Before I ever had children, I had a very distinct reaction every time I saw a pregnant woman. I’d think, “Oh, that poor gal, she has to get that baby out of her!” Strange thing, though: When I was knocked up, I never once felt dread or concern about having to give birth and get that puppy out of my body.
It’s similar to how I felt when a good friend had a marathon coming up: “Sucks for her: She has to run 26.2 miles.” Even when my pals were running the illustrious Boston Marathon, I’d still almost be reduced to pitying them. And when my previous six marathon race days approached, I pitied myself at having to slog through roughly four hours of exertion. But, just like when I was preggers for the first time, something has changed. Suddenly I can’t wait for it to be race day so I can see what I can do.
I’m not saying I’m eager to meet up with exertional hurt—I know it’s waiting for me out there somewhere on Highway 30 or along Willamette Boulevard—but I’m exhilarated at the thought of pushing my boundaries. Over the years, I’ve read numerous blog posts about how each race teaches you something. I’ll admit: I used to think that was a load of horsepucky. Yet now I know they were telling the real-deal. When I reflect back on my last ‘thon, the thing I remember best is the feeling of digging deep--really, really, really deep—in the second half of the race in an effort to shave seconds off my time. And even though I knew my goal was derailed by a steep-bugger of a hill at mile 25, the joy of having pushed hard filled my body as I neared the finish line. It flooded my body, overriding the lactic acid. (Want proof? Check out the break-my-cheeks, whoop-it-up smile in the photo above, taken steps from the finish line.)
Twenty-six point two miles is a long way to go for such a high, but that one was worth it. And now I’m ready to give birth to that feeling again.