Never say never, right? Right.
My biggest breakthrough: I finally admit it -- I really am a runner. A straight-up, running, crazy-woman fool. Granted, I was crazy before, and have done many a foolish thing now and again, but now I just have another adjective to add to it...one that I'm proud of.
It's been a while...sorry gentle readers! Spring just came and went too fast. Since we last chatted, I crossed that glorious finish line at the ING half marathon and Eve and Michael were there to put that medal around my neck! I didn't expect to feel what I felt - a huge wash of emotion and happiness! (and, I cried! yay!) To recap, here's what I shared with my teammates at the time:
"For me personally, I had the most amazing race day - I'm still on a high!!! It truly was the culmination of all this hard work and made it worthwhile. The pasta dinner the night before was so inspirational, not to mention chocked-full of great last-minute advice (Vaseline in your navel; licking someone's neck for salt -- inside joke for those who where there!) I was so touched by Don, the leukemia survivor and TNT coach, and his amazing story of perseverance. I was thinking about how hard it must have been to go through his treatment and I went to bed thinking about my own best friend who was going through chemo and why I was doing this for her. So the next morning on race day at the start line, at the moment we started, I felt a touch on my shoulder -- I turned around and it was Don telling me to have a good race. Of all the other 18,000 people there, I can't believe I turned around and he was there!!! It was a sign that things were going to go well and I had nothing to worry about. And I didn't - I smiled the whole way. I also was running with my friend Rebecca, also a cancer survivor, so all of this was full of meaning.
Every purple jersey that passed by would pat me on the back, or shout "good job" and "way to go". The other TNT coaches along the way came off the sidelines to run with you -- they were like a purple ARMY of encouragement!! I was with Bruce at the start, I tackled Carol with a hug at the TNT water stop and gave Marie a running hug at mile 7...I knew that there would be a ton of TNTers there, but I can't tell you how awesome it was to have a purple cheer squad at every turn!! And to top it off, my best friend Eve who just finished her chemo was at the finish line to put that medal around my neck...wow, what a great day. I'll never forget it!"
So, yeah, it really was a life changing experience. I had so much fun that three weeks later, I ran the Nashville Country Music half marathon with the other half of my TNT teammates. Since then I've sprinkled in few 5Ks for fun. Ha! I run for fun and not because I have to! So weird...
So what's next you ask? Well, apparently this running thing has scratched a little itch...hmmm, what's over there? A marathon? Ruh, roe. Yes. I have truly lost my mind. Apparently the half marathon is the gateway drug...my friend and last season mentor, Carol, broke it (and me) down:
(Disclaimer: this is a re-enactment. The author is exempt from any liability from exaggerations, real or perceived.)
Carol: Karen, you should DO the Nike Women's Marathon! Besides, everyone's doing it...
Crazy Running Woman (a.k.a. Me): yeah, 'cept me...I said I would NEVER run a full marathon. Marathons are for crazies!!(excluding you, of course).
Carol: Did you know they give you a Tiffany's necklace at the finish line?
CRW: WTF?? Are you serious?!?
Carol: A firefighter hands it to you.
CRW: No freaking way!
Carol (in a very soft, sped-up voice you hear only in disclaimers): it's in San Francisco...and there are hills, but not that bad...and oh, I cried at mile 16...and it's not that bad...and I said I would never do another marathon...but you should do it.
CRW: Wha?? You said Tiffany's and firefighters, right?
Three weeks later I was in a kick-off meeting signing up again with TNT for the FULL Nike Woman's marathon! Oh Lordy...here we go again.
Apparently, the first hit's free...