Sunday, April 13, 2014

Chubby Girl, Running (Part II)--I Ran 13.1 Miles and All I Got Was This Lousy T-shirt

One week ago today, I ran the Big D Half-Marathon.  13.1 miles.  I did that. 

It was cold and rainy (48F and threatening thunderstorms, to be exact), and before the race started, it wasn't even clear if it would go on.  But it did, and so did we.  

Training for a half-marathon is hard.  We trained through winter, and while Texas winters are not as bad as many places, there were still days getting out was just hard.  There were days with ridiculous wind that knocked over the jogging stroller (sans baby, thankfully) that forced our long run inside--135 laps around the indoor track.  There were days that the ground was covered in ice, forcing us again to that indoor track. (It's really not as bad as it seems--pretty good people watching, plus the added benefit of that smug feeling when you've outlasted everyone else at the track).  

When you're training for a distance run, you will likely hear a lot of people say, "Oh, wow.  I could never do that."  I used to be one of those people.  I remember a girl I met in my undergrad who was training for a marathon, who said, "Anyone can run a marathon.  If you can walk, you can do a marathon."  I thought she was nuts.  Surely she didn't mean anyone. There must be concessions for chubby girls whose thighs rub together.  Anyone but them.  

But here I am to tell you sincerely, if I can do it, ANYONE can do it. My thighs still rub together--and I ran a half-marathon.  To further illustrate this point: when I first started running with Andy, I started a run/walk program that had me running 20-30 seconds for every 2 minutes of walking.  And after those 20 seconds, I was panting, my heart was pounding, and I felt like I was going to die.  I remember the first time I ran for a full 30 minutes--another rainy day--and I thought I had conquered the world.  Even at that point, if you'd told me I'd run a half-marathon, I would probably think you were nutzo.  

In any case, my 13.1 is still only the SECOND most difficult thing I've done in my life.  Interestingly enough, the FIRST most difficult thing I've done is something that way, way more people do than running a half-marathon.  To further illustrate this point, allow me to present a poorly-made Venn diagram:  

Clearly the payoff is greater in Unmedicated Childbirth, though, the windshield decals for your car are less prevalent.  

So, if you've already had an unmedicated childbirth, you can rest assured that you don't need to assert yourself any further--you have already done the hardest thing.  Unfortunately, if you've already run a half-marathon and are considering unmedicated childbirth . . . well, God speed, my friends.  

In any case, now I am assured that I Can Do Hard Things.  Like running 13.1 miles in the cold rain.