Nine years ago this weekend, my then boyfriend got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. I have a reputation in my family for being a bit of a snoop so I was very impressed that he managed to surprise me. He wisely chose the day I ran my first ½ marathon to pop the question, knowing that my mind and energy would be focused on the race ahead. As I crossed the finish line, exhausted and relieved, he presented me with a dozen roses, a beautiful ring and a promise to be my husband. It turned out to be a perfect day despite my exhausted, pain-ridden state.
During my pre-mommy years, I was an avid runner. I would enthusiastically leap out of bed each morning at 5:30 to complete a two -hour workout before heading to the office. I was 110% committed to my carefully planned training schedules, all meticulously laid out in a series of Excel spreadsheets. My training included long rungs, short runs, hill sprints, energy drinks and calorie intake charts. Looking back, I was definitely overly obsessed with running, but wow I was in good shape!
To commemorate the 9th anniversary of our engagement, I bravely decided to participate in the 2008 Valley Harvest ½ Marathon taking place this weekend in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. In reality, I think I signed up for the race in an attempt to prove to myself that I still “have it” even though I feel the exact opposite. Two pregnancies, lack of sleep and motherhood in general have taken a serious toll on my body. My running efforts these days have been half-hearted to say the least. The word pathetic comes to mind.
Interestingly, any significant race I entered in the past always ended in pain, frustration and desperation. Perhaps a change in approach is required….at least that’s what I’m banking on as race day looms ahead! This time around, my “training schedule” consists of nothing more than a few hasty scribblings on the family calendar. I’m now begrudgingly crawling out of bed in the morning as opposed to leaping and bounding. My pre-race meal will consist of my mother’s mouth-watering Thanksgiving dinner complete with a hefty serving of pumpkin pie and whipped cream. Despite all of this, I’m still planning on lacing up my running shoes this Sunday and giving it a go. I've convinced myself I'll be fine and this more "balanced" approach to life will ensure success. It will be very interesting to see how it all turns out. I’m hoping I will find motivation and inspiration in the two chubby little faces that will be waiting for me at the finish line. Wish me luck! I’m going to need it!