#28. The Flame- Horse Capital Marathon 2021

The Flame-

We all have different flames that live within us, some burn hotter than others. Fire requires a lot of respect, tending and care. Our inner flame shows up differently for everyone. However, a flame at its core, is the same. It's the life force, the pulse. It's the pilot light that makes us who we are. How can we work with our flame? A hot flame leads to a lot of excitement, a lot of emotion. But we can burn out if our fire burns to hot. Embrace your fire, your flame and how it comes through you. How can we move through life with the flame as balanced as possible? We can learn how to let our fire burn bright in a tempered, sustained way.

  #28. Horse Capital Marathon- Lexington, Kentucky

My daughter and I took a road trip to Kentucky from Mpls- 1,000 miles each way for my second COVID in-person race of 2021. The field size was limited with only a couple hundred full marathoners running. Leading up to the race I had started on a new medication that had been greatly affecting my running, so I wasn't sure what was in store for me for hour after hour of pounding the pavement of a marathon. I wouldn't know unless I tried.

The course was a beautiful 26.2 miles through the rolling green hills of "horse capital of the world" in Lexington, Kentucky. The scenery did not disappoint. The early spring blossoms of redbud, dogwood and crabapple were everywhere in Kentucky. The weather was a comfortable 60 degrees with hazy sun, perfect for running. Everything was set up to be a fast race for me, but my body was not having it. I was thrilled to be in another state doing a marathon, but it was truly a test of my inner Flame archetype to see if I would have the patience and perseverance to finish. With my medication changing, my body chemistry seemed to be awry and my ability to sustain running was limited. I did seem to have unlimited endurance at a slower speed, so I would need to embrace the beautiful Kentucky springtime and take as long as I needed to finish.

The horses and occasional runner kept me company. The peaceful setting of rural Kentucky was quite soothing. I reminded myself of what a wonderful experience it is to get to see each state of our nation as I check off one after another of my 50 state marathon quest. There was always at least one other runner near me and we all seemed to be tending our inner Flame together, knowing it was a slow burn on this day. I did not become a marathoner to run fast. I run because it keeps me balanced. When my body seems to be extremely out of balance, this race was an opportunity to view my running journey from a different perspective and see what my inner Flame is really made of. What is at my center, at the pulse of my life?

When it started raining at mile 13, I knew I still had several hours of moving very slowly in the cool, wet weather. I didn't let that snuff me out, I kept my mental and physical stamina in check and tried to enjoy the process. It was my slowest race, but certainly one of the most memorable as I finished with a group of people that all had been slogging it out there together. Another 1,000 mile drive back home and some time to figure out how to balance my Flame a little better and I will keep going. I feel a bit like it's going back to the beginning, but instead I choose to see it as re-assessing. See what helps me burn bright and find the inner Flame that is always inside me.


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