Saturday, March 19, 2011

The NYC Half Marathon puts Mama in a panic!

Tomorrow is a big day.  It's the day I've been waiting for since I got an email in early January informing me that I was in -- that I got a number and will be joining thousands of runners through 13.2 miles of city streets.  Daunting, right?  I remember the flurry of emails that went around the day the acceptance/rejection letters were sent.  "Did you get in?"  "Nope." "Rejected.'  "Maybe next year?" "Maybe there's another one we could do later in the year?" None of my hardcore, early morning, weather defying gal pals got in.  Just me.  Leaving me to wonder if I really wanted to do it all.  Here I am, the day before the big event and I still feel the same way!

Last night I didn't sleep a wink.  I am in full-blown panic about whether or not I can actually go the distance.  Whenever I'd drift off for a few fitful moments, pre-race paranoia dominated my dreams.  In one, I forgot my race number and couldn't get to the starting line.  In another, I forgot my running clothes (don't ask!) and had to run in my pajamas.  In another, my socks fell in a puddle before I put them on (that's weird, right?!) and I was faced with 13.2 miles in soggy socks.  Not good.

I am really in a tizzy.  Part of my panic is driven by fear of injury.  The only other time I've run this far was exactly ten years ago and as you might suspect, my decade younger, pre-kid body was in far better shape than the one I have now.  Granted, I'm fairly fit but have definitely suffered some, um,  structural damage after five kids -- especially since the last three of them arrived together!   In any case, the last time I attempted a half marathon, I distinctly recall limping the last few miles and not being able to walk up stairs for a week.  Really makes you wonder why I even signed up in the first place, right?! 

The rest of my pre-race jitters are all related -- simply put, Mama Lyons can't go down!  There isn't time for injury or even recovery when your daily activities include any combination of lugging kids and laundry up and down stairs, wrestling them in and out of the car, chasing them up and down the block, you get the idea.  A strong, healthy Mama Lyons is a necessity to keeping the Lyons Den in working order.  This is why I didn't sleep last night.  This is why the butterflies in my stomach feel more like a herd of elephants. 

Today I'm going to do my best to psyche myself up, to channel my inner little engine that could and repeatedly chant "I think I can!"; I will hydrate; I will carbo-load and I will most definitely lay out my running clothes before bed tonight so that there is NO chance of running the race in my pajamas.  Wish me luck and think of me when you're having your Sunday morning coffee -- with a bit of luck and hard work, I will hopefully be crossing the finish line just about then!

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