Monday, May 8, 2017

The best HIGH in the Universe... (so far)

All of the talking, training, mental toughness, sickness, injuries, and more would mean nothing if I didn't run - and finish - my marathon.


That look right there is the culmination of months of trying, a little failing, a little flailing, and a lot of pushing myself to do something that I never imagined I would be able to.  When they told me I couldn't run after my knee surgery, I did.  When I thought I wouldn't be able to get out of bed, I did.  When I wasn't able to run even 2 miles, I did.  

And here I am now, crossing the finish line after steadily running for 26.2 MILES.  That's like running across the city of Wichita!  Sort of.  

It was a tough day.  The wind was cold, and we were battling intermittent rain/sleet and jumping puddles and debris that had accumulated the evening before.  I found a buddy to run with, and we stayed together the entire run.  We were able to push each other, and keep each other from pushing too hard as well.  

You see, distance running is not about going as fast as you can, it's about never stopping, keeping up a steady pace, so that when you get to the end you still have enough muscle use and energy to cross.  I knew, thanks to my training, that I did have that.  What I did not count on, was my mental status.  At mile 20 I could feel the tears coming.  It was getting more difficult to think of anything that did not make me cry.  The difficulty level of 2016.  Learning to accept my challenges and work WITH them, not AGAINST them.  Losing my best friend.  I just had to remind myself that I needed to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

And I did just that.

At mile 23/24, somewhere around there, my mother (who had just finished her half marathon) showed up to give me a last leg boost.  While it worked, it also triggered that last string of sanity I had been holding on to.  When I rounded the last turn and saw the finish line, I kicked in for my sprint and the tears came freely.  As I raised my hands in victory, crossing the finish line, I was sobbing.  Every emotion I had in every inch of my aching body was unleashed upon the unsuspecting bystanders and organizers.  

So that is why my finisher picture is important to me.

I got some nice hardware for my efforts too. 😁

Even though I could barely walk the next day and didn't go to work, I definately wore that "finisher" shirt with as much pride as I have ever had.  The euphoric feeling lasted nearly all week!!  All that from just a runner's high!

Here's my Mama and me at the race expo the day before our runs...

There's no way in the world I would have been able to do this alone.  A week after my run, the bulk of my training friends were running in our hometown race series half marathon.  I was thrilled to be able to be there to cheer them on!

The last few weeks leading up to the race have been pretty action packed too.  My attempt at breaking into the Wichita theatre scene, while unsuccessful at getting onstage, have been fruitful in getting my name in with a company as a reliable person.  

I was asked to help out with some props for the Forum Theatre Wichita's production of "Boeing! Boeing!"  The show was hilarious, AND I was able to make some really great connections through this show!

Here are some bags I spiffed up a bit:
I'm not always the best at straight lines, so I'm pretty proud of that work!

And so, the conclusion of April and the beginning of May have brought some pretty amazing accomplishments for me.  Getting stronger mentally, physically, and realizing that being strong emotionally doesn't mean NOT being weak.

This is now the last week of school for me and my tutoring students.  I'm not sure that I will be working with this program again, but it has been a good year for me at this job.  

This coming weekend is the big show my band has been prepping for.  We have two more practices and then boom!  Make it or break it!  I know that we have the ability, but I tend to be a perfectionist.  Maybe I'll try to do some extra relaxing things to clear my mind before the show.  No time like the present to practice mindfulness!

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