from mile to marathon

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

Friday, May 11, 2007

it's me

Over the last week I have been bursting with gratitude, and joy, and pride, and vanity at my running a marathon, and with all the nuances of delight and conceit in between. I sent a note to my parents back in Europe, a bittersweet revenge to them admonishing me last year that one can run a marathon at 21 or 24, but not at 41 or 42. Yeah, I am that kind of child. I basked in the applause I have received from all of you – thank you, almost as enchanted by your praise of my race report below as I am by the race itself, since I am a writer (although not published yet), and translating experience into words lies at the core of who I am. I wore my medal and my fabulous race T-shirt to work, although there most people ask me how long a marathon is and turn away at the prospect of 26 miles.

And I repeated to myself, over and over again: I am a marathon runner. I ran a marathon. It was just an idea, and I made it real. I materialized myself as a marathon runner.

And through it all, I carried with me a lingering disbelief: I ran a marathon? I float along myself through the first magical miles, I can see myself carrying on over the long middle stretch, I remember the brutality of the last six miles. And it’s as if I am watching someone else: this girl I don’t know, who is an athlete, right? she must be; she runs a marathon.

I am her. I have to incorporate this notion into the jumbled composition of my identity. It is incomprehensible to me how I – middle-aged, clueless, the indoor-type, a smoker – could get up one day and run a marathon.


At 5:25 PM, Blogger Annette said...

Congratulations! I feel like you should have some inspirational music to accompany your entry! :)

I just caught up on your race report. . . .awesome! You did it. That is so amazing. The great writer in you really came out - I loved your voice.

At 5:29 PM, Blogger Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

be proud of yourself. :)

At 5:42 PM, Blogger RunBubbaRun said...

There is alot to be proud of. You are definetly a marathon runner and athlete.

You can definetly write..

I stiil don't think my parents or friends understand the magnitude of what we do. It is just not a race but a life experience.

At 6:10 PM, Blogger Neese said...

congratulations on a marathon finish! that's awesome, I see you are a sub-30 5ker as well, you rock!

At 6:17 PM, Blogger Randy said...

Just smile at those that turn away...also smile at that girl that you thought was running the race instead of you...she's very proud of your accomplishment I am sure.

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

What a great post! It brought a tear to my eye. Congratulations!

At 7:08 PM, Blogger maniac hippo said...

I think you put your finger on why some of us keep going back again and again.

There is an affirmation there: most people don't understand, but to the few of us it says "I can! I did! I am!"

Besides, every time you go back, the last six miles gets easier.

I hope your glow keeps going.

At 9:52 PM, Blogger Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

Very well written. Congratulations marathon runner!
Well done.

At 5:36 AM, Blogger Jess said...

When I ran my marathon, my husband told me that he read that only about 1% of the population runs and finishes a marathon. So that makes you pretty special (which is sometimes hard to remember when you're running alongside thousands of people). You should be proud of yourself; you have every reason to be!

At 8:02 AM, Blogger Backofpack said...

Definitely, defiantly you. You did it, you did the hard work to get you there, you did the hard work of running it, and you wrote the beautiful piece expressing it. I need you to run along side me and translate my experience into words...only thing run too fast!

At 7:26 PM, Blogger Bob Gentile said...

LIA said: I am a marathon runner.
YOU Dang Friggin right you ARE!!

I just read your race report post, so awesome, way to go & a BIG CONGRATS!!!!!!!

At 12:10 AM, Blogger TRI Vortex said...

The developing persona reminds me of Iron Wil ( Check her out.

At 6:18 AM, Blogger JustRun said...

I'm about as proud of you as a stranger/fellow blogger/ fellow runner can be. :)

At 3:38 PM, Blogger Bre said...

I love this post SO much! You DID do it! You ARE her!

At 8:14 AM, Blogger Deene said...

it's feels better than driving a new car, huh?!

i too hate that part where people ask how many miles is a marathon.

At 6:34 AM, Anonymous Ela said...

You have the role to enlarge the vision of your parents. They don't trust themselves either, think small of themselves too. You change the inheritance, you are heroic and there's no limit to what you can do.
Rise and shine!


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