I have sat in front of this screen toying with ways to explain what went down today, A run recap is boring. A little note is disrespectful.
So I am going to just type away and try to encapsulate all the emotions and thoughts that happened over the course of a 3 hour and change, run.
This is still very strange to me. I am not the fastest, lightest, most dedicated runner I know. I smoke, drink and complete races on an empty stomach. I am not a role model by choice, in fact I should have ‘don’t try this at home’ tattooed on my face. But alas the universe has shifted so that I am embarking on a journey, that far exceeds the parameters I set myself.
It doesn’t matter if it’s 2 miles or 20, every time I run, I feel like a fraud. It still hurts, it’s still a challenge and while I am consumed by the benefits, I have yet to fall in love with the physical act. Running is still a chore.
I cannot believe, that I have hung up heels for ‘supportive footwear’, mini dresses for dri fit. Everytime I look in the mirror I question my reflection. I have yet to decide whether that’s a good thing.
I entered the London Marathon as a test to the Divine. If I am supposed to continue to practice this act, give me a sign, Alas, it arrived and I am now knee deep in training.
Two years ago, I wouldn’t run for a Hermes sample sale. Now I cancel nights out to ensure that I am rested enough to do a decent job in the morning. Like I say to folk, this hobby will show you who you are or at a reach, who you want to be.
Today was the big one. Seventeen miles. How would I do?
I had warmed up the day previous with a stunning 9 miler, which allowed me to really focus on my pace and ‘getting comfortable’ (no such thing, but hey ho)
While nervous, I have decided to not let these runs distract me from the ultimate goal, DOING THIS MY WAY.
I made a few promises to myself
GO AS SLOW AS YOU WANT TO
WALK IF YOU NEED TO
With that in mind, I guzzled a hi5 energy source drink (no way is that fuel enough for such a distance. Lesson learned) stuffed some clif blocks in my pocket and decided to go wherever the wind took me.
The wind blew me from Barbican to Battersea and back in a slow but steady 3hrs 9mins.
Three hours that were filled with such fantasy, pain, ridicule, question and doubt that if you are not ready you will lay face down and await the next vehicle to take you to a better place.
I learned more about myself in those three hours than I have in the last three years.
I need to eat breakfast more often
I should listen to my early am bowel movements
My left leg is heavier than my right.
Men fancy me with a bare face
I have no shame in singing aloud*
My pain threshold far exceeds my patience
I can be made speechless
By the time I came to mile 10, I was at a firm 5miles per hour. Way off my personal target but guess what?
THIS IS NOT A GAME.
The audacity to even have a target time came swooping down on me like a hungry crow.
“Wow Cand, you could be on road for five hours plus at this rate.” I scolded myself
“Good. Ain’t no bitch gotta run this town but me.” I shot back
And that is the sweetest lesson, I ever did learn today.
I AM ALONE.
And it’s okay.
Today I also learned that I am blessed. What I lack in speed, I make up for in faith and what I lack in swiftness I challenge with determination.
My friends, the marathon fight is not about fitness. It’s about being able to weather the storm, depend on yourself and sit through the turbulence
I’ve had my fair share of turbulence.
As I came back along the Embankment I had a moment of clarity; everything is exactly as it should be.
No longer will I weep about my Father, my daughter or mother. I am already in pain. Why not source a reward for it?
As, I pressed ‘end workout’ on Nike+ GPS, I smiled.
This is only the beginning.
*At the Jamaica marathon, once I was heading back to my hotel, I saw a man who was approaching mile 18, hands aloft and sweat pouring down his face he was moving at snails pace and singing aloud. He was in incredible pain but was so consumed by his own definition of success that it didn’t matter.
That will be me. Somewhere between mile 18 and 23, I’ll have my hands in the air, crop top in full effect. Smile, wave and cheer. Or better yet, hand me a beer.