Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My favorite ultra---19 years of marriage to Rusty

(photo by Frank Probst)

Today is Rusty's and my 19th wedding anniversary! Actually, we dated for five years before we got married on June 24, 1989, in Washington, DC, so we are really
celebrating 24 years of being together. Our first anniversary was celebrated while competing in the now-defunct Bud Light Baltimore Triathlon (International Distance). That was fun, and symbolic of our dating years where we raced and trained for marathons and tris together. Many other anniversaries were celebrated while vacationing in the Outer Banks of NC with our family (where we will all be next week--YAY!). One of the most memorable was our 17th, celebrated in Auburn, California. Rusty had been up all night crewing for my first WS100 attempt, and as I ran around the Placer HS track to the finish, the announcer said, "Here is Sophie Speidel from Charlottesville, Virginia! Today is her 17th wedding anniversary, and that is her husband running with her on the track!" That comment elicited lots of applause from the crowd, but I was cracking up (in-between sobs of relief for finishing in under the cut-off) because the guy running alongside of me was not Rusty, but Alex Papadopolus from the VHTRC. Rusty was actually documenting my finish here.

It's kind of cool that WS100 will always remind me of our anniversary, because I like to believe that building a healthy marriage is a lot like training for an ultra...it demands commitment, patience, flexibility, hard work, and sacrifice, and in return it provides a feeling of fulfillment, gratitude, peace, joy, and love. Rusty is the one who convinced me to try another 100 (but I think he just wants an excuse to go back to WS100 so he can mountain bike around Tahoe again), so this Grindstone's for you, Sweedie!


Bedrock said...

Happy Anniversary! Joy and I celebrated our 11th this year and it still feels like we got married yesterday. The ultra-marriage analogy is pretty good. Commitment, patience, hard work, rewarding are all virtues that easily come to mind. Not to mention the various life "phases" (kids growing up, etc.) are kind of like aid stations in that the represent a new phase (or section). Kind of corny I know, but I am in a weird mood today. congrats again and good luck with training.

Sophie Speidel said...

Thanks, Bedford! Not too corny---actually, right on! The kids add an extra challenge along the way, for sure... all good, though.

Hope you are doing well. What's next for you? Send me your blog link and I'll link it to mine.

Sophie Speidel said...

Not too long after I posted this, the 2008 WS100 was canceled due to the historic number of wildfires currently raging in Northern California. I feel so badly for the runners, the firefighters and the folks whose homes and property are in danger!! Let's hope they are contained very soon.