So I ran a marathon a little over a week ago. Not only did I run 26.2 miles, but I took 5 minutes exactly off of my last marathon time. While I’m pleased with that accomplishment, please don’t be fooled. I’m not fast. There was lots of time on the table and I just picked up 5 minutes of it.
To be honest, the whole marathon was pretty brutal. It was painful, long and very lonely. Lonely. Think about that. I ran with 20,000 other people and I felt alone. Doesn’t sound possible, but it’s true.
Last marathon I had my mother show up, surprisingly, at different locations throughout the route to cheer me on. It always surprised me and it helped spur me on to continue (although I never really thought about quitting). When I finished one of my closest girlfriends, my mother and B were at the finish line. It was awesome and amazing to share the high of finishing a marathon with three people I loved.
There was no one there for me at the Portland Marathon.
Yes, there were lots of great spectators, cheering, hollering, giving free high fives throughout the course. There was a woman at mile 20 who was standing outside of her house with a Costco size bottle of ibuprofen offering it to whoever needed it as her grandson poured water in cups to go along with it. Amazing, generous and oh so thoughtful. But I still felt alone.
I had trained and knew I could complete the task but I think my problem was simply too much crap occupying my mind during those 26.2 miles. The mind is a powerful thing and 26.2 miles is a long way to run. Lots of time to think. About everything. And I did. Thought about the demise of my marriage to the Asshole; the struggles with my children over the last 3 years; my relationship with B and its ending; my job, my health, my future, you name it, I thought about it. Most of it was positive and encouraging but some of it was not and since it was raining (yes, raining) and cold (very cold) it was hard to refocus when I slipped into bad shit.
Luckily around mile 14 a friend who started in the corral behind me caught up to me. When she slid up beside me and put her arm around me, I almost burst into tears. I truly needed her at that moment and hadn’t realized it myself. Turned out she was not in a good place herself and had seen me up ahead and had been trying to catch up to me for over a mile because she needed me! We ran together for a little over 4 miles before she left me. By then I had refocused my energy and my mindset and knew I would make it.
It hurt though. Can’t lie. When I finished I grabbed some bananas, a popsicle and some oranges and sat on the sidewalk to chill. It was only when I tried to stand up, about 10 minutes later, that I realized how in pain I was. Ugh.
As I walked to my car I thought, “yea, well, that was my last marathon.” But clearly that was me lying to myself since I just registered for another one in June of next year and I’m thinking about one in Napa Valley next March and another in Seattle next November. Two was my limit this year, three is my number next year. Of course that’s just marathons. I also ran 7 halfs this year, 1 Duathlon, 3 – 10k’s, 1 – 15k, 1 – 12k and a couple of 5k’s. I know . . . I do have issues, but there are worse things to be addicted to. Right?
A week ago today I got my tat and it turned out beautifully. I love it and what it represents. I am a Runner Chick and have been so branded.
This is my tattoo, it’s located on my left shoulder-blade and it is awesome.
Got some other things on my mind that I need to get off of me, but I’m still formulating my thoughts which have to be kind of clear before I can write. I will be back soon.