Two weeks ago yesterday, I ran my thirteenth marathon. It was still hard. It never gets any shorter. Respect the distance, people will tell you.
You can train and train and train, but if it’s monsooning outside to the point you have turned into a thousand-pound sponge by mile two, there’s really not much you can do – except get through it.
Such is life.
I crossed the line, teared up for a second, grabbed a banana and a pint of chocolate milk and walked to the car. Two days later, I was on the same treadmill at the Y where I had run hundreds of pre-race miles while picturing that day much differently.
Again, such is life. Outcomes and situations and difficulties and sickness and bad relationships and fill-in-the-blanks happen and you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back at it.
Yet I often wonder if it is our creative, imaginative, complex brain that is the exact thing doing us such a grave disservice at certain times in our lives. That thing in our head which allows us to envision beautiful scenes like crossing the finish line with arms held high in the air as we nod to heaven, the crowd, and ourselves. We did it.
Or maybe it’s a new relationship that comes on the heels of being treated horrifically for years. Mad at yourself for wasted time, you picture non-stop lovely-dovey days filled with delicious meals of your choice being prepared and ready for you the second you feel hungry, intriguing conversations solving meaningful world problems, and thoughtful overtures that convey a thorough understanding of how you think, feel and relate. We’ve found our person.
Or when our brain says “It’s raining like a SOB out here and there is NO way you’re going to be able to run fast…to do it…to qualify today.” You can’t do it.
Why is it that we only feel validated when the exact picture in our head is the one lived out in real-life? Not only is that crazy, it’s fiction. Moreover, it sets us up for a cycle of misery, self-induced perceived failure, and general blah.
I really have no completed ending for this entry. I stumbled upon it as I was trying to find another one.
(This was written the day after the Grand Rapids Marathon – October 2017.)
I have since run another marathon – last month in Toledo, Ohio. And without looking at my watch so my brain couldn’t chime in, I qualified for Boston.
Such is life indeed.