Dave & Murr. A marathon is a good metaphor for a marriage (married 34, together 37 here): a certain grit and determination required at times, not to mention good shoes. But as Linda said, can't think of a better way to survive this life thing.

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  20. Congratulations Max! Team in Training knows how to get you prepared. 3 years ago I did a half marathon with them in Portland, Maine.

    Congratulations Murr & Dave! We're going on 33 years and I'd sign up for another 33 in a minute.

    Murr - thanks for your words. They make me smile, laugh out loud and pause to consider.

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  21. Congratulations Max! Team in Training knows how to get you prepared. 3 years ago I did a half marathon with them in Portland, Maine.

    Congratulations Murr & Dave! We're going on 33 years and I'd sign up for another 33 in a minute.

    Murr - thanks for your words. They make me smile, laugh out loud and pause to consider.

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