I've sat here for a while now staring at a blank screen. How can I possibly describe the 72 hours of my life better known as December 5, 6 and 7th 2014? There are no words, but I'll try to find some.
As most of you know, this year has been full of challenges in my personal life as well as my running. Don't get me wrong, we all have struggles and I certainly don't expect any year of my life to be without fault. This year though- the one that left me cracked in many ways, but could have broke me if I had let it. More importantly, the year that would have broke me if others had let it. The pieces of me were held together by the people around me, their kind words and actions that were the super glue I needed after the bull went through the china shop.
For a big part of this year, I chose not to feel things as a defense mechanism. I didn't want to feel the anger, sadness, bitter and loneliness that was trying to consume me. A side effect of this, I wasn't able to feel the positive emotions either. I wasn't living I was just maintaining, it isn't life without the ups AND the downs. So piece by piece as time went on this fall I started taking down the wall one at a time. Maybe that was my problem at Rochester, I wasn't ready for the wave to come crashing in on me. Heading into Memphis, my confidence was at an all time high. The workouts were there, the miles were done, the support from others had allowed me to become comfortable and I finally started to feel things again. I think at Empire Half in October, the emotions from the PR/Win put a dent in the wall....while in Memphis I wanted to bust through the rest like a damn wrecking ball.
Some of you may never understand why this was so important to me- and that's ok, YOU don't need to. This weekend was the culmination of the hard work I have put in for years, but more specifically the last few months with my running. I made the choice to take things to the next level, I made the choice to forget about the fear and lay it all on the line for something that I desperately wanted. What I wanted had less to do with a specific time, and more to do with feeling something. I wanted to feel in control, I wanted to feel the push, the hurt, the drive and the emotions- believe me when I say I felt all of that. Every single one of my race photos I look the same, very focused and you can tell I'm reminding myself to breathe. If only I could have recorded the thoughts in my head during those photos, it was the kind of dialogue cheesy inspirational YouTube videos are made from (In my head, I picture 'Rise and Shine'). The mind really will give out far before the body if you let it.
This weekend was also the proof that the relationship with my Dad (which, admittedly hasn't always been the best, mainly due to my own faults), is light-years beyond what it was. I love that man to pieces, but in my 27 years this was the first time we did something for a weekend the two of us. Not to mention the fact that it included travelling 1000 miles so he could support me in a race. For the better part of 3 days we talked and laughed like friends, not just father and daughter. The pride in his face when he found me after the race, the hugs and the words...still bring tears to my eyes. I will NEVER forget that. Ever.
This weekend reminded me just how many great people are out there, despite the naysayers and the pirates. Whether it be in real life, or virtual- the relationships that I have are beyond words (I was so grateful to turn a 'virtual' into a 'real life' one this weekend though, more about that in a weekend recap). Good luck charms and cards with nothing but encouraging words, people who went out of their way to make things easier for me. The list of things the people in my life did for me in this short period of time alone- could wrap around the world. Twice.
By now you probably know that Saturday I ran a pretty damn personally epic race. If you follow me on ANY form of social media- you're probably tired of being blasted with things about it-- here's where I insert #sorrynotsorry. You know what, it happened and I am going to enjoy every second of it. This is what I have to share about my life like others do with their children, marriages, homes, and successes- my current life allows my running to be my child, to be the thing I'm married to, and to be the home I find comfort in. Someday that will change, someday I will be proud of the sound of my heels walking down the aisle or the sound of my kiddos bitty feet pitter pattering around- but in the mean time, I'm going to be proud of the sound of my feet hitting the pavement for a little over 3 hours. Everyone has things they want to share and be proud of, I love seeing the similarities and differences in that. We all deserve a chance to share that which we love.
Going into Memphis I knew that those 26+ miles would most likely be the last ones I ran in 2014- if you knew that, how would you run it? For 3 hours, 4 minutes, and 40 seconds- I ran like it was my one shot to prove something. The good news, it wasn't my one shot at anything- it wasn't the last time I will EVER run, and it certainly won't be a limit for future running adventures. I can look back and say I ran like it was though, so there's that.
Coming home on Sunday there was no dread. There was no sadness walking into my own place, I was proud. I came back to a place I call MY home, to relax and then make my way to an evening of friends and fun. I was lucky enough to come home to celebrate friends getting married- to end an already amazing weekend, with even more love and emotions than I was already overflowing with.
There will be a recap of the race up soon- but I think that it was important for me to remember what I wanted out of this race first. I felt what I needed to and I earned what I wanted...and more.
In the mean time forgive me while I go dry my eyes- something seems to have been permanently stuck in them for a few days.