Marathon Mantra

At the Half Marathon finish line

Here’s me after a half marathon, the full should be fun!

Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them. Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it.”

~Rabindranath Tagore

Awash in emotions, I’m basking in the warm glow of happiness at the prospect of having a marathon behind me. The check mark on the bucket list.

There is a strange melancholy that descends, knowing the process will as soon be over.  The journey, fraught as it has been with its challenges and quirks, has been an incredible passage, and it is with a heart conflicted by elation and mournful reminiscence that I devote these last few days to training.

Final Marathon Training Days

Preparation is in full effect with only a few more days left.  I’ve been testing solutions to my to blistering issue, and experimenting with various powders, gels and performance snacks like a mad scientist in a lab.  Carbo-loading has commenced and high-energy fuels are the order of my days.  My footwear choice remains my biggest decision, as I’ve yet to settle on which of my lucky pairs will be anointed in the trenches of the marathon.  Should I run in my old, reliable pair?  They’ve seen me through a lot of miles, those shoes, too many, my physical therapist would say.  The newer pair that may or may not have been the source of the blisters? How can I trust them not to blister me again? I know I don’t dare try my 5 fingers, but that doesn’t stop me from thinking about how awesome that would be.

I’ve tapered down to a modest mileage plan this week, which leaves me unjustifiably tired and bewilderingly jittery.  The work is done, the training runs are almost finished, and all that remains is the ultimate test to determine the worth of 3 months of dedication.

Letting Go

Its odd to me how this, endings, have yet to get easier. My logic holds that things done repeatedly inevitably become more manageable. With practice comes proficiency, yes? Not so, I’m finding.  I hold on so hard to the places I am, that letting go, even of something that has proven so devastating at times, remains perhaps the most difficult part. Change will always be the ultimate hurdle I guess. This change carries particular resonance with me, as concurrences of the universe would have it, the strange parallels and coincidences that life arrange, I face another set of changes.  As I say goodbye to training for my first marathon, I’ll also be welcoming a very new chapter in my life.  But the fact remains that the goodbye must be said, and this parting honored.

On Saturday I’ll raise my paper cup of Gatorade repeatedly:

  • To anticipating the future with enthusiasm.
  • To paying proper respect to the past.
  • To trusting in this moment, and knowing its precious impermanence.
  • To running a freaking MARATHON. 

**Special note of thanks to everyone reading, you’ve been instrumental in me getting this far.  I’ll see you on the other side of 26.2.

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