When I was cleared to run late last summer after four months of healing a broken bone, I was ecstatic. I actually cried tears of joy. Real tears, they fell. I missed it so much. I'd been missing a piece of myself, and the doctor handed it back.
And so I ran. And I ran and ran. And some runs were good, some were great, some were awful. But I was running.
Training began for Boston pretty quickly, and it quickly became work. Some runs were good, some were great, some were awful. Many were awful. Several were skipped. Speed workouts fell flat. Running just wasn't clicking for me. I couldn't ignite the spark I had before. I wanted to, but I just couldn't get it back.
Sure, I had goals for Boston, and I was fighting for them, but it wasn't coming together.
And then I had one amazing week. Mid-February. We had beautiful weather, I was dropping paces I hadn't seen in more than a year, my long run was strong, and I had two whole months until race day.
THIS WAS GOING TO WORK.
Turns out, unbeknownst to me, I was four weeks pregnant.
YUP. Yes. That definitely happened.
Remember that time less than two weeks earlier when I wrote about turning 35, and feared wholeheartedly that I was becoming too old to one day become a mother? Silly Krista.
I had no idea.
In fact, we'd continue to have no idea for another three weeks. We got engaged in that time (YES THAT ALSO HAPPENED), and exactly 18 hours later I'd pee on a spare pregnancy test I had tucked away in the bathroom cabinet (yes ladies keep pregnancy tests on hand, okay?).
Then I'd pee on three more. And a few more later that week. Look, I'm thorough. (And crazy).
They all quite immediately said the same thing: PREGNANT.
To clear up any confusion, yes I know how bodies work. Yes I know the usual and immediate sign of pregnancy. The reason I had a spare pregnancy test in my bathroom is because I'd used the other one a month before upon suspicion. It was negative. My body, it seemed, was operating under its own rules. Confusing rules, but rules nonetheless.
Life resumed while I simply assumed I was barreling into early menopause. Naturally.
We'd find out a week later I was already eight weeks along. Eight entire weeks. I'd somehow skated through two months of pregnancy. As the nurse said, "Hey, you got two months free!"
We'd just closed on and moved into our house. We'd just gotten engaged. The Boston Marathon was a month away. So naturally now was also the time to incubate a person within me. An entire human. Go big or go (to our newly purchased) home?
But you guys, I have another heart beating inside of me. I checked. We heard it. I cried more tears of joy. It is so wild and amazing and unexpected and fantastic. I'm already a third of the way through this journey, and I still don't know that I've entirely processed it.
But here we are.
Yes, we're happy here. Yes, there are questions we don't yet have answers to. Yes, the path we took to forever has been unconventional and peppered with adventure. But we choose our own adventure, just like the books we read as kids. All things considered, I think we've done a pretty good job of choosing happiness.
And then, pause.
There is the Boston Marathon. That pesky dream race I've longed for the last year and a half, and the one that's haunted me the last four months. The redemption I wanted.
Well, that changes, too.
For me, growing a human being inside my body has been exhausting. Running has been slow-going. I'll be there, I'll toe the line in Hopkinton, but my journey to the finish will be much, much different than I expected.
And yes, that's also taken time to process. I will not lie.
My new goal for my second Boston Marathon is to be present. I'd say my goal is to finish, but my more important goal is to listen to my body, and if my body is telling me to stop, that is what I'll do. But I'll be present. I'll walk when I need to walk, I'll run slowly. I'll smile at the spectators and try to absorb every moment, so very unlike my first experience at Boston. I'll be present for every mile.
I'll definitely still cry at the finish, don't worry. I cry. It's what I do. I'll be crying for two, I guess. It's intense.
So, it turns out my comeback journey to Boston took its own unconventional path, too. Instead of redemption, I picked up a precious hitchhiker, and it's been decided that it's not quite time for a comeback yet. And that's okay. It needs to be okay.
I had to run 16 marathons before I ever got to experience crossing the finish line at the Boston Marathon in 2015. This year's Boston Marathon will be my nineteenth. It is hard work.
Our baby, who we'll meet in October, will probably be a Boston Marathon finisher without even trying.
My baby is an overachiever.
Hell yes. As it should be.