Coming to the starting line I felt scrapped together. My foundation unstable, my goals flying out of control from high to low to high again. As the race went on, I was there in 9 parts at least. My thoughts fighting other thoughts, my knee fighting both my calf and hamstring, my heart was fluttering and falling. I felt like some string puppet, holding it together then falling apart again. I walked, I got a foot cramp from my heel to my toe. I didn't cry, which I count as a plus. I was so mad at myself.
At one point during the race we ran past a slide-letter sign over paint store. It said "Above All, Love Each Other". A quote I'm familiar with from the Bible. And all I could think as I watched the group of women working in front of me, is, I love them more than me. I spent the first 5 miles (7 miles?) thinking how strong they looked, how fluid, fast. I spent no time telling myself any of these things.
At mile 10, I had lost touch with that group. I still felt the possibility of catching them. But just as I had hope my entire left foot cramped. I tried to keep running. Then I walked. I saw them climb the hill, minutes ahead of me, as I walked. WALKED. It was humiliating. I didn't feel like loving them or myself, or the view, or the sun.
After my foot allowed me to run again, my side ache crept in and got stronger and stronger until it burned deep in my in every fiber of my muscles. I had taken in no water or gel. I felt like I was drying up. I stopped and walked and drank water. No one could tell the difference between me and the marathoners we'd merged in with. I felt so low, but I knew my friends had driven from Seattle and they were waiting for me to cross the line. And I wasn't sure if I could. But I took it a step at a time. And I crossed. 1:22:50(?)
|photo cred: my amazing cheer squad leader, sally b.|
As I put this race behind me and look to immediate future of building my foundation I am fueled by this latest flail. I want to get strong. To focus my work. To focus my mind. I know it's equal parts body and mind. I have the heart and courage. I just need those other two key elements.