I. Am. A. Big. CHICKEN.
I went running two weeks ago this coming Saturday. Before the run, a sports nutritionist addressed our team of 100 members. She stressed the importance of adequate fueling and hydration on the longer runs. Everyone was directed to drink plenty of fluids - and we were told to consume some kind of fuel, like a Power Gel, every 45 minutes.
Following the nutrition instruction, we were led through some stretches and then, we all set off on a 12-mile run.
After I had completed two miles, my legs from the knees down were completely asleep. I stopped and peeled off the brand new compression socks that I had bought, took off my shoes, rubbed my feet for a few minutes, put my compression socks and shoes back on, and took off running again.
Fifty. Maybe one hundred yards later, I couldn't feel my feet again.
So I decided to walk. And walk. And whenever I would start to run, my feet would promptly fall back to sleep, so I would walk. And walk. Apparently, I sipped a lot of water while I walked. Not because I was particularly thirsty, but because I was holding a bottle of water in my hand and at some point, I noticed that I had unconsciously consumed the entire thing.
Although I had been off to a great start and had been keeping up with the more seasoned runners, soon I began to fall back. Eventually, I was passed by every single person on my team. Even the three women who announced to the group that it is their goal to lose over 400 pounds across the three of them.
Because I had been doing so well with my hydration, it was just a matter of time before I had to use a restroom. That immediate feeling of my bladder about to EXPLODE, hit me suddenly, when I was at the five-mile mark.
Our course had taken us along the boardwalk at the beach and a quick check of my surroundings made me realize that there was no where to stop. There were no bathrooms within the immediate vicinity and when I looked at the course map, I realized that my closest bet was at least a mile ahead. So, I did what any rational woman who has birthed four children would do. I started looking for a big sand dune to hide behind.
But when I couldn't find one, I jumped off the boardwalk and started desperately trotting up surface streets. Was there a port-a-potty somewhere?? Do I knock on someone's door?? Do I squat in someone's flower bed?? Do I drench myself and then go jump in the ocean??
All of these thoughts crossed my mind.
Ultimately, I decided to back track to one of the aid stations where I had seen a restroom.
Ultimately, I decided to keep back tracking to the starting point and the team barbecue that was scheduled to begin in ... 20 minutes.
Ultimately, I only completed eight miles. Of which approximately six were walked.
But ultimately, I decided that that was good enough.
Since that time, my workouts have been seriously sub par. Of course I could provide a host of good reasons why I haven't managed to go to the gym more than twice and hit the pavement only once. The situation with my dad has been tough. Work has been extremely busy. The kids have all been sick and I've wanted to spend as much time with them as possible. And my feet fall asleep when I run. And running more than three miles really hurts.
The one time I went out running with Charlie, Elizabeth was yelling in to her megaphone, "Daddy! Wait up!! Don't leave us!! Mommy is sloooooow!!!"
My mother thinks that I am out of my mind to even attempt a marathon. Every time I talk with her on the phone she tells me that I'm crazy. "The heck with that! People aren't meant to run for 26 miles. People who are LACTATING aren't meant to run for 26 miles. You've given birth to four children in the past four years. You are CRAZY to be running 26 miles. CRAZY. I think that you should run one mile and then jump on a train to the finish line. Jen, no one will ever know."
I couldn't believe my ears.
My very own mother was suggesting that I pull a Rosie Ruiz.
Which, seeing as I haven't worked out for more than two hours since my
I'm contemplating cheating at my first marathon. But I don't want to get to the end too fast. So perhaps I'll stop and have a beer or two. Or maybe a hot fudge brownie sundae.
And then I'll dump a gallon of water over my head and run across the finish with my arms over my head.
So, um. How are you doing with your goals?