My neighbor Sam has been a huge help to me as I’ve been writing a series of novels. So when she told me in July that she was planning to run in the Philadelphia Marathon, I was determined to be supportive of her. Here’s a quote from an email I sent to her in response to the news she was training for the marathon:
I have this idea that I’d like to run a marathon some day. Being that the max distance I’ve ever run is three miles–and that was 12 years ago–I’m thinking I won’t be running a marathon anytime soon. I could possibly cheer you on at mile 23 or whatever is the hardest spot, assuming the weather is good and I have nothing better to do, of course.
I think the marathon goes by the fall bridge, maybe you can run a few miles with me!!
To which I wrote:
Run a few miles with you? You got the part where the last time I ran “a few miles” was 12 years ago, right? I might be willing to run a few hundred feet with you though.
Truer words have never been spoken, er, written. Today was the Philly Marathon, and indeed it did go right by the Falls Bridge (which is at the bottom of the hill we live on). I’d been tracking her progress online, so I knew about when she’d be running by, and there I was. I ran out to join her, and she was all, “Oh hi! I’m happy to see you. I’m tired.” Yeah, running twenty-one miles in four hours will do that to a girl.
Speaking of which, did I mention that she’d run twenty-one miles in four hours? Just five miles left to go, and I would have liked to have joined her for it and cheered her on. I had to settle for running less than half a mile, at which point I stood gasping, my hands on my knees, barely able to call out, “You’re…almost…done…” Pant, pant. “Good…luck!”