Sometimes you check the box on a goal even though it wasn't exactly what you had in mind. I didn't run a marathon, and maybe I never will. But since I ran a half marathon today in 23 degree weather, at 7200 feet, over junkyards full of gravel (not to mention chronic bowel issues from the local cafeteria- TMI?) I'm calling it good enough, and allowing myself a little satisfaction.
This is a big deal for me; before deploying, I had probably never run more than 3 miles at one time. 8 was the farthest I had run before today. But I psyched myself up, made a playlist of killer music, and ran. Here is a synopsis of my thoughts:
mile 0.1: This is it! I'm off! I'm doing it!
mile 1: What did I get myself into? Why did I tell everyone I was running a half marathon today? Oh yeah, to make sure I didn't wimp out. Too early for thoughts of bailing out, let's do this thing.
mile something: I'm not even going to track the distance for now. Switch to Forrest Gump mode, and just run until Dana says it's time to stop.
mile 6.5: halfway there. A little leprachaun jumping heel click to celebrate, then back to zoning out to The Eagles, Led Zeppelin, and some workout music Jen sent me. I still don't know if I'm going to do this thing, but I'm feeling pretty good right now.
mile 8: This is it- the furthest I have ever run. Crash through that mental wall, we've got miles to cover...
mile 10.5: OK, Body, huddle up, conference time!
Neck and Shoulders, you guys quit whining. I don't want to hear about you guys getting sore when all you do is hold Head up. Head needs to groove to the music a little, let him have his fun.
Heart, you're doing great. Let's keep those coronaries open. Maybe now is a good time to think about forming some nice collateral vessels for when a plaque ruptures someday. Not a good time? OK, you're busy, just file it away for later consideration...
Intestines, I don't have much to tell you. If you make me stop I'll be disappointed in you. Cowboy up and just do the best you can with that chicken from last night.
Legs, love you guys. "Who's my favorite muscle group right now? That's right thighs, you are! You are!"
Ankles, I was a little gung ho over those rocks earlier. I'll do better about stepping around them, but you gotta hang in there no matter what.
Feet, we've been through this. Even with double socks, Toes are going to get a little crammed. We're in ten dollar Wal-Mart shoes over ugly terrain, I know you're going through a lot. But throwing a blister tantrum only punishes you, and nobody likes a drama queen.
mile 11.5: Thighs, I was wrong to give you the impression that our relationship was a friendly one. Sorry, but I'm the BOSS and you do what *I* say, got it? We're not going to like each other very much the next 48 hours, but we are going to finish this because you're not here to like me, you're here to do a job. Stop complaining and get back to work!
mile 12.5: I wish Dana hadn't told me the distance. As soon as Body overheard it, everyone thought it was 4:30pm on a Friday and they could quit early. A little help from Parliament Funkadelic gets us through to the end.
mile 13.1: I DID IT! I ACTUALLY DID IT! HAHAHAHAHA!!!