LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — It’s 8:50 in the morning and I’m sitting here eating a Clif protein bar. Do I want to be eating chocolate chips and oats and soy at 8:50 in the morning? Actually, that’s kind of a dumb question as I’m always up for chocolate chips. However, I could do without the oats and soy this early in the day. But the protein bar is absolutely non-negotiable since in about an hour I’ll head out for a six-mile run, the first I’ll do this week.
I’m 11 weeks into intensive training for two half-marathons I’m going to run in November. The decision to do these runs was made way back in the summer when Nov. 16 and 23 were still way far away. I’m pretty sure I was sitting in the porch at the time and I’m pretty sure a cocktail or two might have been involved. Then, doing two half-marathons seemed entirely reasonable. I’d get all trained up for one and then, a week later, just run another one. Because, honestly, how far is 13.1 miles? On the Interstate, you can drive it in under 13 minutes. Easy peezy.
Now with the dates just a month away, I’m realizing that, maybe, this wasn’t my smartest plan. I’m constantly checking my toes to see if I have new blisters. At least an hour of every day is taken up with working out. I’m hungrier than I’ve ever been. And I’ve become acquainted for the first time with sports bra chafing, an angry line of rubbed-away skin that hits right along your breastbone. For those of you still unfamiliar with this, enjoy yourselves. For those of you who can commiserate, wow, no fun, right?
Still, I’m in so deep now, I feel I’ve got to follow through. And so I’m eating protein. Lots and lots of it.