Good Intentions, Flawed Results
One moment, clearly in a state of overzealous delirium, I decide to register myself and my fiance for a marathon. It sounded like a good idea at the time, which could be the actual theme of my entire life. My thought process consisted of a thorough evaluation of the following information: it was in Napa, it was mainly flat and I had a whole year to prepare. A whole year.
Here is the information that I should have considered: I hadn’t run more than 5 consecutive miles at that point , I had only been running/training for about 6 months prior to signing up and I’m not 25. Those thoughts, unfortunately, hang out in a land called denial. Denial is slowly altering my thought process like the Spanish inquisition “converted” Catholics. It’s unnerving and usually has unexpected and sometimes painful consequences.
Filled with exuberant optimism and a strategy, I set off to prepare to run a marathon. Things went along mostly as planned. And by mostly I mean sometimes and by planned I mean that I had a plan but didn’t always follow it. I blame that never-ending expansion of denial into the recesses of my brain for this problem. I would PLAN to run but then there would be kids, and work and projects and my fiance is really cute. Distractions. Since I have an advanced form of ADHD – All Days Have Drama, it wasn’t entirely my fault that my dreams of following this perfect plan didn’t work out perfectly.
I did manage to accomplish running a 10k, a few 5k’s and a half marathon by December. None of that was done without a lot of pain, some crying and the desire to stop immediately and question all of my personal beliefs. At some point in every race last year I started to think about what kind of people actually run this hard and pay for the privilege. Apparently the answer is me.
After December, life decided that all of my accomplishments could just suck it because the new plan was for me to travel incessantly for the majority of the first two months of 2014. This meant that my running regimen was about to go hell in the proverbial handbasket.
It’s a challenge to stay the course when you are in the comfort of your own home but add in hotel gyms in foreign countries, late nights, exhausting meetings and multiple time zones and that equals running shoes that never leave your suitcase. I tried, I really did try but I failed, I really did fail. Most of the running I did manage was through the airport to my next gate.
Two weeks before the marathon I am finally done traveling and I have to face reality. Or do I? Denial, come sit next to momma and you can convince me that going to run the marathon anyway is a good idea. You know I can do it? You believe in me? It’s only 11.2 miles more than I have ever run in my life but I can do it anyway? Denial wins. I go to the marathon with a new plan – I will run a 4:1. This means I will run for 4 minutes and walk for 1 minute. If I can run on a 13:00 minute pace, I can do this! That’s not that hard! I run faster than that all the time! Yes, denial, I can do this!
So off we went to Napa Valley to run the marathon.
I won’t bore you with all of the details of that day. I will summarize by saying that I was late starting due to the long line at the porta pottys, I managed to follow my plan but only up to mile 13 and that there is no greater intimidation then having the police car that marks the runners who are going to make it within the designated time right behind you the ENTIRE time you are running. My legs made my decision for me when they made a bold statement at mile 12.5 by sending excruciating pain signals to my brain before seizing and then refusing to move. I limped along to the halfway point before the police officer who had been following me asked me if I needed help. Even though denial tried to convince me to continue, my pain receptors said, “bitch, please” and threw the smack down on denial until she whimpered off into the corner. I had to stop.
When you can’t finish a marathon, the “sag wagon” picks you up to take you to the finish line. I renamed it the “sad wagon” because everyone in it sat in painful silence clearly resisting the urge to cry in front of complete strangers. Avoid the sag wagon. The wagon of perpetual misery dropped us off at the finish line. There was nothing left for me to do but get some much needed medical attention and wait to see if my fiance would finish on time. Oh, yes there was also time to cry.
Our friend, Kate, finished with a personal record and my fiance finished before the cut off time so I was able to forget about my woes and concentrate on their victories. I cried some more but those were tears of happiness. I didn’t run a marathon but I ran in a marathon and that would have to do for today.
We spent the remainder of the day sitting in Epsom salt baths, sleeping, using an embarrassing amount of bio-freeze and taking pain medication. Later that evening when we realized we needed to drown out the screams of every fiber in our bodies if we ever hoped to walk the next day, we were forced to make a Walmart run for ibuprofen and champagne. After all, what won’t that cure?
The rest of the weekend was spent drinking copious amounts of wine/champagne and eating even more copious amounts of food. It was glorious. We walked like John Wayne but we got to eat like him too. Which brings me to the reason I run in the first place. Yes I want to be healthy. Yes, I like a challenge. Yes, it hurts sometimes and yes, it’s hard. But I also get to say yes when someone offers me pie. I like pie. I run for pie.
If you see me running by and think about joining in, just remember I’m not doing this for the rock hard body, I’m doing it for the pie…and possibly the wine…
You have been warned.
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