A Look into Marathoning.
With Quotes from the Fella


There are very few things in life that are  more emotionally draining or physically taxing than attending a marathon.  And by attending I mean watching one.   As the supporter of a spouse who performs various strenuous activites for fun, I can tell you first hand, it’s a struggle.

Between the weight lifting and the Crossfit competitions and the running races I’m a mess.   I almost regularly need to lotion my hands to prevent clapping chafing and one time I got a tiny bit of a sore throat from saying “Good job” three times from the couch as the fella attempted a handstand pushup in the front hall.  His hip also kind of blocked my view of the television so really the difficulties are endless.

For alllll the partners out there who run and jump and throw, perhaps it would do you some good to consider the effect your activities have on your girlfriend/boyfriend/husband or wife.  I mean really.  You can all be so selfish.

Think being an athlete is hard?  Try being the athletic support.

It’s all fine and dandy, and well and good.  While you better yourself and get into tip top condition, we are left falling apart at the seams.  The washing of the socks alone is exhausting.  And then there’s the injuries. I once came very, very close to tripping over a running shoe, which could easily have led to a head contusion or twisted elbow or something.  Something bad anyway.

But because I believe in bettering myself I continue to support the fella in his exercise activities.   The latest of which was a marathon.  Well, kind of a marathon.  It’s called the Around the Bay Road Race and it takes place in Hamilton, Ontario.  It’s the oldest road race in North America.  Yes.  Even  older than the Boston Marathon.  The tee shirts even say so.

It’s a 30 km run (a little over 18.5 miles) around the harbour in Hamilton.  The first 20 km. are pretty flat.  The last 10 are hills.  Mean, mean hills.  Now, I should preface this with the fella has never run a marathon in his life.  He’s very fit and quite strong, but he doesn’t have what you’d call a runner’s physique.

If these were caveman days the fella would be the guy who pushed rocks, not the guy who ran after the food.  But he did it.  And it was exhausting.  For me.

I had to wake up early, early in the morning to watch him  make a HUGE breakfast.  Then I had to eat it.  THEN, I had to walk out to the road and say good-bye as he got in his car to drive to the start line.  THEN I had to walk back in the house.  By now I needed a small nap.  As if that’s a surprise.

A few hours later I got into my car, drove all the way to my mother’s house, picked her up, then drove at least 15 minutes to where the race was and parked the car.  Thankfully I brought some water and gummy bears to keep me going.

Then we stood.  We waited.  We stood on the road like common vagrants for all to see.  It was embarrassing I tell you.  And of course, exhausting.  For around 30 minutes we stood there, getting sleepier and sleepier from all the fresh air.  So now we’re into about hour 5 of this whole “Race Day” thing and still pretty much nothing had happened.



Then … out of nowhere, there he was.  The fella! Making his way down a hill.  I screamed when I saw him!  I cheered and I applauded and I yelled “I DRANK ALL YOUR WATER AND ATE ALL YOUR GUMMY BEARS!!!  SORRYYYYYYYyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!

And then he was gone.

He didn’t even stop to talk or anything.  Which, after all my sacrifices that day, I thought was kind of rude.  Actually.

For myself it was 5 months of  cheering, encouraging, washing tee shirts, cooking protein, clapping from the couch.  For race day it was 5 hours of driving, waiting, parking, and napping for this … below is a photo account, in real time,  of what I saw of the fella in the  run.  For him the race lasted 3 hours 25 minutes.  For me … it lasted approximately 4 seconds.



After this my mom and I packed back into the car and headed to a hot dog stand.  Then it was off to the finish line where as you can imagine it was craziness.  As the fella said, the smell of 11,000 runners smashed into a stadium is not one you will soon forget.  By the time we got to the end of the race I was actually starting to feel pretty refreshed.  I had a hotdog into me, a few gummy bears and other than a small blister from walking up the stairs to look down into the stadium, I was good.  I sustained a pretty gruesome hangnail from picking at my fingers while waiting for the fella to come in, but other than that I was pretty unscathed after this marathon.  It’s a miracle really.

So.  That’s my account of taking part in a marathon.  Now a few quick quotes from the fella.

