Glutton for Punishment

17 Sep

I was so proud of myself.  I finished my first half-marathon Sept. 1 in the upright position without collapsing at the finish line.  It was a great feeling of accomplishment.  I felt like I could conquer the world, even though I limped around like a 90-year-old woman.

So, did I just rest on my laurels and pat myself on the back for a job well-done?  No.  Normal people would.  What did I decide to do?  Not only sign up for a ten-mile race on Oct. 7 but sign up for another half-marathon on Oct. 27.  Yes, I’ve become one of those.  The crazy workout people we hate.  How did this happen?

When you hear someone saying they love exercise and can’t live without it you tell yourself, “Yeah right.  Whatever.  Pass the chips.”  Somehow, though, it started happening to me.  Now granted, I don’t live and breathe working out, but I do feel bad and like I’m missing out on something if I don’t.

It began when I joined a running camp for women.  The flier stated they accepted all levels of runners so I thought how could I go wrong?  I fit right in.  Of course, I wanted to smack all the runners who were stick-thin and ran circles around me, but that’s another story.  I thought the elite runners would be all catty and condescending but it was just the opposite.  They were so supportive and encouraging that it felt like a sisterhood.  It was great.

I ran a couple 5k’s and really enjoyed the competitiveness of the event.  Of course, I’m a type A control freak who’s uber competitive, so it was perfect for me.  I told myself I’d never be last and I’d check the website later to see how many people finished behind me.  Yes, I’m nuts.

The half-marathon was a challenge but my friend and I powered through it and really enjoyed the experience.  The shirtless firemen at the finish line and the champagne afterwards certainly didn’t hurt.  We decided we needed to experience this again and signed up for another one.  I was really excited until I paused and thought, “Am I crazy to put myself through this again?  Why do I have to be so competitive and get a big head thinking I’m Ms. Olympian now?”

Maybe it is my type A personality, or maybe it’s just the feeling of accomplishment and empowerment.  Either way, it’s great to get healthy and enjoy your friend’s company.  Did I mention the shirtless firemen and the champagne?

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