The aches and pains left my body after four days, the “I did my first marathon” high still comes and goes, and I have not taken down the Marine Corps Marathon course map at my office desk. My racing journey this year was not especially pretty, as much as it was insightful. But at the start line on race day, I was at a ruckus party with 30,000 other people. 26.2 miles? Puh-leez. We all knew how many miles it REALLY took to get to the start line.
I didn’t know if I would get here, but I’m on the other side now, I did it. I persevered through hours of physical stress to achieve this huge endurance goal, and I AM mentally strong enough to lace up my shoes and do it over and over again. Alone. That start line party was my graduation.
Do over please
Did I say it wasn’t pretty? There was pain and cramping during the second part of the race and lots of excuses after. I didn’t focus on strength training, broke my foot 6 months before the race, my training time was short, blah blah blah. But wouldn’t you know it I want to run another marathon—in addition to other 2014 racing goals. But I’m hoping this next journey will be different than the one I started out with this year.
In the moment
My 2013 racing journey can be summed up in the two weeks before and after the marathon. My emotional state was that of a caffeine addict deprived of her morning coffee. Every day, for two weeks. At a yoga class during savasana a few days before the race, with tears streaming down my face I apologized to my many hurting body parts. Touching my thighs, hips, and legs, and feet, I asked them to hang tough with me for a few more days. Assuming the same pose on my yoga mat a week after the marathon, I tearfully thanked them for being strong and carrying me—literally—on this journey. Then as the endorphins and chemicals balanced out in my body over the next few weeks, Sarah Lynn aka my favorite yoga instructor, repeated a mantra of hers during class—to be accepting of where we are, what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, in the moment we’re in. I finally heard her.
When my body protested with exhaustion during the months of training, and I’d take a 7:30 nap before falling asleep at 9:00, I often asked myself (and the husband) why I often feel compelled to choose the hard road. No answer ever satisfied me. At the end of a rather tumultuous racing year which included letting my body heal, I had these fleeting moments of realizing that it’s okay not to know why, or what my journey is for. Only that I choose to go on it. I have to grab those fleeting moments. Tricky stuff.
So yes, I will be setting goals, and working hard to achieve them. My 2014 journey is to be in the many moments I will find myself in, and be accepting of all the outcomes. At least that’s the plan.
- Half Ironman.
- Marathon #2.
- Be kind to myself (see first two goals above)
- Show meaning of true friendship to teen daughter.
- Lift the clouds away from anxious daughter.
- Run away with husband more often.
And may the racing goddesses be gentler to me next year.