7:30 a.m. – I feel kindda sick.  (after eating a breakfast of pancakes, bagels with cream cheese, scrambled eggs, toast with jam, bacon, orange juice, and beans.)

8:00 a.m. – I feel good.  (as he was getting into his car to leave for the race)

1:05 p.m. – Oh my God.  THIS PLACE IS FILLED WITH 11,000 IDIOTS.   THERE’S SOMETHING WRONG WITH EVERY ONE OF THEM.  What a bunch of assholes.  (upon completion of the race)

8:00 p.m. – I can’t lower myself onto the toilet.  Karen!  Can you hear me??? I need help!

And the struggles, trials and tribulations of an athletic supporter continues.

(And if you happen to see an ad for the “Tough Mudder” competition either at the top or bottom of this post, … yeah … he’s doing that one too.)

→Follow me on Instagram where I often make a fool of myself←



  1. Alissa says:

    You forgot to mention how after watching a stream of runners for hours on end your eyes get motion burns. You look at stuff that you KNOW should be standing still (like brick buildings) and they’re moving instead. It’s tough.

    Between that, the wrist sprains from clapping, and the hoarseness from cheering, I gave up and decided it would be easier to just run the darn race. At least the view changes.

  2. Lita says:

    I was just thinking that your guy seems more suited for something like Tough Mudders.

    Also, My Fella thinks your Fella should have his own blog. I must admit, your guy does have a way with words.

  3. Cynthia says:

    Your fella reminds me of a story about hockey player Tod Bertuzzi. I nicknamed him Bercutee years ago cuz I think he’s HOT. One of my pals was appalled, telling me Cindy he’s a Neanderthal! My response was “hey he may be a caveman, knuckle dragger BUT just think of THE FUN after he drags me by the hair into our cave!” ,>}

  4. Amanda says:

    My brother is equally insane. But I forgive him because he’s a very young, dumb 23 who thinks it is fun to run a full marathon in 90 degree heat in commemoration of the…wait for it… Bataan Death March. I’m not making this up. And he did the entire marathon with a 43lb. ruck sack on his back. The ruck has more fat in it than he does. Fine. Run like an idiot with the weight of a not-so-small child on your back. But then he brings his dirty laundry to my house in the same ruck and thinks he can use my washer to clean it. But I let him. He’s young and dumb, and those little Army guys need to be coddled. Besides, someday when his knees and hips are shot, I can sell his pain meds on the street and buy a new washer.

  5. Melissa L. says:

    My ex gets his exercise getting in the car to go get fast food, but my son… my big, beautiful, teenage son… he plays lacrosse! Thank goodness my car has a sunroof – that sucker is open even in the middle of winter when he gets in after practice. I use a dog seat cover for his seat, and his bag must stay in the garage. Nevermind the almost-heart-attacks I have at least ten times per game! Oh, those boys we love. (I get my exercise climbing the bleachers to get a good seat!)

  6. Janelle says:

    Why is it that The Athletic have energy to run for nine days straight but can’t seem to manage to wash their own damned sweaty gotch?

  7. Sarah N. says:

    I am very lucky that when my boyfriend goes to the tough mudder in July I will be staying home. Unfortunately I am staying home to go to work :C

  8. Ellen says:

    Yay for the Fella!!! YAY YAY YAY (3 cheers)Yes, he is hot….
    And yes, you & your mom are remarkable self sacrificing women…. I recline in silent relaxed admiration of all of you….

  9. christine says:

    I get bruises on my chin when I run…

  10. Julee says:

    I think we need to start an athletic supporters, er, support group. My husband runs just for the free crap. Not only do I suffer through the events, I also have to endure years of ugly t-shirts. He’s shaped like a hockey player and looks like he ate a few of the other runners when he gets to the finish line. I once watched an orange-sucking woman give him unsolicited advice on hydration as he cracked open a beer at the end of a triathlon. You’re right. These things are tough on the supporters.

  11. Kera says:

    I have to agree. 11,000 runners after a run smell really bad. I can hardly stand myself after a run…
    You should get hazard pay for just tolerating that.

  12. Selina says:

    I run half marathons and finally watched one for 15 minutes because it ran 1 block from my place. I had no idea how boring it is to watch.

