a running fool

When Georgia was seven months old, I started training for my first half marathon. I gained a lot of weight with both pregnancies; I’m not one of those people who just has a belly. I’m one of those “my hair looks pregnant” kind of people. And this isn’t something that especially bothers me, even though looking at photos from my baby shower kind of makes me cringe. (My ELBOWS looked pregnant, seriously.) I had never been a runner before, but my husband is and has been since high school. He runs to let off steam, to exercise and to have fun, and he always comes back from a run in such a great mood. I was a competitive swimmer for a long time, but that just wasn’t in the exercise cards (lack of pool being a primary reason) and so I started running. I didn’t really enjoy it, per se, and so I needed a goal… a tangible, attainable goal that would make me lace up my shoes and get out the door every day. I signed up for Austin’s 3M Half, which, in addition to being an entirely downhill course (woot!), has the reputation of having one of the awesomest swag bags ever. Just to give you an indication of what is in said bag, let’s remember that this is the 3M Half Marathon. I will never need to buy tape, post-it notes or paper clips ever again. But I do anyway, because I love office products. I know. Weird.

I trained really hard for that race, and it was due to my husband and his support and his training diligence that I finished, and finished well. I was so happy with my time and I had such a great time during the race. That was in January of 2007. So in June, I committed to run the New York Marathon that November. Casey trained me for that too; every day, we got home from work and school, loaded G into the jogger, and ran. Every single day. (Except Mondays. Mondays are hard enough as it is.) We did our long runs on the weekend, and as the distances progressed we started getting babysitters, because G was getting really bored on runs that lasted more than an hour and a half (SO DID I but that’s not what this is about.)

We ran and ran and ran and I felt so ready for the race. However, October was always my busiest work month, and I came off our Longest Work Weekend (think: no sleep, demanding people, unhealthy food) exactly one week before my flight to NYC. And I got sick. as. a dog. So, so sick. No breathing through my nose, achy joints, stuffy head sick. And I made a decision that horrified my parents and surprised even me… I ran that race anyway. And it was awesome. It took me longer than I had hoped, but while I was on that course, I felt like nothing could stop me.

I felt like hell the next day and it basically took me about seven weeks to get well again, but I’m still not sorry I did it. And that’s why I’m so anxiously awaiting the middle of this month… because I’ll find out if I got in to this year’s NYC marathon lottery. And if I do? I’m going to train like hell and be WELL this time.


2 Comments on “a running fool”

  1. hannah says:

    Hey, I was a swimmer, too! Not a super great one, but that was my sport back in high school.

    I’m fixing to train for my first half marathon. 26.2 still sounds crazy but I would love to, someday. In fact, my secret fantasy goal is Boston- I lived on the course, near the finish line, for years, and it would be amazing to run past the Apartment of my Miserable Fat Twenties. But I think that is probably the Impossible Dream. Will see if I can do a half for now.

  2. I’m crossing my fingers and toes for you.

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