Pictures like the one above make me want to punch someone in the face! Running has always been that necessary evil in my life. I have never sucked at running and actually for a "big girl" on most of my teams, I was usually near the front when finishing. However, running is the essential activity in every sport I have ever played (minus golf) that was always part of the training regimen. In my freshman year of high school, I still remember having to beat an 8 minute mile in order to just try out for volleyball….and in college, running the golf course and double loop around Southwestern in practices. I remember every horse, hill and sprint-training day of every sport I have ever played and I vividly still remember one coach saying, "we are going to run until someone pukes!" Maybe that is why I hate running.... I never got to run for "fun.” It was always something I HAD to do, not something I WANTED to do.
So, let's go back in time about 5 years. Picture a normal Tuesday night in our house. Jon and I watching some TV with Walter and Charlie eyeing the delivery pizza on plates resting in our laps as we sat on the couch enjoying a nice cold beer. For some reason we seemed to order pizza the same night that the Biggest Loser aired. So we would shovel slice after slice of greasy pizza in our faces and wash it down with a few craft beers as we sat back and judged the people on the show fighting their inner self control demons. I clearly remember watching the episode where the contestants have to run a full marathon and joking with Jon about the amount of chafing that must take place along the run. All joking aside that episode always gets me.... How do these people, these very recently morbidly obese people run a freaking marathon? As I looked down at an unnecessary bowl of Blue Bell homemade vanilla ice cream that was perched on the arm of the couch... I looked at Jon and announced, "I am going to run a marathon before I turn thirty!" This proclamation was met with a chuckle from Jon to which I replied, "No, seriously, I am going to do it... I am going to run a marathon before I am thirty! Hell, if these fatties can do it... So can I!" However, as life goes, time disappeared in the blink of an eye. The good intentions of my words that night were met with new jobs, travel, family, pregnancy #1, a move to Dubai, and pregnancy #2. Somewhere along the way we managed to fit in the Houston half marathon though. Jon and I trained diligently..... A whole 5 short runs were made before the big day. I still remember the half way point where the marathoners keep running and the halfers turn towards the finish area and thinking, "those people are idiots... Why would you run a full marathon?!" After we finished the race Jon and I both looked at each other and agreed that was the first and last half marathon we would EVER run!
Now, skip ahead to our 2012 trip to Athens, Greece. We were on a walking tour when we stopped at the Olympic stadium, the site of the first modern day Olympics. Our tour guide told us the Marathon story which I had never heard before. It is said that a solider ran from Marathon, Greece to Athens to inform the army of an impending invasion and upon his arrival to Athens, after the 26.2 miles, the solider dropped dead... He dropped dead after running the first marathon ever! After hearing that story I thought, it's true, marathon runners are bar shit crazy! Although I was reminded of the night that I was sitting on the couch in Houston and a seed was planted in my brain once again.
Thirty came and went and that marathon didn't happen but then 31 happened! The stars aligned and the crazy goal of running a real marathon seemed possible... I had help to watch Corby and Leighton, I was working out regularly and not in awful shape, and I had time to actually train. All I needed was to sucker someone into doing it with me. I know myself and I knew that if I attempted this journey by my lonesome, I would never finish. I am a good team player... I like the competition and accountability that teammates bring to the table.... And let’s be honest, I am inherently lazy and would find some reason to fall off the wagon at some point. The choice for a running partner was easy... Stacey, my friend and workout buddy. All I had to do was talk her into my crazy plan! The first time I asked her If she wanted to run a marathon with me... I think her initial response was, "NO WAY!" Then it changed to, "maybe." Then to "I am scared!" Then Stacey was emailing our workout instructor asking for tips... Oh, did I mention that this all took place in a matter of an hour! Not days, or weeks... one singular Hour!
My plans was in full motion but now came the training... Have I mentioned that I hate running? Oh this was going to be fun (yes, that was sarcasm!) My brother Derrick just ran the Austin marathon so I got the training schedule from him. It started out small with 2 miles. Then we graduated to 3, 5, 6, 8 and so on. There was always a long run at the beginning of the week and shorter runs through out the rest. The training progressed and we found ourselves running 10 miles, then 12 and then 14... What? We just ran more than a half marathon? Holy hell! Every run after that we would finish, high five and both state that that was the furthest that we have ever run before in our lives! Whenever my body would start to hurt I would think back to those contestants on the Biggest Loser and imagine what it would be like to run this with 100 extra pounds on my body... Then I didn't feel so bad after that. When my knees would start acting up I would think of our friend Kyle who has had more knee surgeries then I can even count, but still managed to complete one of the hardest Ironman courses in an ungodly fast time!
We then progressed to 16, 17, 18 miles... 18! That was a rough one and the exact reason why I needed a running partner. I had been sick for several weeks prior and finally went to the doctor only to find out I had Giardia. It’s the parasite dogs get from eating their own shit... Yep, that Giardia. I have no clue how I got it. I wash my hands and I don't eat at totally sketchy places. Who knows, but I don't wish that on my worst enemy! Despite this, I ran/walked those 18 miles only because I owed it to Stacey and that day she was my #1 cheerleader. Last week we ran our longest run before the race, 20 miles and you know what, it wasn't awful. I mean, it wasn't fun but we did it and we could have kept running!
Well, the marathon is next Friday and I still don't like running! Maybe I don't havt it... Hate is a strong word after all. I don't hate the fact that my clothes fit me better… I don't hate that I feel healthier… I don't hate the fact I have lost 6 lbs (yes, only 6 but 6 is better than none right?... Or at least that's what I keep telling myself!). So maybe I don't Hate running anymore... dislike or tolerate might be a better word choice.
So friends, please keep me and Stacey in your thoughts next Friday from 7-11:30ish Dubai time and 9-1:30ish pm Thursday night back home. I will be saying my own prayers that morning...
May my feet be swift,
May my mind be strong
And please God don't let me pee myself during the race!
Yeah, running that far after having two kids is not an ideal situation! Oh good God what were we thinking?!