    • Karen says:

      Granted, it is a little more exciting when you’re waiting for someone to show up and run past you. But … only for the first 10 minutes or so. ~ karen!

  13. Auntiepatch says:

    Even when I was a “jockette” in high school I NEVER ran! I hated the 1 1/2 laps of the football field every year for the President’s Fitness exam (45 years ago). The only time you will ever see me run is if something really big & bad is chasing me! Congrats to you & Fella!

  14. Karo says:

    Why can’t the Fella do his own flippin’ laundry?

    • Karen says:

      Karo – It’s a joint effort around here. He does laundry, I do laundry. He does cooking, I do cooking. He … well actually, he’s the only one to clean the bathroom. It’s just the laundry consists of 20 pairs of his socks for every one of mine. No need to get all Gloria Steinem. ~ karen!

  15. Spokangela says:

    I am going to try my first Tri in August. I will show this to my fella to let him know what he is in for!

    And thank YOU Karen for being such a reliable source of information :) Gummy Bears, check! Hot dog, check! Don’t leave running shoes out, check!

  16. Marsh says:

    Due to your wonderful jocularity, I think you should call yourself Jockius Strapius instead of athletic supporter. :-) It just fits.

  17. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    OMG Karen..how can he put you through this??..Men are just so selfish aren’t they..And all of the sacrifices that you make for him..you poor frail little thing..sniff sniff..As for you Fella..a BIG congrats..anyone who can do a marathon and live to tell about it is amazing to me!!

  18. Sarah A. says:

    You’re such a good athlete supporter! I can totally relate to what you’re going through. The Boyfriend drags me to the gym when I’d just really rather work out the couch cushions. Ugh, its so exhausting…especially the laundry.

  19. Sherri says:

    My husband bikes (on the ones without an engine). I stay home to tend the house, the yard, the pets and the HDTV remote control. Does that count as being supportive? Oh yeah, I also do the laundry before it peels the paint off the walls.

  20. Lynn says:


    CONGRATS to the Fella! [*why* he would want to do that is beyond me, but he did it! that’s what matters] How long did you and your mother train for this race?

    • Karen says:

      Lynn – Mmm. On and off for 4 months for me. My mother didn’t train at ALL! Idiot. She’s still recuperating from it. ~ karen

  21. betty says:

    So much fun to read! I too was married to a runner…………couldn’t take all the laundry….we’re divorced now! Ha! Don’t be one of us who couldn’t take the pressure of being an athletic supporter.

  22. Becky S. says:

    You are coming to Kansas City in October? I can’t wait to see what you post after that! Be sure to eat lots of BBQ after the exhausting task of cheering him on.

  23. Julie says:

    So I was going to do the Run Around the Bay with 2 other people. Then we found out the night before that you can absolutely not pick up your race kit (shirt, bib, and chip timer) the day of the race, unlike every other race. So we didn’t go!

  24. Karena says:

    Karen, You DO make so many sacrifices!! Personally I think most (not your fellow of course) runners are crazy. I see them here in the neighborhood, in the summer in 100 degree heat and humidity out jogging along as if it is fun!!

    Art by Karena

  25. The Fella's Dad says:

    I’m proud of that boy. You treat him right.

  26. Deet says:

    I found your blog totally by accident and I just love happy accidents. Today’s post started my day off perfectly. Thanks for the laughs and insight. I’m married to a Geocacher who forages for hidden treasures in parks and parking lots. Something like an athlete gone wrong.

  27. Cheryl in Wisconsin says:

    Your ‘here he comes’ ‘there he goes’ photo giggy is magnificent.

  28. Traci says:

    Beans for breakfast??

    • Karen says:

      Baked beans. Not green beans. He felt quite ill after all that food. ~ karen

    • Jim Barry says:

      You haven’t lived until you’ve had beans for breakfast. And by that I mean left over baked beans with some scrambled eggs, bacon, a slice of crisp fried bolgona, toast, jam and a damn good cup of coffee. Oh, and if there’s any left over baked potatoes in the fridge, fry them up too! :)

      • Anj says:

        I second the “Beans for Breakfast!!!”
        You must remember:
        “Beans, Beans,
        the magical fruit
        the more you eat
        the more your toot!”

