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.