from mile to marathon

The journey of a thousand leagues begins from beneath your feet.

Monday, September 04, 2006

2 hours 7 minutes 27 seconds

My first half-marathon. September 3rd, a lovely day. The race started at 6:15 on the Sandia Indian reservation. The first 4-5 miles were sweet sailing. I felt good, and most of all I felt grateful – happy to be there, to be able to run, to run when the sun was rising. It was hard to let everybody pass me. I could have run a bit faster, at the beginning, but did not want to use up all reserves so early in the race. It started to be hard around mile 8 or 9. I did not walk, except for the two or three times I slowed down for seconds to sip water. I cannot believe I ran the whole 13 miles without walking – more or less.

I read in one of the running books from the library that when you get to the last mile or two, you should give it all you have, there’s nothing to lose. I would have given it all I had, but there was nothing to give. I had run out of all of it, he, he. I was running on empty.

The last two miles were a horror, the street trembling in my vision, I did not know whether to cry or to scream, how to breath, or why I was there. I could not imagine ever running the marathon or why anybody would want to run the marathon.

Oh, it was so good when it started, and so good when it was over. 10 minutes later I had put myself together and looked human again. Friends came to the finish line, my landsman Emil Ardelean won second place overall (1 hour 21 minutes), and we all went out to breakfast at the Church Street Café in Old Town. The chemistry around the table was fantastic, and the huevos rancheros disappeared from our plates within minutes. By then I was talking of course about how I would go on training to run the marathon.

A friend of mine gave me a card on the day of the race. “I am not here to see if I can; because I can, I am here." She said this applies to me. On a day like this, I believe it.


At 12:59 PM, Anonymous Mihaela Tudor said...

I believe it too. My sister is here because she can do it. And she will build the Bill Strickland school in Albuquerque!
She always succeeds doing it, if the "it" is her goal.


Post a Comment

<< Home