        Seriously running 30km and tooting might make other things besides your feet hurt.

  29. Debbie from Illinois says:

    My daughter runs marathons and I totally get what you are talking about!!! I am exhausted by the time she is finished. :)

    Congratulations to your Fella! You two are a cute couple.

  30. Shari says:

    Thanks for sharing! I laughed my a** off reading your account of the marathon. You crack me up!

  31. Deb says:

    You should rest.

  32. marilyn says:

    well that was one of ypur funniest posts ever!!!and the comments were funny too, highly entertaining. betty looks great and the fella, well the fella rocks! and really karen you look pretty darn good too! happy easter..

  33. Jim Barry says:

    Come one Karen, admit it, you love the fact that you can be strapped in to support your jock. :)

  34. ev says:

    Wow! Good effort, Karen!

  35. Lynn says:

    I’m the one who keeps the beer cold and provides lovely refreshments afterwards – a competition I can truly excel at indeed. If you ever see me running it likely means there is something horrible chasing me. :)

  36. Bernadette says:

    Karen, you make a fabulous athletic supporter. Also, may I say, your fella would be the hottest rock pusher in the cave. well done on all counts.

  37. Karen J says:

    Beans? Before a Marathon!?! Yikes!!!

    My ‘Marathon man’ has run 9 marathons.
    Runners are a breed of their own.

    Did you tear up a little when you saw him coming in? I still do. Every time:)

  38. Diana says:

    Hi Karen,
    this morning I read your post. I can`t stop thinking about it.
    I mean, we (your following ones) do the same!! REALLY!
    While you build your coops, figure out our problems, burn your eyes… We sit on the couch and take a nap. Drink coffee, tea what ever and cheer you on:
    Yeah Karen, you did it, don`t give up!!!

    In this moment my vacuum cleaner stands beside me begging for attention. My kitchen cryes to be cleaned. But your post blocked my view for all that!
    We all are supporter of your daily marathon!!!
    Love from Germany

    • Karen says:

      Well Diana – I never thought of it that way. Huh. Thanks! Now get your ass off the couch and go fix your vacuum. :) ~ karen

    • Melissa says:

      Diana is so right! Oh, and in other news… Karen, you live in Hamilton? Did you do CANUSA as a kid? I’ve been to Hamilton numerous times for swim meets :D No wonder I felt an affinity for you!

      • Karen says:

        Melissa – I’m just outside of Hamilton actually. I did not do the CANUSA games. My highschool athletic time was monopolized by horseback riding competitions. They didn’t have those at the CANUSA games. :) ~ karen

  39. Susan says:

    Good for The Fella!! And good for you and your Mother! I think you all deserve a medal. My daughter and son in law have stupidly signed up for the tough Mudder marathon this summer. Mud, water, rock climbing, electric shock therapy, crawling thru pipes? Not for me! And they have to pay to enter!! I will get sore arms from holding the beer at the end! See you there! Don’t forget the lawn chairs and chips! We can have a good catch up!:-)

  40. Crystal Lewis says:


    You are so lucky! Your fella is so big and so handsome. He looks like a big sexy wild animal. How do you control yourself around him? I’m having issues just looking at pictures of him.


  41. Deborah says:

    You actually DROVE to Hamilton and STOOD outside for who knows HOW many hours waiting for that 4 second glimpse of craziness?! You could have come over to my place for margaritas, it would have been WAY more fun :) This was hysterical, thanks for giving me my morning giggle!

    • Nicole2 says:

      Yes, just the fact that she had to breathe Hamilton air is a feat in itself…It’s much more fun going to a Margaritaville marathon. I’m training for it.

  42. Brenda j says:

    I was in a marathon once…. it lasted eight years.
    After the divorce of him and his mother-from-hell, I figured I WON!! I especially loved the folks that kept cheering:”Don’t worry, he’ll get his.”
    Yep,I got the two kids and he and his “Newbie” got a nice big yacht!
    WHAT THE HELL?????? I want a yacht!

