I’ve Come A Long Way, Baby…

As I sit here and pretend not to be thinking over the looming miles, I can’t help but think back over my sporadic running career.  I believe the first time I ran for fitness’ sake was in college with my roommate Nes, when I would “reward” myself for a job well done and two miles run with a P-Funk and a handful of Oreos.  I’ve come a long way, baby…

At the end of my first race

My first actual race experience was the VIA Relay when I logged 5.5 miles in 55 minutes as the first leg for our team.  I walked A LOT of that race, but at no particular interval pace.  I recall an obvious marathoner slowing beside me, his fuel belt seeming, to me at that time, to be a tad excessive (I knew little!).  He asked if I was doing 1:1 intervals, as he was.  My reply?  “Nope.  I’m on the uphill/downhill system.  Walk uphill, run downhill.”  I eked my way to Hubby, tapped out to the next runner, and slowly recovered from what I thought was a grueling and terribly long run.  I’ve come a long way, baby…

After my first Komen

From the VIA, I progressed to my very first Komen 5k.  It took us about 35 minutes to finish and I remember thinking that running made me fill really ill and excessively tired.  Regardless of how many times and ways I attempted to explain my nausea and exhaustion to Hubby, he claimed he, too, was tired from the race.  Little did we know that the babe was blossoming in my belly and I really was far more tired than Hubby.  Well, I knew how much worse I felt, he just didn’t want to let me win.  We’ve come a long way, baby…

Seeing as how my belly was growing and I was slowing, I left running behind for prenatal workouts.  Post-babe, I discovered TurboFire (HOOORAAAAYYY!) and felt that was my soul mate workout.  What could be better?  I loved the intensity, the music, the quickness.  Nothing could be better!  I was about to come a long way, baby…

Crossing the finish line

My darling niece challenged me to a half marathon.  So what if it was a mere five weeks away?  If TurboFire was really that faboo, I ought to be in optimal condition.  Challenge accepted!  And guess what?  This time, I fell in love!  I loved waking up at the asscrack of dawn and running longer and longer routes before anyone else woke up.  I loved my race, the Rock N Roll Half Marathon in Providence, RI.  Live bands every mile?  Free Gu?  A gentle cooling rain?  Yes, please, and THANK YA!  I really had come a long way, baby.

And now…on the eve of the eve of my very first and very anticipated first marathon…I look back at my peppered race record and chuckle.  At what I thought was too difficult, too long, too steep…knowing now that the more difficult it is, the more fun it is to accomplish…the longer it takes, the more zen time I get…the steeper the climb, the more satisfication I get from climbing it.  (Somehow, the last part of the sentence suddenly seems perverted…oh well…)  So I am very much looking forward to Sunday morning, though I know pre-race will see a flustered Queen who must empty her bladder at least fifteen times before stepping across the starting line.  I just need to hold on to the knowledge that once running, all will be good.  These legs know what to do.  We’re gonna go a long way, baby…

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