Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Marathon Story

Thank you all for all that awesome support y'all were sending out on Sunday!!! I felt every drop of that was coming our way and it made all the difference. Seriously, that run was hard. HARD. Really super unexpectedly beyond my wildest dreams hard. I mean, after my 21.3 miler training run that was so easy I seriously felt totally confident and like the marathon would be exhausting but basically totally doable and pure fun. But, in the real live moment my IT bands started locking down on me, first one side then the other at mile 6. Six! 20 miles to go. Twenty. Twenty miles.

I was thinking, "Really? Now? Here? On the Golden Gate Bridge? The part of the run that I was most looking forward to and my knees are locking up here and being all distracting and sinister?? Honestly?"

And my knees were like, "Yeah sure, why not party girl?"

And I thought, "But, this is my marathon! My marathon with my dingos and I've been training forever for this day, today and I want it to feel easy like I planned for and trained for!"

And my knees were like, "Yeah well whatever, this is how it is, suck it sister."

So I sucked it. First I had to stop even pretending that I cold run downhill at all, let alone like Jo who ran down hills like she was a stream on her way to her ocean debut. Then I had to admit that walking a minute at each mile marker wasn't going to be enough walking and that the sooner I started walking enough to feel like running the better my chances were of finishing in time. And so I walked a lot and limped a lot and stopped and stretched a lot. And it was cool. I walked backwards down the hills. I stopped at the bacon station. I ate a gu that had been dropped on the ground. I nearly cried when I found out the medics had biofreeze I could use. I talked to people who needed encouragement and thanked people for encouraging me. I smiled the whole way. I finished and I even pulled off a real live sprint to the finish wherein I passed a bunch of people and felt really good and like I won and I just barely kept myself from bursting into happy wiped out exhausted tears as I bent forward while a volunteer placed that medal around my neck.

And you know what? Right alongside the feelings of pain and denial and fear that it wasn't happening the way I wanted it to I was exactly to the same degree totally thrilled, exhilarated and overjoyed that I was there, running my marathon with all these other incredibly dedicated people, many of whom were sucking it as hard or harder than I was, all together winding through my hands down favorite city in the world for twenty six point two miles. It was awesome, fantastic, overwhelming and humbling and sweet. I giggled a lot at the absurd and fabulousness of being both sides of the coin at once and being fully aware of that. It was the cleanest experience of the yin yang I've ever had. Like, now I get that, I get the whole yin yang thing. I kind of got it before but during the race it was like I was running in a hamster wheel of yin yang and the black and the white just blurred together so there was no separation, it was just all complete.

And, despite the stupid pain I was experiencing there was one thing that rocked out completely. I am a hill climbing machine! Oh yes. I did not feel one iota of extra exertion on any of the up hills, I felt like everyone else in the race had been slowed down to half speed and I was the only one who still got to go at a normal speed, or even faster. Even when my legs were so sore it was like the pain was magically erased for going uphill. That was sweet, I just wish the whole race had been uphill!

Okay, the wide world of housework can wait no longer. And I haven't even gone on and on about how much I loved hanging with the dingos. It was the best time I've had since I can't remember. So many moments fighting to keep food from flying through my nose, such sore abs. Such good times.