Yesterday was our last long run before the marathon. Because of tapering down it was only 8 miles. Taber's physical therapy has been going well and he wanted to try running it with me to see if the marathon was still a possibility. We left our kids with some friends from our Ragnar team and hopped on a trail by their house that went through some marshes and around a lake and conveniently looped back to be exactly 8.5 miles. Perfect!
The Dr. told Taber not to worry about speed but just to try for distance. He also told him no hills which unfortunately we couldn't avoid as there were quite a few on the trail. We took it nice and easy, jogging at a 10:30 pace. After 2.5 miles we stopped and stretched then continued at our easy pace. Taber seemed to be doing great for the first 4 miles but then his knee started hurting. We hit a patch of hills and that didn't help at all. We stopped at mile 5 again and tried to stretch it out. At that point Taber knew he wasn't going to be able to do the marathon. It was a low point for both of us. Still Taber got back up and started jogging again, trying to at least finish our run. We jogged for one more mile and then he had to stop. He told me to ahead because he didn't want to ruin my run. I told him I'd stay with him but he really insisted I go.
I knew he would be out there for awhile just trying to walk back so I decided to run back to our friends house, borrow one of their bikes, bike back to Taber and have him ride back home while I ran. Once I had my mission in mind I kicked it into hard gear and really started to run. I was wearing Taber's new Garmin forerunner watch so I could track my speed and distance. I ran that last 2.5 miles back to the house at an 8:30 pace. I turned around quickly and biked hard to go back and find Taber. He was still about a mile and half out so he was glad to see me and happy I had the bike.
We were both a little bummed after the run but that evening we watched an AWESOME documentary called Spirit of the Marathon that chronicles 6 different runners as they train for the Chicago marathon. 2 are first timers, 2 are elite runners, 1 is a guy trying to qualify for Boston and one is a 70 year old running his 4th marathon. The movie was SO inspiring and amazing to watch. It was especially cool because the guy trying to qualify for Boston hurts his knee in a half marathon 2 months before the race (just like Taber) and has to drop out of the marathon. He still goes to support his wife who was running it, and a year later they both run Boston together. It was great for us to see that because we could relate so much. I know we'll still be able to run a marathon together, just not this one.
Taber has been amazingly supportive and upbeat through all of this. Even though I know he's very dissapointed, he hasn't wallowed in it. Instead he's switched gears to coach/support role and has really been pumping me up and trying to make sure I do everything right to have a good race. I hope if our roles are ever reversed I will be as positive as he is.
So less than a week to go now! If you are reading this and are thinking of or training to run a marathon I HIGHLY recommend watching Spirit of the Marathon for some inspiration. Here's a clip of the trailer to give you a little taste of it's awesomeness!