Monday, May 30, 2011


20 miles this weekend - I'm now officially into a 2 week taper before the marathon.

Truly, if I can do this (and I realize I'm not quite there yet), anyone can. It's not like Boom, I went out and ran 20 miles. It's been a long, slow, steady road to get here. And I have such a supportive husband and a fantastic running partner for my long runs. I soooo wanted to quit during the last 5 miles of the 20, but I kept staggering on until I got to the end. Nothing broke, I didn't die and now I am pretty sure I can run 26.2. It was a nice enough day for a long run, except the humidity. I was drenched with sweat by the end - so much so I thought my water bottles were leaking. But no: it was me.

If you haven't run a marathon, you might think I have some magical marathon endurance/strength/je n'sais quoi. But that's really not true. Once a boyfriend compared me to an elephant (the point was supposed to be complimentary - something about wisdom and groundedness, but the physicality of the comparison is unavoidable). And then when I was pregnant with Natalie and swimming regularly, I thought of myself as a humpback whale - again, the point was the non-physical - I was channeling a whale's slow, majestic serenity - but the physical association was there. Given these animal comparisons, it is clear that"runner" is not my athletic body type. In fact, another man -who was a huge runner and whom I thought was the love of my life at the time - flat out told me I didn't have a runner's body (the insinuation was, "why bother, you'll never be fast"). That smarted, until he soon thereafter gushed about his infatuation for a woman who won the Boston Marathon with diarrhea running down her leg. At that moment he was no longer the love of my life. Because there is no way I would not duck into the woods (and I do! almost every run) if I had diarrhea.

All this to say, I'm big, I'm heavy, I'm slow and dammit, I'm going to run this marathon (Good Lord willing and the creek don't rise).

Oh, and speaking of heavy - I haven't lost one red pound with all this running. What's up with that? It's inconceivable. That's what it is.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

An audience

This running thing has been good on many levels, but it's also hard, uncomfortable and time-consuming. I have a few things that keep me going, but possibly the biggest motivator that I hold in my mind when I'm tired and have to drag myself out the door is that my children are watching and learning from my life. When Natalie was born, one of the many powerful realizations I had was that I wanted to be a better person for her sake

So I persevere  - against my every inclination - because I want her to see me working through things that are frustrating, unpleasant and difficult in order to reach a goal. I also try to zip my lips when tempted to whine - after all, I don't like her to whine, so I better keep to the standard I set for her.

Even though she doesn't understand why I want to run a marathon (and she really doesn't), I know that I'm modeling what it takes to work hard for a goal. I hope she gets it. I do know she gets that it's good for me.

And I can't wait to cross the finish line and see my kids and Murray cheering for me. Ultimately, they're It - both my reason and my strength.