Whoa Mama

Friday, April 29, 2011


It is 4 weeks and 1 day until the half marathon. I exceeded my goal to support Roswell Park thanks to very generous family, friend and co-workers, and am happy to exceed it further should you want to support. After today, I feel really ready to do this thing. It was rainy, cold and very windy today and with that working against me, I still did:

I ran ELEVEN miles. **11**

It took forever. I am not winning any races, least of all one that requires that I run for over 2 hours. Part of what happens out there is after you get over the hurdle of convincing your body that you are going to be doing this for a little while, at least for me, is that your brain 1. shuts off or 2. occupies itself in odd ways like long divisions. Typically, I am the latter. Today, there was just an assemblage of observations.

I did about 6 miles on the street, during which multiple people honked. To all of them, I say, please don't do that! Unless I'm wearing a number, this isn't a spectator sport. I'm not dressed like I'm on the cover of Lucy so the act of being out there sweaty, slogging along shouldn't evoke any acknowledgement. If I don't know you and have don't express knowledge of the car you drive, I'm not waving back. Move along. If you DO know me, please stop with water and/or a tissue.

Knowing that I was facing a new personal record, I tried a new route which included really quiet, safe place to loop off the road for about a mile. It comes out on the back side of the senior center and is on city property. I ran into some city worked doing, I think, what the posted signed said, which was "abating nuisance animals". I guess that means don't let your dog eat anything back there AND wear florescent. They must have been taking a break when I came upon them because they were attempting pull ups on one of the workout bars along the path. I'm not typically a smart ass, but I couldn't resist and called out, "99! 100!" They were good natured about it, because really, who is the girl trotting 20 minute miles to poke fun.

I headed over to the track at the high school, where I found the engineering genius that is the manufactured track surface. As I was approaching the school, I shuttered at the thought of the miniscule gravel that used to shoot up and burrow into my socks during gym class, soccer sprints and marching band practice. I weighed it against more pounding on a road and decided it was worth the trade off. When I hit this new stuff, my legs were gleeful! It was buoyant! The track was clearly set up for track & field practice with hurdles that were much more like limbo bars. Seriously, I could more easily vertical jump one of my six-year olds than get over one of these things. Sadly I got chased off the track and its dreamy, mousse-like surface when a gym class came pouring out.

Slogging up a viscous hill at 8 miles, I thought about being pregnant. The first time around wasn't bad. Starting to run at six weeks postpartum was hard. I was uncoordinated, sore in strange places and giggly everywhere. Sam was an easy pregnancy, easy birth and all told, easy recovery. Then I carried twins for 35 weeks. I remember being 30 weeks along, way to early to give birth and just unfathomably large, with Sammy walking through the Wegmans parking lot. I was so slow and ungainly. A woman easily three times my age blew past me and I vowed to never take advantage of my healthy body again.

That was a very easy, soap opera-like statement was frosted in hyperbole! Time, effort, energy, desire easily overshadow the desperate promise of the pregnant mother. However I thought of that tired, slow mama and reminded myself there was no reason not to keep going today.
With eight miles behind me and three to go, I ran home, got the dog and finished what will stand, at most for four weeks, as my personal record. I ran ELEVEN MILES!


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