Wow. I’m nearly at the start line of my first half-marathon. I can’t believe it! When I signed up for this March, I didn’t think about all the blood, sweat and (very nearly) tears that would go into this. To date, I’ve walked 167+ miles in training. I’ve learned about nutrition and hydration. I’ve bought many things to make my walk a little easier … some useful, some not so useful. I’ve raised a lot of money … enough to make me a National VIP fundraiser for this first half-marathon (little tidbit: I’m still raising money for my second half-marathon!).
That I have completed all this in 3-1/2 months is really astounding to me. This is not something that’s usually up my alley. Many times my middle name changes to “BAIL!” as I sit in lazy comfort in my home. But this … this was and is important to me. As I did my fundraising (and continue to do so), I feel committed to those folks who have reached into their pockets and donated their hard-earned money. As I walked each training mile, I felt committed to all the people who suffer from Crohn’s and colitis, because now I know them. I’ve met them. I’ve talked to them about their disease and how it affects their daily life, and I’m in awe of their strength. If they can walk/run a half-marathon while living with this disease, I can definitely do it.
Physically, I’m stronger. Am I thinner? Not by the scale. I’m probably fitter and have lost some inches, but not poundage. Eh … that’s how it goes. I’ll work on my eating habits some other time. I’ve learned about things like taping up my heels to prevent blisters and wearing toe pads to protect against “black toe“. I realize that I need to wear a hat on the longer runs, so that sweat doesn’t run into my eyes *too* much. I’ve discovered that those really cool white earbuds don’t stay in my ears for more than a second and so I need to wear over-the-head earbuds. Weird, but true!
Mentally, I’ve learned that I. Can. Do. This. When I did my 12-mile training walk, I was shattered at the end. It was a pretty warm morning and I realized (in hindsight, of course, because my hindsight is a fabulous 20/20!) that I hadn’t hydrated properly in the days leading up to the walk and I suffered. I was a wee bit dizzy in the last 2 miles, my shoulders were as tight as a drum, my feet hurt and my spirit flagged. Oh, how I felt like sitting down and bursting into tears! I didn’t, though. I stopped a few times and felt my head swim a bit, but I never sat down. I finished the whole 12 miles. I’ve never had to persevere through something like that before and I admit to being quite proud of myself that I completed it. Now that I’ve felt the effects of bad hydration, I’ve been drinking (and sloshing!) my way through these days leading up to the Big Day.
Emotionally, I’m excited to go on this big adventure. I think that by the time the race starts, I’ll be so pumped full of adrenaline that I’ll just float through the first few miles. I’ve got my playlist all set on my MP3 player … I’m ready to rock ‘n roll!