from mile to marathon

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

Friday, May 25, 2007

almost summer

The days are longer now, and I can run outside in the morning, without worrying about the darkness and still making it to work on time. I scouted out a 3.2 mile loop – from door back to door. It’s pavement, but I am tired of the treadmill. It can’t stand it anymore, being inside, smelling the rubber, running in step with the rattling machine each time I run during weekdays.

The uphill part winds through a residential area pretty with greenery – richer than one can usually see in Albuquerque. I pass a Starbucks where I can sense a whiff of coffee and a trace of melody. Half of the time I either face the mountains or the cauldron of the valley where the city stirs from sleep.

I did not ice after the race, and I skipped the massage, but my legs felt loose after a few days, and I did several easy runs, at leisure and without timing myself. For someone who never fathomed the immensity of the endeavor, the marathon now, when I look back, appears as an issue of astounding simplicity. A doable business. Challenging, taxing, but nothing to fret about. I suppose I have appropriated the notion. I knew it before, on some level, but now I have made it my own: I can run a marathon.

I am still searching for my place somewhere on the continuum that links my reaction at the finish line (So I ran a marathon. So what?) to the awe in which I always beheld the distance. I do not believe it is a fixed spot. It is a moveable feast, and in search for it, and along with it, I run.

11 Comments:

At 4:16 PM, Blogger Randy said...

Lia, you ran a marathon...so what...you FINISHED a marathon..so what...BIG so what...there just aren't that many on this planet that can stake that claim...yes you look back on it now and remember the struggles, but also you can identify with the accomplishment and know that if you never run another one...you can point your finger with confidence at that one 26.2 miles and say with your head held high, I was there and I finished.

Did I tell you that I used to live in Farmington? From 1994 to 2001. I've driven the road that you ran on many times, I've stared at Shiprock in amazement up close and from as far away as Mesa Verde on clear days. It is truly the land of enchantment, for it's beauty as well as the beauty it builds within anyone that has lived there, anyone that has passed by the area, a little piece of it stays with you....cherish your accomplishment...but set your sights on the next challenge..what will that be..where will it take you? My brother and I will be running in the Durango Half Marathon on October 7 this year, maybe you might decide to run there and we might meet you.
Set some goals, identify some challenges that you can work on through the summer, give yourself something to work towards....

 
At 8:05 PM, Blogger Backofpack said...

During the years I supported Eric, watching marathoners from the edges of the race, I saw runners fly over the finish, I saw runners hobble over the finish, I saw runners with rubber legs fall to the ground, I saw other runners pick them up and drag them over the finish. I saw wheelchair racers leaning into the pull, front wheels lifting off the ground with their effort. I saw smiles, I saw tears. I saw accomplishment.

Sometimes now I look back and I wonder which has been harder - three years of poor health, struggling through a daily run of three to five miles, or now, optimal health, struggling through to the marathon finish. One of the thoughts that rolls around in my head during the last miles nudges me to remember the runs when I felt sick or couldn't breathe. It reminds if I could run feeling like that, then I can do this task, today.

Finishing marathons tells me that someday I will use those memories of endurance to endure again, that the marathon is a similie for life - easy, hard, painful, joyful, elation, struggles, endurance, plodding, moving, always moving, tears, smiles, power, strength...it's all there. Finishing the marathon reminds me that I am alive, that I can and will endure, that I have the fortitude and mental will to do amazing things. It is a test and I have passed, yet I feel the need to test again and again.

 
At 9:47 PM, Blogger Brooklyn said...

Lia, first, thanks for your support over the last couple of months; I've relaly appreciated it.

Second, call me when you wake up Sunday so that I'll get up and run, too. :) My email is in my profile.

 
At 12:49 PM, Blogger Randy said...

Stop by when you get a chance Lia, I set a new 10k PR this morning.

 
At 11:41 AM, Blogger RunBubbaRun said...

Yes, I think running any kind of endurance event is a simple thing. The complicated part is finding the time and desire to complete it.

You completed a marathon, sounds like you looking for a new adventure now.

But when it comes down to it, I think we just like to run sometimes. Look forward to read where you will be running next.

 
At 6:43 AM, Blogger Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

Sometimes the real accomplishment isn't in crossing the finish line, it's everything that got you to the start line.

I wonder what your next adventure will be...

 
At 10:13 AM, Blogger robtherunner said...

Yes, you can run a marathon and I am sure much more. I look forward to hearing about what's next on the schedule.

 
At 6:22 PM, Blogger Backofpack said...

Lia,
No, no, no! You misunderstood. Your post made me ask myself a question, and then I answered my own question in my comment to you. I was in no way offended or upset. I was simply thinking about why I run, and in turn, sharing that with you. I thought maybe something would strike you in my answer that would nudge you closer to your own answer. I apologize for not making that clear and for causing you to think I was upset. I thought you wrote another wonderful post, a thought-provoking one for me.

 
At 5:18 PM, Blogger maniac hippo said...

I wonder if your experience may actually grow on you over time, as an accomplishment that you weave into the fabric of your identity.

Of course, how that happens depends on whether you run another one. Am I misreading you when I sense you're not completely enthused about doing that at the moment?

The one thing you can almost take to the bank, though. If you run another within the next two years it will be much less of an epic journey to get ready. You know how now, your body will remember, you can get ready for another with much less commitment.

 
At 7:12 PM, Blogger Steve said...

What to do next? How about another marathon. It's better the 2nd time around.

 
At 6:10 AM, Blogger e.b. said...

As a non-runner I love your descriptions and story telling. I have no running type advice - though it almost seems like you are over this. You did it and now you are looking for something else to do - another challenge.

 

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