09 November 2011

I'm running a marathon. Yep, still sounds weird.

I'm running a marathon...on Saturday.  On a scale of 1-10, I'd give my nervousness about an 8.  I mean I'm not near the "about to vomit in anxiety" stage, but I'm way past the "oh I'll be fine" stage.

Now I'm prepared as much as I think I should be.  I didn't go plotting out water points or thinking up my peeing strategy (apparently some pros suggest this), but I'm pretty well stocked up.

1. I have my awesome/amazing Team Daren shirt.  Now mine is actually of the moisture wicking variety, but because I am getting SO prepared, it is in the washing machine (so as to not irritate my sensitive skin by giving it an ol' wash before the wear), so I borrowed my mother's for this pictorial.  The shirt serves two purposes, one it makes me feel like a badass like Superman with the big S on my chest.  It signifies I'm part of something bigger, a group of people that through their loss they want to do some good.  Two, when I'm hurting, and Lord knows I will be, I can look down and think this 26.2 mile sacrifice is nothing compared to what Daren and many others have sacrificed.  (And if he were here, he would mercilessly make fun of me for not finishing).

2. I have my Nike watch, which is one of the coolest inventions in the world!  It helps me keep my pace and says encouraging things at the end like, "Good effort!" or "Record Time!"  I'm thinking this time it will say, "What were you thinking?  Start ingesting painkillers now."

3. Which brings us to #3 - Drugs.  (Okay so actually they are some anti-inflammatories, and maybe some Flintstone vitamins thrown in, hey they make a body strong!)

4. My Wounded Warrior Project wristband.  I'm running a 5K to benefit them on Christmas Eve, well assuming my legs still function by then.  Each band says a different word, I picked the one that says, "Country."

5. Sports beans!  They are delicious, nutritious and my friend JD gave them to me.  He is a runner extraordinaire and has helped me train every step of the way by politely encouraging me to run 5Ks at 5 am.

6. My green shoes!  They're purty.  I do need to wipe some of the dust off though.

7. Knee band, because I tweeked my knee a couple weeks back running on these uneven surfaces they call "roads" out here that are just dirt with some rocks thrown in that twist your knee.

8. My Camelbak Randy got me!  She even had them embroider a nametape for me!

So I have all my necessary accouterments, well minus one sister, but I'm meeting her down there.  I read the reviews and they said there are drill instructors on the hills to "gently encourage" the runners, and soldiers at all the water points, so I figure it will be just like "home!"  Also I did the math, okay Google did it for me, and there is 3,000 feet of elevation difference between Kandahar, Afghanistan and Ft Benning, Georgia, so I figure that has to give my endurance an extra ehhhhhhh 6 to 10 miles, right?

My cousin, Michelle, completed a marathon last weekend, in a wicked fast time, but at least it shows me I can do it!  Also I have the motivation that my sweet boss told me before I left, "If you don't finish, don't bother coming back."  (Of course he was kidding...I hope.)  Then there's the excitement of meeting all of Daren's friends and family that are just as stoked about running this race in memory of him.

I couldn't resist sharing that because a year and half ago that was my life.  A lil Law and Order SVU Marathon on Sunday while doing laundry in my apartment in WV.  Now I'm running 18 miles, doing laundry next to a Bulgarian and living in Afghanistan.

Happy Veterans Day to every man and woman who has served our country!  I try every day to live a life that is worthy of the sacrifices for our freedom made by our Wounded Warriors and our Fallen Heroes.

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