I mentioned before that I don’t typically start things I’m not reasonably sure I can’t accomplish. So, I’ve been working on getting ready for the Marine Corps Marathon for a couple of months now. I’ve run farther, and faster, than I ever have in my life.
This morning was something different.
For about a week now the cosmos has pointed at the potential that there are easier ways to achieve some of the emotional high points that MCM might bring (I can transfer to the 10k, a distance I am capable of today), that I am slow for someone who expects to stay away from the sweeper, that I can give my MCM bib to someone else, or say that I’ll do it next year.
Each time I remember that I don’t need to decide today and I keep doing the work. Still, I would be lying if I pretended that each reminder that the “Exit” is so close, and so easy, didn’t weigh on me a little bit. Most of the time I’d opt for the 10K and chillax about training – but I’m not doing it now. I’m doing the work.
Long run today, I’m a slow poke at a short distance but it feels like a proving ground. If not now, then when… and all that. The radio played the song “Dumb” (main line, “I feel so dumb. Duh duh duh dumb. Duh duh duh dumb) and then Britney Spears “Work Bitch” which I knew from Zumba and finally understood the lyrics to.
I got out of my car (I drive into town to run then reward with Dunkin Donuts) and walked a little extra while trying to find a way to start. No need to think of the route, I have it down pat. I just need to start. Start the walk / run timer (no really y’all I’m not speedy, just fucking ready to do the work), and start the course thing and go.
I mainly try to dive into the void when I run, I don’t want to think and I don’t want to plan. I get neat ideas there but mainly I rest my mind. It is what I want out of the time: log miles and stop thinking. Still, when Siri told me how I was doing I’d take a minute or two to figure out if I was doing ok in the proving ground. This mile was slower than that one, I’ve gotten a stitch and want to walk more than I have time for…
The penultimate mile is the fastest of all of them – I am surprised. I have leg for the last mile and I try and use up a lot of it. I hit stop and I’ve beat the time goal by 4 minutes. I burst into tears because that is all I can do. I try and calm down because what I want is to SOB and really, I’m a bit breathless. I talk to my mom on the way home and cry more.
I want to message my zumba instructor when I get home. I don’t because even I know that is odd – but when I see her in Target in the afternoon I tell her. She is lovely and encouraging and as I turn to walk away I start tearing up again. I’m crying as I type this.
I don’t know what the work is for. I know why I started, and I know that I don’t need to understand. I’m just grateful.