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Big (Slightly Less Fat) Sissy

The official training schedule called for a TEN mile run today.  I’ve had the schedule in front of me for two weeks, so I knew it was coming.  But after the Peachtree, last week, I wasn’t feeling too hot about ten miles. 

I hit the Silver Comet Trail at dusk. 
Me and my broken Garmin band left the house at 5:20, and stopped for an iced coffee at Starbucks. I borrowed one of my two year old’s hair bands to match the watch and hold it together. Sassy!  When I got home this evening, she tried to wrench it off my wrist screaming, “My ha-band, my ha-band!”  Nice. 
The trail was quiet at 6:15.  But folks were rolling in, unloading bikes and getting ready to put down the smack on a super early morning workout.  
I loaded up my Camelbak, because let’s face it people…ten miles needs a whole lot more hydration than my Fuel Belt could carry. 
(Winner: lamest pictures of the entire year. Ever.)

I started off running pretty easily.  The first four miles turned out fairly uneventful.  My gimp hip was giving me some issues, but really, I felt pretty good. (Which is a reminder, I have got to find a new chiropractor near my new office…)  
Anyway, it was eighty-one degrees and about 1000000% humidity, so I sucked down water like a camel.  Which is good, because in those spandex tights… oh, I’ll leave that one alone. 
At 4.3 miles, I started to feel a little rough.  I had a couple Shot Bloks, and pepped up in time for the turn around at mile 5. 
Something happened when I turned the corner to head back “home.”  
Instead of the usual, wooooo hoooo, I’m halfway home, I hit some sort of sick reality:  oh, crap, I have to do what I just did…. again. 

Still, I snapped myself back into the game and hit a pretty good rhythm for… oh, about four-tenths of a mile.

So, I had 4.6 miles remaining. I pass the sign that proved it.   Crap.  4.6 miles…remaining?

At this point, I appear to go into some sort of runner’s coma.  I was floating above my body, recognizing that this whole exercise was insane, and noticing that the person below really appeared to be suffering, but I didn’t do anything to speed this woman up or slow her down (or make her stop, for that matter).

The floating “me” just kept floating, watching this insane runner below.

At some point I emerge from this coma, and I look up to see a sign that says 1.6 miles.  1.6 miles?  I daydreamed away three miles?

Okay. 1.6 miles.  I can do that in my sleep, I’m thinking.  Right?  Right…. Riiiiight.

The next 0.6 of a mile was the hardest run of my life.  I had a side stitch.  My hip was throbbing. My left calf was cramping.  Oh, and apparently in my coma-state, I had sucked down every last drop in the Camelbak and ate two Gu packets.  So thirsty. 


My feet were so heavy. But I really never thought about quitting.  I mean, I had to get home.  So what good would quitting do?   Then I passed the sign that read 0.9 miles left.  And I hit a stride, and I knew I could finish reasonably intact.

When I passed the sign that read 0.3 miles remaining, one of my favorite songs came on the iPod, and I suddenly became a huge sissy.

Not a sissy as in giving up… but rather, a boohooing, hysterically crying type of sissy.  A big (slightly less fat) sissy.  I was crying before I realized what happened.  Runners were looking at me thinking, awwww, that poor chunky girl is just plain suffering at that pace.  If they only knew.

In that moment, I felt the enormity of what it meant to be outside, running on two healthy (albeit, weary) legs, and finishing something I never in a zillion years believed I would ever do.

I can’t imagine the weight of finishing an Ironman, or how I will feel after Miami.

But I want to remember what it feels like to run 10 miles in this body, on this day.  I may have looked like ten dollars when I finished…but I felt like a million bucks.

(Winner:  Photo showing exhaustion.
Can’t even focus on the camera long enough to smile.)

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