After that sharp left I turned on Boylston St. towards the glorious finish line, I am starting to see another abrupt turn ahead now that the experience has settled in.
I’ve been feeling fantastic for a few days. More than fantastic, like floating, but I can’t find a word. I’ve held my medal a few times and smiled a lot. I have seen how different things could be. I figured out why I never felt this way after my last marathon. I was injured at the start line, I suffered a lot during the race, and I didn’t defer or quit because I was out there to prove how tough I was. But now that I know I can do anything, I have nothing to prove and all to enjoy. And yes, you can still run a smart race and have a great pace while you party for 26.2 miles, but I never thought it was possible before.
For some of us, relaxing can be a LOT harder than gutting it out. Now I know a race does not need to be a life or death situation. It does not need to be a tool to prove anything.
Quite probably, I’ll never win anything, and I am very ok with that. And at some point, I will start to get slower, that’s just a fact. So all that’s at stake when I put this much pressure on myself is my love for this sport.
And to call this a sport seems like an insult. Every run is a moment of zen, self-discovery, empowerment, freedom, realization, meditation, connectedness, growth… I could go on for hours. Every run has taught me something new. I learned this week that I CAN run a smart race, I CAN hold back the pace as long as I need to, and I CAN share my passion with half a million people. It was not a race I fought from within; I just let the day take me. That’s exactly what I want my running to do for me: lead me to adventures, to connect with everybody else, to take me out of my comfort zone, and to show me how to throw it all out there. And to relax.
How can I treat something that can do all of that for me as a sport, and then push myself to extremes for it? That doesn’t make sense anymore…
I am just so happy these days… There’s a bit of soreness, but feeling like you could go back and do another 26.2 right after you cross the finish line is priceless. And wanting to actually go and do it, even better. I want to keep doing this forever. I think I’ve found a way to take the pressure off of it.
I really did find my mojo! I think I’ll trust myself from now on.