Monday, October 8, 2012

light up, light up

a lovely girl i know ran the chicago marathon on sunday.  it was her first marathon.

she started running a few years back and gradually worked her way up through the various race distances out there.  and this year she decided to take on a marathon.

and she is adorable.

she runs with such joy.  her enthusiasm is tangible.

i followed her facebook updates as she ran in chicago, giving her a stride on for each update, knowing she wouldn't see them until it was all over.

and when it was all over?  webster's could use her finish line photo for the definition of "happiness."

i admire the hell out of her.  she runs for the love of it, for the fun of it.  she's not afraid of sharing her experience with the world, putting it out there for all to see.  she does not care what the numbers on the clock read, because she know that what the numbers on the clock say is "i rocked that race!"

as she covered those 26.2 miles she reminded me of so many things.  and she taught me so much more.

i was supposed to run a marathon in two weeks.

but i won't be running a marathon in two weeks. 

i knew when i registered, back in june, that there was every possibility that this would happen.  but i registered anyway.

i've worked all summer, and all fall.  i've done everything i was supposed to do.  everything the doctor told me to do (and didn't do what he told me not to do).  i'm in the best shape i've ever been in.

but the doctor, and my knees, and my common sense all told me that it's just not possible this year.

maybe next year.  but not this year.

so i contacted the race director and transferred to a shorter distance.  and i backed way way way off of my miles.

a relative asked this week about my running and my race plans for the fall.  so i told her.  it was the first time i'd told anyone (besides my crew, of course) about any part of the plan.

her response?

"that is so brave of you."

then someone else asked her a question, so she didn't see me start to cry.

this is not something people tend to say to me.

usually i get the people who somehow think that i am less because the distance i run is less than it used to be, or the time that it takes me to run the distance is more than it used to be.

(because those people are there.  and they insist on making there presence known.  i don't know why.)

but they don't really know me at all.

i love to run. plain and simple.

i wanted to run another marathon. because i love to run.

and i will not be running that marathon. because i love to run.

because the goal is not to run one more marathon. the goal is to keep on running.

and i plan to keep on running. for as long as i can.

stride on.

you capture


Tiffany @ No Ordinary Homestead said...

What a beautiful post. And congratulations for staying true to yourself while also listening to your body.

I just started training for my first marathon (Sept 2013) and running altogether. You have to take it one step at a time. I'm running with my husband and our first 5k is Oct 27.

I'm definitely a bit scared about what will happen at the marathon, but know that it's still far away. And although I never thought I would even enjoy running, I'm finding quite a lot of pleasure in the simple act of running and the little accomplishments we manage every day.

stride on!

Lyndsay said...

You are brave. And I'm glad there are people in your life who remind you of that.

Jade @ Tasting Grace said...

"this is not something people tend to say to me." - Are you kidding?

You are the definition of brave. You've encountered so many obstacles, and it would be so easy to give up and turn in your running shoes forever. But you don't.

Every single time, you get up and you run. That is bravery encapsulated. You are so very brave.

Anonymous said...

This is such an honest and emotional post. It's so hard to do what you know is the right choice. It's not giving up or giving in. It's doing what is best for you and your life in the long run. I too think you are extremely brave.

InTheFastLane said...

I am so glad you have those people in your life.

And I know about the love and the need. And because you are planning on running for as long as you can, sometimes giving up on the marathon is an ok thing. A brave thing.

I may never run another marathon again, after my last one ended with me in an ambulance. But, that doesn't make me any less of a runner. Because running is a part of me. And running a marathon or not running a marathon has nothing to do with who you are as a runner.

It is hard to let go of goals, but in the bigger picture, being able to do what you love for as long as you possibly can in life is much bigger than 26.4 miles.

Pieni Lintu said...

Beautiful post!