Posts Tagged ‘marathon’

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor day, indeed. So glad this weekend is finally over. I’m still working at Macy’s, as well as teaching, and we just finished our Labor Day sale. It’s one of the two biggest sales of the year in the furniture and mattress department where I work.

I had to work all three days and it was insane. I’ve never been nearly that busy and we had a major system crash with our computers right in the middle of it. Ceecee and I don’t really need the extra income now, and I’ll probably only stay until right before the holidays. We usually travel over Thanksgiving, so this will help pay for all that, but I’m not willing to get stuck having to work and not be able to go anywhere.

Ceecee ran 20 miles in her training for the marathon over the weekend. I don’t know how she does it.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ceecee was angry this morning before I left. She said it was because she had really wanted to be in the triathlon and she’s upset that she can’t be. She went off to run 17 miles with her group while I headed back to Republic.

The atmosphere at the Tiger tri was really amazing. It was extremely well put on and was a great experience. The crazy thing is that my worst fear was having a flat tire and I did. I even went to a bike shop and bought new tubes yesterday as an extra precaution, but about 11 miles into the bike race, my front tire was gone.

I’m not good enough at changing flats to do it quickly and I was only about a mile from the transition area so I just got off and ran my bike in. I was so disappointed because I felt like I had been doing pretty well up to that point, but then I was really tired during the run. I actually struggled with some doubt as to whether I was going to make it as the run went on, but I kept thinking of my wife and praying for strength.

Crossing the finish line was indescribable. It was really hot and they had people with cold, soaking wet towels who literally took hold of us as we came in, put one of these towels on us and put drinks into our hands. I was a bit disoriented from the heat and from being so exhausted, so I just kind of wandered around a little bit in the grassy area off to the side.

After a few minutes, I went inside to the restroom and then it really hit me when I came back outside. All the emotion going back for all those months just caught up to me and I just lost it and cried right there in front of everybody. Then I just wanted to get to Ceecee more than anything.

I met her at the Meyer Center about 30 minutes later with Einstein Bros. Bagels and she was pretty wiped out from her run. We both had to work today, so we got to spend a few minutes together there in the lobby and then we had to shower and change and go to our jobs.

So that was it. The triathlon is over and I did it and our marriage is back together again and better than it ever was before.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday the 13th indeed. I’ve had a lot of time to pray about the mess. God told me that Ceecee is handling it correctly and to let her. I was listening to a song and the chorus really spoke to me. It says, “The pressure makes us stronger, the struggle makes us hunger, the hard lessons make the difference, and the difference makes it worth it.”

It partly goes back to while we were separated. This guy from her past came back into her life and she didn’t realize at first that being friends wasn’t what he wanted. Apparently he is convinced that she should be with him and is sending her messages to that effect. I’ve asked God what to do and He says, “Love him.” I don’t know how, so I am praying that he will find the Lord and leave us alone and do what’s right. Otherwise, I’ll just stay out of it for now.

Tomorrow is the triathlon. I’m still excited about it, but it seems really anticlimactic now. Ceecee won’t be there, which is disappointing. She has a long training run with her Galloway group. She’s still getting ready for the marathon, which will be in November. It was still pretty cool going to pick up my race packet this afternoon though.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I got my bike fixed today and it only cost me $25. Today I rode 15 miles and it was pretty sweet. I don’t know why, but I have it in my mind and spirit that me doing the triathlon is somehow going to have an effect on our separation. It doesn’t make sense, especially now that Ceecee is concentrating on her marathon and probably not going to even be in the triathlon, but I have this mental picture that when I cross that finish line, something is going to break and she’s going to come back to me.

I dont’ know if anyone ever saved his marriage, or won his wife’s love back by running a triathlon, but I believe this, however illogical it might be. I’m going to do this. The triathlon is August 14th, the weekend before school starts. We definitely need to work this out by then or it’s going to really get complicated.

Speaking of school, a teacher friend of mine took me to lunch today. This is the second day in a row someone has bought me lunch and been there to support me and let me talk about my marriage. I told him about the vision of restoring the house and he had something really cool to add. He said that even though the original house looked really great, it wasn’t entirely adequate in the way it was built and that it didn’t just need to be restored, it needed to be added on to and rebuilt correctly.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

One of my friends picked me up last night and took me out for some beers and wii bowling. It helped get my mind off things for a few hours.

Yesterday afternoon, I got out my Bible and began writing out every verse I could find about love and marriage. Then I just started saying them out loud. I also realize that evil is working in this situation and that I need to fight for Ceecee. She probably doesn’t even realize what’s happening, but she is in spiritual darkness and is blind to the fact that she’s being led astray.

I can’t let the things she said yesterday affect me. I have to stick to the plan, which is to love her and show her how much I care. I’ve realized that I can’t change her. I can only change myself and pray to set her free from the things that are holding her back.

