To an outsider, race day is just another run. It’s a sporting event. It’s a day to embrace pain and to discover self pride. All of this is true. It is just another day, but race day is always something so much more than a run. It’s a story.
Race day forces me to be present. It forces me to take inventory of life. The harder I push, the more that bubbles to the surface. The faster I run, the more I engage with my entire life outside of running.
2009, although I didn’t run, was a story of hope. After Christian and I accidentally stumbled upon the race in an early morning walk to the beach, I knew I needed to run again. This race was about learning to dream.
2010, my first race, was a story of “I can”. There was a lot of doubt about if I’d actually follow through with my race plans. This race was about learning that I am capable.
2011, sidelined with a stress fracture, was a story of patience. Even though I couldn’t run, I could still cheer. This race was about learning to listen to my body.
2012, my first race after having Chet, was a story of identity. I needed to find my space in the world after a year of pregnancy and child birth. This race was about learning who I was again with a new baby.
2013, my first marathon, was a story of comfort. Too much happened in too short amount of time. This race was about learning how much I need and want support in my life.
I don’t know this year’s story yet. I just know that I plan on showing up to the start line open and receptive to what the day has to offer. There is nothing I can do at this point to train more or better. I plan on listening to my body. I plan on smiling a lot. I plan on laughing. I just have to run my race on Sunday.
My coach has been great about reminding me that my race isn’t about the race clock. My race is about beginning again. This race is the kick off to spring races and the foundation for running in 2014. (Maybe he already knows my Shamrock story for this year!)
“Early in the journey we wonder how long the journey will take and whether you will make it in this lifetime. Later you will see that where you are going is HERE and you will arrive NOW…so stop asking.” ~Ram Dass, Be Here Now
Whatever the outcome on Sunday, I promise you I’ll be smiling. I made it to race day. That alone is worth celebrating.
Shamrock is not my finish line. It’s my starting point. It will always be my starting point.
(With Christian in 2009 on the morning my heart knew I needed to run!)