Here follows the incredibly true story of how I ran 6.2 miles with a tampon between my boobs.
About seven or eight weeks ago Alicia wrote a post called "Am I a Runner?" It was totally inspiring to me. I put my shoes on, ran out the door and never looked back. I became a runner, or at least a jogger, all from that post. A few weeks later I registered for America's Best 10K, the Bolder Boulder. And yes, apparently they do give out awards for that sort of thing.
Now this may not sound incredible to those of you who don't know me, but those of you who do were probably shocked, maybe even flabbergasted. (Ewww, that word is so ugly when written. I'm now adding flabbergasted to the list of words that I think are gross.) If you knew me, you'd know that I don't run. I'm not sporty. I never, ever have been. My workout regimens have consisted mainly of things you can do on the Wii and silly articles I tore out of even sillier fashion magazines about getting a better bikini body. I have never once been admired or complimented on any of my athletic abilities. Mainly because I have never before manifested any. I have participated in organized sports exactly once in my life. It was a spring intramural softball team at BYU and I was absolutely terrible. I don't think we won a single game.
Moving forward to last Sunday, the night before the race. I'm all nerves. I can't sleep. Naturally, I have eaten nothing but junk all weekend, as it's a break between challenges and I have no real self-control yet. I have sulfur burps which are the pre-cursor to vomiting for me. I am 12 hours late for my period and in a panic about starting during the race and having to knock on some poor Boulder-ite's door to ask for a tampon. I am intensely disappointed that my new fancy running shoes give me a blister and I won't be able to wear them. I keep telling myself, "RELAX!!!! This isn't the Miss America pageant, it's a race that 50,000 other people are participating in! No one will even notice you!" But of course, that doesn't work. I keep worrying, what if I've been measuring my distance wrong this whole time? What if somehow, I've completely misjudged the length of this race, or my abilities, or both? What if I can't do this?
Before I know it, it's morning and we're in Boulder and I'm looking for all the other people with an MR# on their chest so I can line up. I walk past a mass of people, maybe two city blocks long, all waiting for their group's turn to leave. It is the wildest collection of people I have ever seen outside of San Francisco. It's like some kind of Mardi Gras for runners. I see about 35 different people in tutus, men, women, and children. Some have wigs, some have crowns, some have capes. One man is wearing a Halloween costume of some kinda Star Wars creature, complete with rubber mask. Another is wearing moon shoes. I'm postively boring in my black shorts and tye-dye tee. I find my group and begin to stretch. I wonder why no one else is bothering to. They are all too busy chatting. Then I look around and realize I am the only one who is alone. My heart sinks a little bit and I think, "Healthy Wives, WHERE ARE YOU?" That's when I begin planning the matching shirts we're going to wear when you all join me next year.
We're getting closer to the starting line. My stomach churns. I wonder if those sulfur-burps weren't trying to warn me of something else. I think back, have I passed a bathroom at all today? I don't know. Do I even have time to find one? I don't, because everyone around me is whispering, "Is this us? Is it our turn?" It is. The starting gun goes off, and our race begins.