Training is like giving birth.
I have hit mild freak out mode.
I am running my 3rd half marathon on Saturday.
Sometimes it freaks me that I am a runner. If you knew me 10 years ago, you would have laughed at the fact that I run now. It still amazes me that I do this. It has taught me so much about dedication and working for something that you want in life. I think that’s why I love it so much. It teaches me and humbles me everyday.
I tend to think a LOT when the pre-race nerves hit me. I also do a lot of running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off, but whatevs. I think and analyze my training.
I should have done more speed work.
I should have cross trained more.
I haven’t stretched enough.
I didn’t do.. fill in the blank.
But with training for these things… it’s like nothing else. You train. For weeks. It consumes your life. Much like a pregnancy. It’s all you can talk about. In the beginning, the first trimester of training- if you will, you’ve just signed up. Your high on the thrill of what’s to come. Your life is about to change and be consumed with this. You take baby steps– working your way up to running long runs- Running 2 to 3 miles a day, working up to your long run of 5 miles. It’s enjoyable. During your pregnancy first trimester- it, too, is all you can talk about. You have to tell people you are pregnant. You feel different. Maybe you have morning sickness, but most importantly, you know your life is changing.
During the second trimester of your pregnancy, you have energy. You feel better. You are starting to show and people are asking you about it. Is it a boy or a girl? You start planning and dreaming of the nursery. During the second trimester of training, you runs are becoming more challenging, but they are still pretty easy. They pump you up and make you feel good about your training. You visualize crossing that finish line and all the glory that comes with it. You start to find more people that are signed up for the race- much like being pregnant with your friends. Maybe you become better friends with someone is pregnant at the same time as you, or that is training for the same race, simply because you have someone who is reaching for that same goal.
If you have been pregnant before, then you know. That last trimester is pure misery. Those last few weeks?? You want to abolish them from your memory. Nothing is comfortable. You are never comfortable. Sitting on the couch.. sleeping… sitting in a chair. None of it. You are just ready for it to be over with. Time to move onto the next chapter.
That last trimester of training? It hurts. The runs are longer. They tax not only your body, but your mental state. You question why you signed up for this in the first place. Wasn’t life much easier before this became a priority? You have to schedule runs around your social life. Stretching, icing, hydrating. It’s a constant cycle in your life. The week of, you are a wreck. Running around like an insane person. What should I wear? Pack for the trip? Am I drinking enough water? No alcohol or excessive amounts of sweets. It’s just clean eating. You have to take care of your body after all. It’s preparing for something big.
Now it’s time for the delivery. You are nervous with what to expect. Is everything going to go as planned? Fingers crossed..
Before you know it, you are toeing the start line. This. Is. It. No turning back. You are going to leave everything you have out on that course.
The beginning part is easy- the contractions don’t hurt too bad. People are coming to see you and wish you good luck. It’s exciting.
First half of the race is a piece of cake– you are feeling strong.
Second half of delivery? You are begging for the pain meds. Is it too late to turn back? Yes it is.
Second half of the race? Your body hurts. Joints ache. But somehow you push through. You see those last few mile markers, and you know you are so close to the finish line. Maybe you can even see that finisher’s shoot. You push through. One last surge of energy. Then? You cross the finish line. The wave of emotions is so strong. You did it. You finished. You got your medal. Congratulations are everywhere. Maybe you even tear up, because not a lot of people have what it takes to do what you just did.
The glory. The accomplishment. The runners high. It’s all there. And it’s amazing and worth every sore muscle. You overcame that little voice inside your head that said, “You can’t do this.”
That’s what keeps you coming back.