  43. Lucy says:

    I noticed he crossed the finish line just ahead of a group of women who look remarkably more refreshed. However, the fella is a heckuva lot cuter. They are far, far better people than I (or maybe I’m smarter) to even attempt such a feat. PS: I hope he’s able to go potty by himself by now.

  44. amyfaith says:

    Oh, I so feel your pain Karen. My hubs commutes 26 miles round trip to work every day on his bike. And I mean EVERY day: in all weather and in all seasons. He has special studded tires for, you know, blizzards and such.

    3 weeks ago, he declared that perhaps he’ll run the Boston Marathon again this year (he last did it about 4 years ago) and got up early the next morning and ran 13 miles to work. Just like that. The marathon is in less than 2 weeks, so that will make a total of only 4.5 weeks of training. Did I mention that he hasn’t run AT ALL in the last 9 months.

    The laundry will soon kill me, I’m certain of it.

    • Karen says:

      Buck up Amy. You can do it! Just make sure you get plenty of rest and eat well. Maybe up your Vitamin B intake. Good luck! ~ karen

    • Sherri says:

      The alternative is not doing the laundry and dying of asphyxiation (can YOU spell that, Karen?) from the toxic fumes.

      • Karen says:

        Sherri – I can spell Chihuahua if that means anything. ~ karen

        • Sherri says:

          I’m impressed, missy! That’s a tough one, however, it does have that repeated “hua” syllable so all you have to master is the “Chihua”. Maybe I’m not as impressed as I thought I was. That happens to me a lot.

  45. Kari says:

    Oy. My husband decided to run a marathon while I was 5 months into gestating his offspring. It was the most unseasonably hail-filled, freezing temp, pelting rain and lightning filled May 1st ever had in the Midwest. I spent 4 hours and 45 minutes wondering if I would be left to raise the little one that would almost certainly have stress induced birth defects out the wazoo alone. Super fun I say.

  46. itchbay says:

    Yes, this! I’ve raced a fair number of events, both running and triathlon (they’re fun, really), as well as “jock strapping” for friends and my SO. It’s harder than one would think to be a good spectator at these long events. That’s a lot of standing and waiting, maybe some walking, and cheering. I feel compelled to cheer everyone one on. After about 10 people, I’ve run out of original things to say and start repeating myself. “Looking good!” “Keep up the good work!” “Looking strong!” “Just keep smiling!”

    Oy. I’m tired just thinking about it! :)

    • Karen says:

      Itchbay – I have a friend who popped a hernia around the 22km mark a few years ago. As he was dragging himself the last 10 km, pushing his intestine back into his body, he said he could have killed the people screaming out “You can do it!”, LOL! Love that story. ~ k

      • Nicole2 says:

        That’s how I felt about labour… except it was the baby I was trying to push back in…

      • itchbay says:

        Holy &*^%! That’s intense! I used to get blisters on my feet that were very painful, and I’d often “lose my nice” with people who were just trying to cheer me on. It was all I could do not to tell them to F*^% off.

  47. Angela says:

    A. I’m a little bit in love with the Fella.

    2. I feel your pain, my husband selfishly expects me to cheer him on as he trains for PT tests and the like. Every. Single. Year.

    • Karen says:

      Angela – Don’t be too jealous. He has a delicate constitution and toots a lot. Plus he’s bad at math, which means both of us are bad at math which means we’re lucky we can even figure out what time our favourite television shows are on. ~ karen!

  48. Marti says:

    Congrats Fella! Way to go!

    Karen, hilarious. Of course, if you were really trying to better yourself, you’d look up the correct spelling of “chaffing.”

    I was a “support group” at the Marine Corps Marathon. Twice. MAN PARADE of epic proportion. LOVED IT. Come on… you loved it, didn’t you?

  49. Dina says:

    That is classic. My husband is one of those athletic junkies who wakes up at unnatural hours to run, lift weights and whatever else he does while I try desperately to continue to sleep with ear plugs and eye mask… He then finds the energy for wrestling (jiu jitsu) after work. Your story had me in stitches, because I could totally relate!

  50. Laura says:

    You make a great athletic supporter, Karen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Seed Starting Calculator

  • About Karen