Everywhere you go, you will see runners. In the morning, skinny high school boys float by, showing off their ribs as they get ready for the cross country season to start. After grocery shopping, younger children take laps around the park on Mull Avenue, and you'll wonder, is this a race? During a drive down Market Street, brightly dressed men and women of all shapes train for the Akron Marathon, which is just over a month away. You will see runners everywhere.
This will be the first time since 2007 that there won't be some kind of race report from the Akron Marathon on this blog. No accounts of running the relay barefooted, nor of setting the bar low for my personal best as a married man, nor of finally breaking four hours on the fifth try at the marathon distance. This year, we'll be on the home stretch of a different kind of marathon: pregnancy.
It's the the cheer you'll hear most often from marathon spectators. No matter where you are on the course, someone will say, "You're almost there!"
Mrs. Viper has been counting down the days until the due date. With 48 days left, the urge to think that we're almost there is overwhelming. She's at the point where it's getting increasingly more difficult. She's uncomfortable and swollen. We spend our days on the couch, her legs propped up on a mound of pillows. Daily massages help with the swelling, but not enough. We're considering her going on maternity leave early to get her off her feet.
My Only Comparison
Running a marathon is my only comparison for what my wife is going through, and that's probably not even close. The idea of hitting the wall, or more like a series of walls, seems to fit well. As does fighting through pain, though sore legs don't compare to a sore vagina. I hope I can at least lend some mental toughness along the way.
Ever since we started dating, my wife has be at all but one of my races to cheer me on to the finish line. Now, it's my turn to cheer on my No. 1 fan. Seeing all those people running just reminds me how close we are to the finish line. In a couple months, they'll be recovering from their races and we'll be parents wishing for rest.