Saturday, November 17, 2012

Go Big or Go Home: Part II

I’m finally taking a few moments to relax before hitting the streets of Philly (again) for a lovely evening of eating.  The pre-race rituals begin tonight, but this time it’s huge.  Tomorrow is the Philly Marathon.  M-A-R-A-T-H-O-N.  That spells MARATHON.  I made an impulsive decision to sign up earlier in the year and quickly recruited a few unsuspecting sorority sisters along the way.  I distinctly remember peeling through all my running books to settle on the ‘perfect’ training plan.  Operation Philly Muffathon kicked off Monday, July 16th with an easy three mile run. 

The past eighteen weeks challenged my stamina, mental endurance and, sometimes, my patience.  I rarely strayed from the plan; hell, I even logged a ten mile run during my OBX vacation (read: How to properly hydrate during a North Carolina run in August).  I continued to enter races sparingly, all the while making sure I saved my energy for longer distances.  Most early morning runs started between 4:30 – 5:30.  I tiptoed in darkness through the bedroom searching for my gear (next time I’ll get it organized the night before).  I strategically navigated the stairs so I wouldn’t hit the creaky spots.  My loving and supportive husband minded the girls as I spent hours running. 

I ran a boat load of miles, drank a shit load of water, took at least five ice baths, used a full roller of BioFreeze, ate thousands of calories, applied Body Glide like I was buttering thirty ears of fresh, hot corn, washed a lot of clothes, upgraded myself from ‘Expert’ to ‘Master Snot Rocketeer’, bonded with friends I hadn’t seen in some time, rolled my legs enough to turn my muscles into Jello and listened to my previous Ava say, ‘Mommy, you smell.’ after every long run.  And honestly, through all the bitching, complaining, soreness, headaches, fevers, fat days and wardrobe malfunctions, I loved all of it. 

Tonight, I’m going to celebrate this milestone weekend with good friends.  I’ll religiously lay out my gear and do some light stretching.  We will share our training stories, personal triumphs and hopes for tomorrow morning.  Tonight, I relax.  Tomorrow we kick some Philly ass.