Standing in the entry way of a museum that had kindly opened its doors so that several thousand runners did not have to wait in line for the porta-poty, UB turned to me and said "I'm gonna head to the finish now. What time do you think you'll be done?"
This was the first time UB had been to a race with me since the meltdown. He's used to me saying some quick-ish time and nailing it. And he knows what's been going on, but he hadn't really experienced Me, Version 2.0 yet.
I answered with something like "Um... ahh... Maybe an hour? Hopefully not more than an hour. But maybe more than an hour. But I really really really hope it's not an hour."
He gave me a hug, said "Stride on," and left to wait for me at the finish line.
I went to the starting line.
Fifty-five minutes and sixteen seconds later, I crossed the finish line. I grabbed some water, located UB in the stands, and started making my way up.
I sat down one row below UB and stretched out my legs as he pulled the two huge ice packs from the cooler and handed them down to me. As I sat there with ice on my knees, we were both quiet for a few seconds. Then he put a hand on my shoulder and said "Good job, kiddo. You said you wanted less than an hour, and you were way under that. And in this heat, too. Good job." Then he moved on to another topic. There was no need to say more about the race; neither one of us ever lingers too long on a race performance discussion. But I was kind of stuck on that comment. It made me just a little teary.
Because UB, he gets it. He so gets it. And he gets me. And he gets what it means to me. And I just can't say that about a lot of people.
But I sure am lucky to have UB around. That I can say.