This morning I was at the gym and listening to worship music while I was on the treadmill. I was thinking about how much I wished I could go to another church that had really dynamic music where I could just get lost in worship and not worry about people looking at me and knowing what was going on. It was crazy, but my friend Adam called me up out of the blue and asked me if I wanted to go to North Point with him this Sunday. I told him that I did. That was God answering a prayer before I even prayed it!

Today, I emailed Ceecee a comic from “Love is…” that showed a guy playing a guitar for the girl and the caption said, “When he changes his tune.” Then I went to the pharmacy and bought her a care package of vitamins, sports creams (she has some shin splints and muscle soreness that’s affecting her running), a new heating pad and things like that.

She likes receiving gifts. That’s her love language from the book, “The Five Love Languages.” My selfishness has been part of the problem in our marriage, so I want to show her that things are going to be different.

I told her I wanted to stop by and bring her something and she said I could, so I just came to her loft, gave her the care package and told her it was just because I just wanted her to have it. I didn’t try to talk about the other morning or ask her for anything. I just gave it to her, told her I cared about her, and went on my way. I think it surprised her.

In the past, it wouldn’t have been like that. I would have obsessed over what she said and made it into a huge deal that just would have ended up making her feel guilty. I wanted her to see that I wasn’t there to get anything, but to give her something. It was really hard to just leave, but I felt like it was what I had to do.

Afterward, I met Angie at a deli in Republic to talk about what’s going on. She’s having a really hard time with all this because her real Dad abandoned her when she was little and I’ve been as much of a “real” Dad to her as a step-dad could probably be. I just wanted to bring her up to speed on things and also she if she had any insight.

Anyway, it turns it she was the one who signed me up for Mort Fertel’s emails. Apparently, after I called her crying that day and we both realized that this was really as serious as it is, she found a brochure with his website on it and signed me up. She and her husband had their premarital counseling through him and she still had a video series or something that they had bought. I told her how much it was helping and how it seemed like God Himself must have been the one sending them.

I also called a behavioral health center and talked to them about me going in for some counseling. I told them that my marriage was failing, but I think I may be experiencing some PTSD symptoms going back to the tornado of March 12, 2006. Our house outside of Republic was destroyed by a tornado that went through the house while we were in it. It was a Sunday night and we had already gone to bed when I woke up and immediately knew that a tornado was about to hit our house. We didn’t have a basement, so we called the kids and crawled into the hallway, where we laid on the floor while the house was pretty much ripped apart.

I never understood it, but things were never the same after that. I was never the same. Some friends of ours thought we might have PTSD and recommended that we go for counseling, but we never did. Now, I can’t help but wonder how much that event changed me and if that’s really when I started my losing my dear wife. Anyway, I made an appointment for myself and we’ll see what happens.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Ceecee ran with her group again this morning and then we hurried off to The Hill in St. Louis. The weather was great and we ate outside at Milo’s, a bar and grill right in the heart of The Hill on Marconi St. They have bocce courts and there was a wedding party that was playing while we ate. It was both fun and funny to watch them in their tuxes and dresses out there playing bocce. Like before, while we were there, it almost seemed like our problems weren’t happening. Like we stepped away from our troubled reality and into a make-believe world where we were still Brian and Ceecee.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Ceecee started her Galloway training this morning. It’s every Saturday morning, so I went to the gym while she went to run with her group. She showed up and said she didn’t even break a sweat the first day. I figured they start slow and it will get tough later. The marathon isn’t for six months.

Steven showed up and we were trying to communicate about the bike in secret. I called over there to try to get information about the brand and any details and all Angie could tell me was it had “skinny, skinny tires.” Later Steven called me and said he looked it up on the internet and it was worth about $900. It was a red Raleigh Gran Sport and it was really nice.

At one point during the day, we snuck away and took the bike to a local bike shop for a tune-up and general getting ready. Steven’s girlfriend almost accidentally gave it all away, and at one point, I thought Ceecee had figured it out, but we kept up the act and hoped for the best. We decided it was better to just leave it at the bike shop so that it couldn’t “accidentally” be found at Angie’s.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

I started doing a running program called the “Couch to 5K” or C25K for short after Ceecee’s half-marathon. The goal is to get a person to be able to run a 5K race within about nine weeks starting from nothing. This morning, Ceecee ran a 5K race called the May Day 5K and I did the one mile fun run. I wasn’t even completely sure I could do the mile, but I did, and it was actually pretty easy.

Ceecee ran the 5K in just over 27 minutes and said her next race will be better. I was impressed with her time and think she did great. She even told me that her shoes came untied twice and she had to stop and tie them. She amazes me. She’s been swimming more and more and just gradually increases her distance. We go to the pool together and I try to encourage her, but she still doesn’t think she’s much of a swimmer.

