I am due to run a marathon in four days.
Or, less than ninety six hours from this very moment.
(Is it just me or did the end of May just suddenly ... appear?)
Thankfully, Alex and Kathleen came through at the last minute to save the day, because up until this past weekend, we had NO idea what we were going to do with the children. Although we've been training with them in their strollers, there was no way we were planning to push them on the marathon course.
Partly because strollers are not allowed.
Partly because there are no McDonald's along the route.
And partly because this race will be painful enough without four small children in tow.
(Oh and Margaret? I received your e-mail. Even though wheelchairs are allowed on the course, you are dreaming if you think I'm going to push you in one for the first 20 miles.)
After four separate babysitters fell through on us, and we were starting to turn our sights to unsuspecting friends and neighbors for their help, Alex and Kathleen called and volunteered to drive in from Arizona on Saturday afternoon to watch the children while Charlie and I attend a spaghetti inspirational dinner that is being put on by Team-In-Training.
AND THEN, Kathleen brilliantly suggested that we stay Saturday night in a hotel a few blocks from the starting line, so we wouldn't have to hassle with parking at 5 AM on Sunday morning. This is the first time we have ever left the children - except for when we went to the hospital to have Henry and I really don't think that counts - so we are looking forward to having a quiet night and a full day to run in peace.
(Or, perhaps sleep in until 11 and order room service.)
(Race? What Race? Did you get a load of the beautiful BATHROBES?!)
This is beyond awesome. All of our problems are solved. Except the whole part about me and a child that won't wean. And a full 24 hours away from said child that won't wean.
And during that span of 24 hours, my body will be bouncing for 26.2 miles. And although I plan to pump before the race, any nursing mother knows that a pump doesn't do quite the same job as a baby. (Or a toddler.)
(And how is it that I'm still nursing?)
I'm not sure how this whole not-nursing-before-I-run-scene is going to go down. I'm hoping well, but I'll be bringing Tylenol with me. And quite possibly, my hands free pump bra that fits remarkably well under my running top in case I need to relieve a little pressure on the course. Because I would if I had to.
(And you know I would.)
In other news.
This past week, I went to the gym a few times.
On one of the days, I was feeling like I wanted to go home and lay on the couch and eat a doughnut. Until I noticed that a woman in her 80's with blue hair, climbed on to the Nautilus equipment I had just been on, and added EIGHTY pounds to the weights I had been lifting. Instead of lifting my measly 50 pounds, she was pumping 130. And then she belted out fifteen more reps than me.
Then later in the week, when I couldn't find the energy to go for an afternoon run, I stumbled upon an article about Buster Martin, the 101-year old man who ran a 1/2 marathon and now has his sights set on running the London marathon.
And then I was thinking that in 2005, we were told that my Uncle Bill most likely wouldn't survive the year due to an aggressive form of cancer. But four years later, he's still here. And this weekend, he is taking a break from chemotherapy treatments and will be flying in to California from South Carolina - along with my Aunt Grace - to watch the three of us (but mostly me) run a marathon.
And then I was reading the most recent CaringBridge update on Deana, who is recovering from yet another round of sepsis and pneumonia ... and preparing to undergo yet another operation ... and she is fighting this awful disease as hard as she possibly can. And still smiling.
I derive a lot of inspiration from people who are fifty years older than me and able to bench press fifty pounds more - or - almost seventy years older than me and out running marathons. I derive a lot of strength from people who are facing significant health challenges and yet defying the odds because they won't give up.
But this weekend, I determined that the primary source of my motivation comes from my four-year-old children who BREEZED by me when we were out running on Saturday. And then turned around and chanted, "Hahahaha! You can't catch me!"
Let the record show: I did catch them. And then I laughed, "Hahahaha! Now you're getting TICKLED."
Now, BRING IT!
What inspires you?