Now while I am completely kidding when I say that, there is some truth to that answer. I don't think anyone would fully understand the time commitment or sacrifice it took to prepare for this race, unless they did it themselves. I am sure you have some idea based on my daily posts about my workouts, but in case you didn't notice, training took over my life.
When I say I will get my life back, I mean little things like I can actually get more than six hours of sleep each night. I can stay up past 9pm, which means that when you ask me to do something with you in the evening, I might be able to say, "Yes." And most of all, to my friends that have barely seen me in the last six months, you will finally get to see in person that I have shorter hair and I have lost a few pounds instead of just seeing pictures of me on Facebook.
I must share that I feel completely ungrateful for being so excited that the training is over. When I say I will finally get my life back, I am not forgetting that this process literally gave me my life back and gifted me with some things I could not have anticipated.
First, I have finally, after decades of failure, I have finally reached my goal weight and am fitter than I have ever been. How can I not be thankful for that? For the first time in years I am actually proud of my body and all it's little bumps and wrinkles. I may not be perfect, but I am just right for my eyes. I am not hiding behind baggy clothes, I am not shying away from being in photos, and I no longer spends hours in the morning looking in my closet for something that will make me look less hideous than I feel. Those good feelings alone make all the early morning workouts worth every minute!
I also can't put a price on my confidence level in my athletic ability these days when I put my mind to something. Despite my crazy workout schedule, I am not an athlete. I was never the big sports star in high school. I was that kid that always got picked last for teams in elementary school, and three years ago I couldn't run five minutes straight let alone complete a full marathon. It took my friends and family believing in me first to get me to this point, but I no longer doubt that if I decide to tackle some new challenge that I can do it.
I have also made some great friends along the way. I have an amazing group of buddies that run with me every Tuesday and Thursday morning before the sun rises. The support this team provided me was invaluable to the marathon leg of Vineman. And while Karrie, Emily, Leslie, and I were friends before this race, doing all the miles in the pool, on the bike, and on the road has brought us closer than I ever imagined. I know that we will continue to challenge and hold each other accountable to staying fit, and as Karrie phrases it, keeping each other from getting too fluffy (translation:fat).