She wants to run a marathon this year. She says it’s to “prove that she isn’t old.” She’s turning 39 in a couple of weeks, so I don’t know what she’s talking about. Anyway, they are starting a training program soon for the Bass Pro marathon and it’s $100 and I went ahead and signed her up today. She wants to do this and I support her. It’s through a running guru named Jeff Galloway who I’ve never heard of, but he has a book out and it’s supposed to be a big deal.

3 months earlier

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I’ve never been more proud of my wife than I was this morning. She ran a half marathon called the Frisco Line Run for Scouting today. It was her first ever half marathon and her longest distance run like this of any kind. It was amazing!

I showed up to watch and support her and I couldn’t believe all the different kinds of people. There were young, old, fat, thin, you name it, they were there. And what struck me was – they were all doing it. It really convicted and inspired me all at the same time. I wasn’t doing anything and haven’t been for a long time. I couldn’t help feeling rather pathetic as I saw all these people out here on a cold, windy day running 13.1 miles while I stood and watched.

Back when Ceecee and I first met, I was a fitness instructor at the local community college. We actually met somewhere else, but she enrolled in a fitness class and that was when we started getting to know each other. During the early part of our marriage, fitness was always a big part of our lives. Over the years, she kept up with running and staying active, but I turned into a lazy couch potato and didn’t even really think much about it. Until today, that is.

Suddenly, today, I realized how sorry I had become and vowed to change. When I saw all these people crossing the finish line, I knew I had to get off the couch and start getting back in shape. When I saw Ceecee a few hundred yards out, my heart just surged. I’ve never felt such pride for her and I couldn’t stop smiling for a lot of the day. The whole thing inspired me beyond belief.

My wife asked me just within the last few days if I believed that a mid-life crisis was what started all of our marriage problems.  I told her I didn’t think so, but that we both had certainly had some strange behavior and done some crazy and uncharacteristic things around the time we each turned forty.

She had announced, back when she was about to turn 39, that she was going to run a marathon to prove that she wasn’t old.  Even though she certainly didn’t need to prove anything to anyone except herself, she spent the better part of a year training and, last November, she did in fact run a full marathon.  By that time, we had already been through our separation and were well into the restoration tour, but she had set her mind on doing this, and I had supported her the whole way.

The marathon was her thing, not mine.  I encouraged her and trained with her to some extent, but I never had any plans to run it, nor could I have because of my knee injury.  It was, ironically, while I was attempting to do a long training run with her that the injury occurred, so even if I had any thoughts of trying to run it up to that point, they ended that day.  I was happy to be her cheerleader for this event and nothing more.

The fitness center that we are members of announced a training program last Spring for people who wanted to run the Bass Pro marathon in the fall.  It was called the Galloway program, named after running guru Jeff Galloway.  The cost was $100 and we paid it and signed my wife up.  It started right during the time that our marriage was falling apart and it mostly involved training runs with a large group on Saturday mornings.

Soon after the training started, we separated.  There were many Saturday mornings that were pure anguish for me, as I would often pick her up from her loft, have her drop me off at the gym, and then she would take the car and go on to the place where her running group was meeting.  I was working out alone, while she ran with her group.  When she was done, she would come up to the gym and pick me up, and then there was never any certainty of whether we would spend any time together or have to say good-bye again.

After we got back together, and especially after my triathlon, she faltered somewhat in her training.  I was no longer training for anything, and we were enjoying our marriage too much to be as disciplined as we should have been for her first marathon.  There were a number of Saturday mornings that we just didn’t get out of bed. We would say that we would go together and make up the running the next day.  Sometimes we did, and sometimes we didn’t.

To say that my wife is amazing would be the understatement of the century.  She reached a point, about a month before the race, that she decided she was still committed and was going to do it.  One morning, when she was supposed to be running 23 miles, she felt good enough and decided to go ahead and do the whole 26, just so that she would know that she could.  That happened to be a day that she was scheduled to work a full shift at Dillard’s, so she ran the equivalent of a full marathon in the morning and then went to work.

Sign right before the finish line

The day of the Marathon, she was nervous and I was excited.  It was a beautiful day for early November, so the weather wasn’t going to be a factor.  Since I couldn’t participate, and I didn’t want to sit around for five hours waiting for her, I decided to volunteer at one of the intersections along the route.  That way I got to see her about half way through and give her some words of encouragement.

I brought my bike, and I figured that after I was done at my station, I would go try to find her on the course and see how she was doing.  I tracked her down at around mile 21 and she was in a lot of pain.  I stayed with her for those last few miles and talked her through it when her body wanted her to quit.  When she crossed the finish, it was an extremely proud moment for each of us.  For her, it was a huge accomplishment that not many people will ever achieve.  For me, it made the pain of all those awful mornings go away, and I was thrilled to step aside and let her get all the praise and recognition for what she had done.