Friday, January 13, 2012

26.2

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”  - T.S. Eliot

I decided early on that an accomplishment such as a marathon is for more than me.  It was important to me to pinpoint a “why” when it came to doing a marathon.  And thanks to my sister, the question was posed to me early on.  I think my initial answer was something like “because I can” – which seems as weird a reason as it was a response.  The plan was to run this on the eve of my 27th birthday.  That’s right, 26 miles on the last day of my 26th year.   Poetic, right? 

Well, I never could quite kick the idea of running a marathon because I could.  Not because I was overly confident that I could run 26.2 miles (I wasn’t and today it seems like a dream) but because I’m given this one life, this one body, and I felt that I should test my limits.  This was more than a physical challenge.  This was a mental and emotional challenge that I felt up to as I enter my 27th year.

But plan I always do.  So, as I increased my mileage each week, I pulled out pen and paper and began to jot down items to reflect on while running.  My initial goal was to run for 26 things but some miles flew by and time to reflect disappeared into thin air.  So, 26 reasons quickly ran together creating just a few main things that I thought of while running.  

Mile 1 was for my mom.

Mile 2, my dad.  

Mile 3 for the mother my sister is becoming.
Can you see Betsy and I waving?
Mile 8 was a reflection on my husband and the eight years we've spent together.


Mile 9 was mainly spent recovering from falling over a bright orange cone.  Yes, you read that correctly, I fell ONCE AGAIN! 

Mile 12 was a tough one to get through in training.  So, I thought about my grandpa. 

Mile 13 was for my grandmother.
 
Mile 16 was an angry mile.  My iPod died and I didn't even get to hear this - which was going to get me to the finish line!
 
Mile 20 - the wall! - was for my friend who helped to inspire my doing this and who I ran beside for almost half the race.  This one was for Bets! 

Somewhere between mile 20 and 26 I started hurting - a lot.   So, I thought a lot about my family.  My younger brother and sister, all of my aunts, uncles, cousins, the family I married into and the friends that become the family I create for myself.  I love this picture that was taken at mile 24 because I look no where near as tired, pained and ready to give up as I felt.  Must have been the power of my family!


 Mile 26 was for me and my 26 years.  

I finished in 4:37.  You can see the finish clock behind me and it reads 4:50.  It took about 13 minutes for us to get to the start line!

And that last .2, well I'm going to borrow some words from Kristin Armstrong in Mile Markers for this:

".2 is the metaphorical distance between you and any finish line in your life, anything you have ever dreamed of doing or becoming.  It's what's separating you from your truest, most authentic self and your most actualized life.  It's what's worth thinking about, strategizing about, planning for, training for, and going for. 

.2 is simultaneously the end and the beginning.  Because when we cross one finish line, we arrive at the next start line, carrying with us everything we learned from prior distance."



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