Thursday, 18 October 2012

Marathon Recap - The Bad

A huge part of me wrestled with writing this post. And a huge part of me wrestled with sharing it.

I wanted to do my best to ignore my inner negative voice, and to celebrate this year, this achievement, and this milestone. But I would be a liar if I said that I loved every minute of Sunday, and that I left my marathon experience feeling amazing...

So here it is, The Bad...

Anyone who has read even a snippet of this blog, knows that I don't run just to run.

Running is always much more emotional than that. I always run to prove something - to me, to my body, to the world - I don't know...

Christopher McDougall wrote in Born To Run that "when things look worst, we run the most." That "there's a trigger in the human psyche, a coded response that actives our first and greatest survival skills when we sense the raptors approaching".

Well this year they were coming for me, and I literally tried to run away.

Running became my outlet. When times got tough - and they did - I ran. When I needed something to look forward to, it was a race. When need something to drive my recovery, it was running. When I needed to prove to myself that I was stronger and badder than anything my body could throw at me - I ran. Running has become an essential part of me and my go-to coping mechanism.

So running my Marathon, was never about running a Marathon.

It was everything.

I spent months visualizing it. And even longer training for it. I would cross that finish line strong at 4:30, rocking out to girlie-pop music, high on endorphins, all while proving that I am so much stronger than everything life threw at me this year.

But that is not exactly how it all went down.

I dragged my butt across the finish line at 5:20 feeling tired, so very sore, and sad. And then promptly lay down on the sidewalk clutching my medal and cried.

I cried with joy because it was over. I cried because I was disappointed in my time. I cried because I was so mad at my body. I cried because I was damn exhausted. 

I finished my Marathon, but I felt beaten.

Those last 10km brought out everything I HATE about my body. I felt weak. And that weakness was a reminder of all my genetic shortcomings. The pain was a reminder of all the reasons why my body will just never be good enough. All the things I hate about my body were literally screaming at me. And I could not shut them up.

My arms and chest are swollen here
My chest and arms were swollen. My pacemaker was brusing me from the inside out. My legs were on fire. My knees ached. My heart rate was all over the place. And I was just so angry at my body.

As I watched one pace bunny after another pass me, I knew my dream of finishing strong at 4:30 was dead.

My body was aching. I was miserable. And I wanted to quit.

I felt all those things, but I kept going.

In the last 7 months there have been a lot of moments where I have wanted to give up. The frustration, the sadness, and this fight has defined 2012. The medical appointments, the surgeries, the setbacks - there were many moments where I tried to wish it all away.

But in the last 7 months I have run 2 half marathons, 2 adventure/mud races, a 15km race, a 5 km, and now finally a full marathon. I crossed the finish line of my my very first marathon almost exactly 7 months after undergoing a double prophylatic mastectomy and receiving my third cyborg ticker. (they say 3rd times a charm)

And that is what this marathon was all about. Genetics has held my body hostage for almost a decade now, but it cannot crush my spirit. Those last 10km sucked. I wanted to give up, but I didn't. 5:20 was not my ideal time - but that still pretty darn good for all this year has thrown at me.

My body is never going to be all that I dreamed - I got the scars and the shiny robot heart to prove it.

But I am healthy. I worked damn hard for that. And no one can take that away from me. I am a Marathoner.

I will get knocked down a 1000 more times before this life is over, and I will always get back up.
I will always keep going.

This marathon was not exactly everything I dreamed, but I am not finished yet.
I will get that marathon I dreamed about - next time... (*sorry Mom there is gonna be a next time*)

Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,