Having a family with 4 kids (3 from a previous marriage) training for a marathon would be impossible without the support of my wife, Jill. Since the day we met she has been my biggest fan. We have been together for my last 2 marathons and she created inspirational books for me before each one. She campaigned for and collected supportive notes from friends and family to be in the books. Her level of caring is unlike anything I have experienced in my life. She is my one true love.
Every Sunday she stays home with the kids, while I am gone for 3 hours running. To be a family person and a marathon runner, you are only as good as your support system.
I proposed to her before the 2006 Chicago Marathon and wore gloves during the race that said “Jill will you marry me?” My oldest 3 kids and Jill watched the race. Jill had made shirts that said “Team Steve” in bright yellow that made it easy to find them on the sidelines. I saw them at mile 26 and went over hugged my kids and gave Jill a kiss before finishing the last .2 of the race.
The year before I had the idea to propose to Jill at a marathon as I ran by her near the finish of the 2005 Chicago Marathon. I was tired and blew her several kisses. I almost ran over to her right then and proposed, but I didn’t want to cheapen the moment by my weakened state, so I just starting planning the proposal for sometime in the next year. My original plan was to carry the ring during the race, go over, kneel and propose during the race. I started to fear that I might lose the ring, so I proposed to her before the marathon on the drive into Chicago. The gloves were worn during the race for posterity as I flashed them to the cameras on the course.
We got married in Las Vegas a few weeks later on Las Vegas Marathon weekend.
My hope to my readers is that if they have someone in their lives like Jill, be very thankful. If you are single find someone who shares your love for running or at least is supportive of your very healthy hobby.
It was her idea that I start a running blog. If she wasn’t so awesome, I would be a far lessor person. Thank you Jill. I love you very much.