Thursday, March 13, 2014

A marathon is just like pregnancy...who knew!

Ahhhh I cannot believe that it's only 4 and 1/2 weeks until the Boston Marathon. This journey seems like its been a long time in the making, actually I have been anticipating this day since April 15th last year when I was stopped at mile 25.9 and never got to finish the race. You can read my story here & here.

I would liken the process of training for a marathon to having a baby. When your pregnant it's nine months of what if's...planning out the small details, eating right, sleeping more.
Kind of like what I'm doing now. I accepted my number in August. But have had it in my mind since last April. I needed to finish something that was incomplete. But this training year has been different. I really needed to psych myself up to the thought of training another 26.2. It is kind of like the first month you decide to stop using birth control. You say "holy crap, am I really doing this?" I made my training plan using the runners coach and the Nike+ apps. Then I took the two plans my knowledge from my previous three marathons and I rewrote it and refined it. I agonized over it and then just like peeing on a stick and getting a positive pregnancy test it was week 16 and time to start the process. No turning back now.

The obstacles of this winter training have been numerous. Snow covered roads, ice, and zero degree temps were like first trimester nausea. I kept thinking "Why am I doing this?" Getting into a routine with training is like the nesting phase of pregnancy! When you start to believe anything is possible. Your runs start to flow, and your mileage builds, you actually start to feel confident and excited about what you have started. But then the last trimester sets in. You begin to feel tired again. Your long training runs are exhausting. I would liken a long run of 18-20 miles to pre-term labor or braxton-hick contractions. They can be painful and annoying but don't produce the end result. Tapering for a runner is like being on partial bed rest. Your advised to now pull back on what your doing in order for a "good result" on delivery day ie: race day. Many people during tapering or those last few weeks of pregnancy are cranky, uncomfortable and "ready to get this over with".

On Monday April 21st I'm scheduled to be at the starting line at 9:30am. It will be like checking in for labor induction (which I did with my third pregnancy). You go to bed the night before knowing that what happens tomorrow will be life changing. You walk into the hospital much like getting to the starting line, your tense and nervous. You just want to get out there and get it done, your ready, and if your not ready's happening anyway! The morning of the event you wake up early and have a good breakfast, because god only knows when you might eat again. You've had your bag packed for the hospital or race for days, but you re-check it to make sure all the important gear is there. You pack snacks and drinks for the many hours ahead of you. You get to the starting line, much like getting to your birthing room. You hunker down, get comfortable with your surroundings, it's going to be a long couple of hours. The gun goes off the race begins. Pitocin starts your contractions off easy at first. Just like the first 6-10 miles, this is a piece of cake. No epidural needed, no water breaks for you, your on a role! By mile 15-18, your asking the nurse for an epidural, your searching out the next water station, checking your garmin to see how much longer this is going to take. If there was an epidural for the mile 20 wall you'd gladly take it. But no you press on. Mile 23, the doctor tells you it's time to push. You're in the home stretch. You try to focus on that finish line, the bliss you will feel when this is all done. The culmination of your months of hard work are going to pay off. You push and push, willing your legs to move. You inch that baby closer to birth. When you cross the finish line, tears of joy steam down your face. Much like the tears of joy of hearing the first cry of your new baby. You did it- you accomplished what you thought was impossible and end result is bliss!

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