Friday, April 10, 2009

Run, Forrest, Run!

We survived. Everyone is healthy, at least for the time being, and I get to focus on stuff other than puke and poop.

So, months ago I received an e-mail from my neighbor who is the type of mom (of three kids, no less) that makes me scratch my head because she has the time, energy, and will to go running regularly. Not only does she go for morning runs, but (mind blown here) she also participates in marathons, triathalons, and such.

Anyhow, she sent out this e-mail blast to some friends, myself included, urging us to join her in this local mini-triathlon thingy. (The fact that I've just referred to it as a "triathalon thingy" should clue you in to my familiarity and comfort-level with such tests of physical strength.) Maybe I wanted to try something new? Maybe I was thinking I could prove to myself, "Hey, I'm a mom, but I still got it!" Maybe the sleep deprivation had moved beyond everyday forgetfulness and now was starting to impair my good sense and judgment? Or, maybe, just maybe, for a split second there...I thought it might be fun?

At any rate, the portion of the event that was worrying me the most was the running. A little background...I don't run. Not only do I not run, but I can't fathom why anyone would do such a thing on purpose. The one time I went running with my husband -- who does run regularly and finished the Marine Corps Marathon in three hours and 48 minutes...woot, woot! -- my stomach cramped up the first half-mile, I started hyperventilating (people wonder where my daughter gets her dramatics and I'll be the first to admit, I may be partially responsible), and I actually started crying out, "I'm dying! I'm dying!"

Fast-forward several months, and I'm starting to get a little worried about my half-baked attempts to train for the event. Swimming for me is not as big of a deal; years upon years of summer and winter swim team have made, for me, doing the freestyle sort of like riding a bike -- it all comes back pretty quickly.

So, I had been swimming, but really avoiding the running part. I'd gone maybe twice and, both times, I wasn't sure if I'd live to see Marley graduate preschool. I started to wallow. Why, why, why, oh why did I do this? I'll never make it. What was I thinking? I'll have to be helicoptered to the nearest emergency room from the sheer exhaustion of it all. Then I thought to myself, "Wait, Dub-T-F. I can do this. I am no limp biscuit. I am no delicate, shrinking violet. I birthed two babies. I am woman!" (Usually when I do something out of my comfort zone, the first phase is the whining and despair and then the second phase is the one-on-one with my ego.)

I immediately contacted my trainer (my husband) and told him we needed a game plan. We'll start slow, he said. "Let's all go on a short run tomorrow." And we did.

That first run was horrendous. It was every bit as horrible as I'd remembered. Nevermind the humiliation of my husband lapping me while pushing our two kids in the Doodlebug. As I lay on the grass outside my house, I thought to myself, "Never. Never again."

But, then something magical happened. I went running again. And, I got a little farther this time without whining, cramping, or experiencing the go-toward-the-light-near-death thing. And, then I went again and, it got a little better. Now, it's been three times and, dare I say it...I am actually enjoying myself.

My husband said to me after our last run, "You looked really good out there."
He might as well have said, "Honey, we're leaving tomorrow for a Paris shopping spree!" That's how good it felt.

I'm not saying that I'm going to become runner/triathalon girl. Or that running will ever truly be a regular part of my life. Or that I'm going to start investing in a decent sports bra. Or, that I'm going to start pushing my kids around in our jogger. Then again...stranger things have happened.


Margy said...

Oh, you will be a runner/triathlon girl! And I'm sure you'll kick my ass. I loved doing the triathlon, but I'm very slow. Who cares? It's all about getting the Iron Girl t-shirt!

Ali said...

My hubby loves running too but I will just stick to my treadmill!

Evolving Mommy Catherine said...

Just the word Triathlon makes me tired let alone doing all of the activities involved. Good luck with your training!

Nydia said...

Lmao! This was hysterical! I hate running too!! I always feel like my knees are going to split at the joint and leave me a bleeding, whiny invalid ...

Oops ... That was a bit dramatic ...

Olivia said...

I just realized that that is Travis in the photo.