At the end of last year’s half-marathon. Fellow marathon training buddies are Laura (in black), Meghann (in white) Stacy (in lavender) Jessica A. (next to chubby me) and Ryan (trying to look manly with the crowd of girls)
I am training for a marathon and I, awesomely enough, ran 18 miles last week. When I was trying to get some appreciation from my kids on what that actually means, I hit on the perfect explanation: “Guys. I just ran for an entire church. Like, I started running when you walk into Sacrament meeting and didn’t stop till you get done with Primary.” They were appropriately amazed.
I am seriously loving it. Truly. (I’m not pretending I love it so I can keep weight off, PAIGE!) I really, really am enjoying it. Here’s why:
1. One morning, I woke up at 5:45 and it was raining. But I went outside and ran 11 miles anyway. Then I came home, showered and got all of my kids to school. Do you know how In Charge of Life you feel, when you can make your 35 year old, VERY imperfect looking body a) run for 11 miles IN THE RAIN and, then, b) go on with your stay-at-home mommy life? So empowering.
2. I also love how this kind of endurance training teaches you so much about, well, endurance. There are definitely runs where you feel like you are lifting cement blocks instead of feet (hello, miles 14-17 last week), and your knees kind of hurt and you are kind of winded and you are sick of everything on your Ipod—but you finish the run anyway. And then, guess what? About 20 seconds after you are done…nothing really hurts anymore because you are finished. And it is so worth the 30 minutes of discomfort to know that you really put Mind Over Matter and Did It. There are so many life applications there, you know?
3. I have a group of 4-6 friends who are also training and we run together in different groups and at different times. There is nothing that makes you closer than exercising regularly with someone. Plus, you have people who actually want to discuss the details of the training plans, running times, Gu vs. excedrin. And they also know exactly how hard it is to run for 3 hours.
4. I’m not losing weight, (really? I know!) but I can eat a few extra cookies while I don’t lose any weight.
5. And every once in a while, after I’ve chatted with my friends for a 9 miles or so and we all decide to listen to music instead, I blast that music (favorites? Kelly Clarkson, Pink, Alison Iraheta, Glee) and just GO. And I feel young and strong and thin and powerful and like I’d rather be there, on that trail, than anywhere else.