#30. THE STAR- GARMIN OLATHE MARATHON
The Star is a visionary that understands her place and has faith in the light that guides her. She is dazzled by the brightness and beauty of the universe and brims with inspiration. She feels inspired and knows her worth. She trusts in the inner light and knows the way forward.
#30. GARMIN OLATHE MARATHON- Olathe, Kansas
Marathon number 30 would be just a few days after the Ohio marathon with a drive down to Kansas with my running buddy Susan. We drove down Friday. We went through Des Moines, Kansas City and to Olathe, about 20 miles south of Kansas City. Susan and I hadn’t seen each other since before COVID when we did our trip to Atlanta in February of 2020. It was a bright sunny day, which made for quick driving and the company made the miles fly by. We had a quick rest stop break, stopped for lunch and got to Olathe for the packet pick up about 5 pm. We then checked into our hotel and ate a big pasta dinner at Toni’s Italian Restaurant. We headed back to our room for some rest. We were pretty tired out from a day of driving.
We were up and out in the morning by 6 am for a 7:15 am race start. We got a little lost trying to find the start at the Garmin Headquarters, but eventually got there with time to spare. It was dark and windy and quite chilly. After leaving the car in the parking ramp, I went back to put a short sleeve shirt under my long sleeve since the brisk wind went right through the fabric. I knew if it was windy out on the course I didn’t want to be chilled all morning. It was then time to get started and off we went! Susan and I decided to stay together for the first 5 miles before the half marathoners split off from the full marathoners. It was nice to be together and we kept a steady pace that was a good warm up. It kept me from going out too fast, which I feel I had done the week before. Susan and I chatted a bit as we ran and took in the pretty sunrise. The miles ticked off and soon it was light and we were at the split. We fist pumped and said “see you at the finish!”
I soon noticed that I was running the same pace as two women that looked about my age. These ladies looked well within their own selves and I imagined that I did as well. They were keeping a nice steady pace and looked fit and strong. I felt comfortable not running with them, but near them, just to have some company. These women made me feel like I was in the right place. We stayed together for a while and passed through some neighborhoods. The fastest runners were already coming back from the out and back portion. We eventually got to a natural area where the path was paved and wound through a nice forested area with the leaves still colored brightly. At mile 12 was the turn around for this part of the course. We had been running for a few hours and had a few to go. You can’t get ahead of yourself at this point. You cannot wish for it to be over. This is where you have to check yourself and enjoy the mile you are in. It’s not really a good time to speed up. It takes patience to just stay steady and stay the course. To take in the scenery and the people and keep the mind calm and not grasping.
Earlier a pacer and the group around him had passed me. I wasn’t running for a certain time, but I wanted to get ahead of that group. For the next several miles that was my mental and physical challenge, to steadily move up on the group and pass them without making any big moves that would expend a lot of energy. It’s not the point of the race where you really want to give too much of a kick. It is very hard to make up ground on a group or person that is running nearly the same pace as yourself. That is difficult to do and the task of doing it through miles 13-15 of a marathon means I needed to be smart about it. I wanted to pass and then stay ahead for the remaining miles. I think the 29 other marathons had provided some tools in my toolbelt to problem solve in these situations. I made it past the group and could hear the pacer instructing the runners on how to handle the hills we were running through. “Relax your arms” he instructed, “don’t push, stay relaxed.” His words helped me as I navigated the hills as well. After I had finally passed them came the meat of the marathon, miles 17-20. This is also the part of the race in which I typically have a mantra run through my mind that then assists me in the final miles. My archetype gets fully embodied.
On this day, The Star archetype is what surfaced. I knew I needed to have faith in the inner light that guides me. To trust my intuition to continue to move forward. It sounded so cheesy, yet effective, to tell myself, “you are a star.” It also reminded me to enjoy this, my 30th time at this distance. I was the Star of my own running story. I continued to find the joy in the pain as the race went on and kept moving forward. I smiled at the volunteers at the water stations who clapped and congratulated us as we passed by. I said thank you to them and let myself feel like the Star that I was. This was a huge accomplishment.