Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Turned Tables

This Saturday, June 8th,2013, Holly Pepper and I will participate in the See Jane Run Half Marathon.

I'm a first-timer.

I’m nervous.

So, I’ve been preparing. Perhaps for 9 months. In the first few months, I was fatigued, sore, maybe even a little nauseated if I jogged a long way without any food. The next 3 months were easier. I settled into a routine, using the C25K phone app, then the C210K phone app, then the 13.1 mile prep. I was just jogging along at my own pace, most of the time not really noticing that I was in training. But, these last 3 months have been more difficult. Aches and pains come and go; I need to see Darci for chiropractic care every few weeks. My knee has been aching after about 9 miles of jogging. I rest, put ice on it. My back hurts sometimes. I waddle.

But now, we’re here. In the zone and the big day is coming due on Saturday!

I’m mostly excited. I feel that I have been mentally preparing myself for months. Elizabeth Rutherfurd says that you need to go out on “Confidence Building Runs.” So, I do that. I’ve taken classes, Pilates and yoga. I read books, talked to others who have done it before. I think I can do it.

But there’s self doubt too. My clients who know I’m about to do this admonish me. “But, Maria, of course you can do it. Just do what you tell us to do in birth.” Pace yourself. Don’t go out sprinting. Drink and eat. Pee. Know that there will be moments when you are going to hit the wall and that is when your team will step in to help you. Holly Pepper is my half marathon doula. She’s done so many before! She’s even finished 3 Ironman races (what??). She runs halves and full marathons, even a 34 mile race (what??). She’s done triathlons and climbed Half Done full-on pregnant. And, she’s a Type 1 Diabetic. So, everyone is telling her she can’t or she shouldn’t be doing those things. She had a baby at home. She is my perfect doula. I imagine her by my side the whole time.

Dina will be there too. On the sidelines, cheering me on with hydration, gu shots and encouraging words. Who knows, maybe I’ll even stop for a quick back massage at some point. I know a Half-Marathon is not really a big deal, but for me, I’ll be checking it off my bucket list if I actually finish.

Will I make it? Will it be painful? What will the pain feel like? Will I be able to breathe through it? Will I give up/wimp out? And how will that feel if I do?

Or, will I will myself to the finish line? Will I find the inner strength to keep going? Will I throw up on the side of the road and wipe myself off? What will it feel like to cross the finish line?

I can only hope that in the midst of my travail, I will remember you.

I want to remember Amanda O’Grady: so in the zone and capable of going on for hours.
I want to remember Melanie Holt and how she turned into a mama polar bear, full of power and determination.
I want to remember Adryon Burton Denmark and her patience through the long night (Am I really only 2 miles into this?)
I want to remember Karen Martinez and Grace De La Cruz – both inspirations for speed and joy (but maybe I’ll get to those feelings on my second or third time around.)
I want to remember Gillian Bowley and her trust in the process. AND her openness to becoming a different person. For her, she became groovy. I want to become an athlete.

You all inspire me. I can only hope that I can remember your faces while I’m jogging along. Heck, if you did it for 2 hours, 4 hours, 48 hours, 58 hours, I can at least make it through a 3 hour, self-inflicted, women-centered celebration of life.

I picked up my race packet today. My birth tub is in my garage. I think I’ll set it up for afterwards.

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