Hello my wonderful marathon support group,
I finished the marathon -- and I ran over half of it!! Whoo-hoo!! Yippee!! I also beat my goal of 8 hours (the on-line estimator had estimated I'd take 8 hrs 23 minutes, based on my training times). Yup, I'm darn proud of myself. And I thank you all for your support -- I felt each of you every step of the way.
I started out walking for the first 4 or so miles, just to warm up, at about a pace of 15 minutes a mile, which is pretty fast for me. Then I ran for a long running stretch of 11 miles that felt especially good. From then on it was a lot of walking with a few miles of running thrown in. The entire marathon was beautiful and FUN!!! I was entirely wrapped in Joy. It was a beautiful day. The route had us going by the beautiful wooded hills, along parks, over two bridges, and along both sides of the Willamette River (Portland is a very pretty city). There was live music every couple of miles -- that really helped my keep my feet going, especially any music that had a strong drum-beat! The Portland Marathon is wonderfully organized and very supportive of us slow runners/walkers -- there were volunteers practically every step of the way and a lot of people on the sidelines cheering us on.
My husband, Bob, and I drove the course the day before. Boy, was that an eye-opener! That sucker was waaayyy longer than I expected! I was very scared when we got done scoping it out -- I was exhausted just thinking about it and I hadn't even started yet! So I took a nap, meditated, and explored my scared place to see what was under it -- and that popped me right out of it. [I agree, that sounds easier than it really was -- there was some messy stuff in there.] Ultimately, since I knew I was going to do it, being scared didn't matter. And, as it turned out, that was my "Wall" that you hear about in all the training books. I didn't hit a wall while actually running the race!
I ran like the sea ~ surging forward then ebbing back (during the walk breaks). Surging forward, ebbing back, steadily gaining distance, strong and persistent. I was a horse with wings. I felt my heart and Dan Tien energy centers be strong and open and pulling me along. I felt the energy of the earth, the trees, and the people, buoy me up. I was full of joy, grace, and power. And ... I can hardly believe it, it was easy! I know, that sounds impossible, but it was easy and fun! Bob met me at 10 miles and 20 miles to switch out my CamelBak and provide me with dry socks, and even ran with me for some of it. I walked with my CALL team members part of the way, and made some new friends (there were a lot of walkers). With the music, support, camaraderie, beauty, and the pure joy of feeling my body move me along so well, it was fun.
So, my darlings, I gotta say this -- If I can do it, so can you! I'm over 50 and was completely out of shape and over-weight when I started. Now, I'm liking my new body (especially my legs!). Get your feet moving! Create a support system for your spirit, mind, and body. You don't have to do it alone, you don't have to run it (you can walk) and it doesn't have to be hard. And you won't believe how good it feels to have accomplished something like this -- you do learn a lot about yourself in the process. I am already planning how I'm going to do it differently next year -- and I invite you to join me! We'll have a ball!
Love, Life and Joy!