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|
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,