Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Why is Mom running?

I know I explained that I was training for a marathon (I won’t even bother adding a link to that post – it wasn’t that long ago – if you just scroll down several times, it is in my very first post). And that I am not sure why, as I never really felt like I had to run a marathon in order to prove myself as a runner. New challenges are always good – and this one is a little scary. But I know that I can do it – it is just a matter of how much pain will I have to endure in order to get it done?

I decided to enroll in a class to do this. I am pretty good about running on a regular basis – and I am even pretty good at doing longer runs - but I felt I needed a structure to work with if I was going to be successful at it. Besides, there is something pretty final about:
a) putting your money where your mouth is
b) signing up for a program that has a 99% success rate at getting runners to the finish line. I REALLY don’t want to be the runner that causes that percentage to decrease (and in my usual paranoid fashion, I would know that they were talking about me to all the classes that followed….)

The class has been great – and for the most part it has given me the conviction that I can finish 26.2 miles and still be walking. It is apparently inadvisable to have a goal time in mind for your first marathon – but you do need to have a goal. In fact, you need an A, B and C goal. In the words of the Psychology Prof that spoke to us – “you need to plan – and then you need to plan again”.

So here is Goal A: I am going to finish the course running - and not vomit.
And here is Goal B: I am going to finish the course running.
And Goal C? I am going to finish the course – even if I have to crawl across the finish line.

Sounds simple – but I felt so gross after the 4 hour run, that with 12 kilometres to go (I ran 30 K in 4 hours) I was feeling a little freaked out about the whole thing. But then I remembered that I have felt that way about a number of the BIG things that I have done in life.

Leaving the nest of home for life in the west was a little scary (although now that I am a mom, I realize that it was likely scarier for my mom – especially when I took off in a car that burnt more oil than gas and was driving all the way west to Calgary by myself. And this was pre-cell phone/internet days). But I landed in Calgary safe and sound (despite an 18 hour drive from Winnipeg to Calgary because I didn’t think I could stand another day of driving) and have made a successful life for myself and my family.

Getting married was kind of a freak out - not the man, but the institution – but here we are, 25 years later and I can’t imagine my life without him.

Having children and childbirth – well, it must have been OK (the childbirth and early years are all kind of fuzzy – likely lack of sleep) because I did it not once, but three times. And the results are pretty impressive, if I do say so myself.

So I think I just need to take a big breath and get on with it. My youngest has been my biggest supporter – he told me the other day that I “lived on the edge” because none of his friends had moms who were running marathons in their 50s – so I can’t let him down.

Actually, when I think about it – I can’t let myself down either. So as I taper toward the big day, I need to keep him in mind and “live on the edge” – and visualize myself running across the finish line and not vomiting!

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