I ran the Marine Corps Half Marathon two days ago. It was my 6th half, my worst time and Best. Race. Ever. Transformative. After 43.75 years of living I realized I am what I am. And it’s enough. On Sunday, it was more than enough. Bear with me for a somewhat brief race report.
I had been dreading this race like a root canal. I was feeling fat and slow and incapable and like a wanna be. I didn’t belong in this crowd of athletes. During training I taught a ton of Yoga, got all my long runs in and scraped out about 60% of my weekday runs. My heart wasn’t in it because I thought I wasn’t worthy and I literally hated the idea of running.
My husband who was also running this race is a powerful athlete and one of the most tenacious, focused individuals I have ever met. He was stoked and ready. Annoying. I wondered if I would finish. The day started out with many a blunder and I wonder why by now I am still surprised that this stuff keeps happening. I had to walk my son (who was playing in a baseball tournament nearby) about a mile from the hotel to a meeting point for his ride (street closures, duh!) He, his bat bag and I wove our way through a sea of psyched, fit, cool-looking runners as I had heart palpitations worrying about the port-a-potty opportunity and my arriving back at my corral before the gun. It all happened – a true miracle. As for my son, he was fine waiting by himself (he’s almost 14) except for the hobo that asked if he wanted any coffee. He looks like me, now he apparently gives off my vibe.
I started out incredulous that I was even There about to do This. THEN I LOOKED AROUND. My posse, my pacers were cool, fit people! They were as athletic as my husband and my bestie, Beth . They were in my pace range and that was enough!!! My group, my homey’s my love muffins were strong-looking and beastly as I wish to be. I fell in love at mile 5 with the course, my performance and everyone within a 10 yard range of me. I was feeling so fine and knew not only would I finish but I would do it feeling good. I dropped all expectation of time and became a happy runner. At mile 10 the famous ‘hospital hill’ loomed very, very large. And I ran up the sucker. She lasted about a mile and leveled off. Before long another mammoth rise presented herself. And I ran up the sucker. Another mile of up hill moving. With only .8 miles left and very emotional music honoring our marines, I started to cry. I, this, my pace was enough. I am a runner and I am protected by The few. The proud. The Marines. And I am grateful. I suppose I won’t be putting these away anytime soon.
Because this is a Yoga blog, I must mention that on Mother’s Day I had the pleasure and privilege of taking a Ashtanga-style vinyasa class and was in utter awe of my fellow yogi’s. Beautiful human form breathing and bending all about me. I fell in love with yoga once again – which happens most everyday. I was among Yoga rock stars. So where was Steven Tyler when you need him?
He was on a billboard on Powhite Parkway outside the studio. My daughter and I passed it and said.
“Mom, he looks kind of like you?”
Should I be insulted?