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26.2 Miles vs. 40 Weeks

Posted Aug 15 2011 9:57am
It starts with a euphoric feeling in the pit of my stomach; tiny bubbles of joy are having a dance party deejayed by the  90's one-hit wonder Deee Lite  in the depths of my soul, and I really, really like it.

Visions of a grandiose future float into my head: there's confetti, champagne, people yelling out my name, general excitement from the surrounding sea of people.

I've just registered to run a marathon .  No.  Wait.  I've just found out that  I'm totally pregnant.

So which is it?

Let me tell you:  It's both.


They're pretty much the same thing.

And here's why.

#1.  The "Groove Is In The Heart" moment comes first; the holy-crap-I-just-signed-up-for-what moments come shortly thereafter.
Marathons and babies are wonderful, amazing things.  But as they are both lovely and can be all puppies & rainbows inducing, they can also be the catalysts for temporary insanity, fleeting moments where I wonder just what the heck I got myself into.



#2.  "What are you, nuts?" and "We're never going to see you now," my non-marathon or childless friends say.
It's true.  Training for a 26-mile race for 16 weeks or planning and having a child are life-changing events.  Friends will wonder why I stop the Miller Lites at just two and eye me with suspicion when I tell them it's because I have to run 18 miles the next morning.  They will also wonder why I look forward to Saturday nights that involve snuggling with my newborn and watching Baby Einstein over heading to happy hour.

#3. I plan, and re-plan, and re-re-plan my marathon/baby plans.
Nothing ever really goes according to plan, does it?  Perhaps I change the crib bedding on my registry six times.  Maybe, at the last minute, I have to head for a C-section over a regular birth.  In training, what if I realize I could run a sub-4:15 race instead of a sub-4:25 if I just step up my speed workouts?  Or maybe I find that chocolate-flavored Gu and my digestive system are not going to be good friends on race day.


#4. Mini versions of myself have the I-can-do-this, no-I-can't argument in my subconscious, forcing many a sleepless night.
Visualizing the crowd at the finish line or the first car ride home with baby wrapped snugly in the infant seat can help.  But not always.  At various points in the 16- or 40-week "training" period, I feel alternately strong and weak, able and unable.  I may or may not argue with my husband over being a stay-at-home or working mom.  I may or may not argue with my husband if I'm really pushing myself on tempo runs.


#5. Strange cravings stage a mutiny over my taste buds, and I'm constantly hungry.
Slurping down Spaghettios?  Check.
Stealing copious amounts of Starbursts from the candy dish?  Yep.
Watching Paula Deen slathering oil on butter and coating it in beer batter and then deep-frying the whole thing?  Sign me the eff up.
Whether it's the residual effect of a Sunday long run or the hunger that has struck me in the second trimester, food I would normally never eat can make a stronger comeback than Mickey Rourke.




There's a Finish Line at the end of it all; this much I know.  While I now know what that place looks like after running two marathons, I have no idea what it'll look like in January.

It's a scary thing, but so is running a marathon.  But I've done that, and I'll get to this next finish line in the same way - one day, one mile at a time.

I'm just really hoping Deee Lite will be make a cameo to push me through to the end.



Don't forget to enter the  Nuun giveaway  - it ends tonight @ midnight!
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