I am making a public announcement now- I will never, I mean NEVER, pressure my spouse (or anyone else I remotely care about) to accompany me to a race again. I got a nice big taste of my own medicine yesterday, and it did not taste good. I went to football camp!
In the past, K has been good about coming to my races. There have been a few times that he's chosen to do something else beside come to watch me run. After yesterday, I am impressed he has been to so many! I never made a big deal over it, but deep inside was a little hurt. So, when he asked me to accompany HIM to Auburn Football Camp, I felt like I owed him at least one day, since he has been to a TON of my races. It was within 10 minutes that I recognized similarities of the day to a race day.
It's no secret that I don't like football. That in itself is crazy talk coming from a coach's wife, but... I do make it to all but 1 or 2 games a year. In addition to those games, I accompany K to other coaching things, like dinners, etc. One thing I had never done was go to football camp. So, here's my day as a spectator.
K had a coaches' meeting at 9:30, and just like racing, we arrived early. We mingled around a little bit w/ the Auburn coaches. Just as if I was the non-runner/spectator, I stood quietly pretending to be interested in the football talk. Just like non-runners don't understand fartlek, tempo, etc, I didn't understand some of the terms they were throwing around.
Next was my turn to hold the 'stuff.' Just like K holds my gels, jacket, water, camera, etc, I held his keys, paperwork, wallet, and water. I thought the 'race' would be starting soon, but the start was delayed. I stood around in the blazing sun for about an hour, listening to more football talk. (This is like when I go for my warm-up before the race.) FINALLY, it was time for a meeting in the indoor arena. The race director (a.k.a. Gene Chizik) said a few words and got the players organized. The players were a lot more respectful than runners. They actually STOPPED talking and LISTENED to what the race director was saying. I think the highlight of my day was noticing that I was definitely one of the smallest people there. That sounds stupid, but it's unusual to be 5'8" and still considered tiny. Nothing like line backers to raise your self-esteem. LOL.
The highlight of my day was discovering something ingenious- a turf, padded, hill. This 'hill' was next to the practice field and quite steep. I took my sandals off and tried it. It would be perfect for hill repeats at home. Okay, so then I spent one bazillion hours watching all the camp stuff. If this were a marathon, I would want to see my special runner at least a few times during the race, as many significant others meet their runner on the course. Unfortunately, i could hardly find K. He had on the same thing as half the people there, making it difficult to find him to see what he was doing.
It was during the afternoon session that I became a lot less patient. I was getting VERY hot and sweating through my nice tank top. (Remember, I sweat like a man.) There was nowhere to sit, so I had been alternating walking around and sitting on the concrete. I was getting a bad tan line on my feet, along w/ hurting feet from the trendy, no cushion, sandals I was wearing. Whine, whine, whine. I finally submitted to inner peer-pressure and went to Target. I wanted to stay at camp all day, but then I started thinking... I'm a near 3 hour marathoner. I'd been out there WAY longer than 3 hours. Plus, even when watching a marathon, you get the excitement of seeing your loved one cross the finish line. Just like when I watch one of K's games, I get to see some action, ending w/ a win or loss. This was just organized running and throwing, not really any type of event. So... I gave myself a pass to go to Target.
At the end of the day, I went back to pick up K and watched some MORE camp stuff, still not able to find him. As they were coming off the field, one of the coaches stopped to chat and said I was a trooper, and had earned a good dinner. (I was starving b/c they served hamburgers and hot dogs for lunch, which I do not eat.) So, K and I ended the day w/ veggie pizza from Mellow Mushroom. I thought this was appropriate b/c that is also my absolute favorite post-marathon meal.
In summary, if your non-running, loved one says they "like seeing you race," they are lying. It has got to be awful. Most likely they like supporting you, but there is no way a non-runner could have fun at a race. I am glad I got to share a day w/ K at camp, to support him, and see what it's all about, but I did learn how hard it is to be an outsider.
RR: I made it to 90 miles this week!!! Things are progressing nicely!
If you ever have a vision, allow it to take root, nurture it, and let it blossom- no matter how improbable it may seem. ~Paul Vaughan