#12.-Kairos-Twin Cities 2018


 Running is all about time, right? We ask people what their PB (personal best) time is for any given distance. You may ask yourself if you went faster than the last time, after all your hard work. If time didn’t matter, we’d walk, wouldn’t we? The Kairos archetype is about the experience of timelessness, losing track of time. Beyond our clocks and schedules. What if we had races where nobody kept time? Some races play with the concept of time and do a set time, like 24 hours to see how many miles one can run. Others use time in a different way, “last runner standing” type races have a set distance (a lap) that begins at a set time (like every hour) for as long as someone can go, until there is only one person left. What if we thought of running in terms of synchronicity, alignment and ease? Rather than the shadow of Kairos, busyness, “racing against time”. We all have an inner knowing about our “right” time. Try and listen to that. How might that influence our running? Go out for a run without a watch on, just go by feel. Do races “just for fun” not trying for a personal best. See how it feels.

#12. Twin Cities Marathon- Mpls/St. Paul, MN

Fall training is my favorite. In September it usually starts to cool down a little, although we can still get some warmer weather. We get into the school year and welcome fall with bonfires, apple orchards and the pumpkin patch. It’s almost time to celebrate my favorite weekend of the year, Twin Cities Marathon. It rained more than usual through early fall, however when marathon weekend arrived it was cloudy, brisk and perfect for running! I, on the other hand, was not in peak form for the race. I hadn’t been feeling well the week going into the race. I was achy and tired, even more than my usual taper “crazies” and lost my voice mid-week. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into marathon weekend. I had never been sick going into a race.

             I got up in the cool, darkness of marathon morning and wasn’t sure if I should be running or not. I had done eleven marathons before this, but wasn’t sure in this state if my body could finish another 26.2 miles. Dad came and picked me up at 6:30 am and I decided to give it a go. I would just go by feel, I promised myself, him and Joe. If I need to stop at any time, I would stop. My voice sounded terrible, my body felt ok, not great. I knew I didn’t have  fever. As we stood outside US Bank Stadium waiting for the start, I could tell that dad was concerned. It was perfect running weather, cloudy and in the 40’s. First came the announcements, then the first waves in their corrals and then it was time to see what the day would bring on my marathon journey.

             From the beginning, I just tried to take it all in. I started slow, and could feel in my body immediately that I had been sick. My body temperature regulation seemed to be off. I questioned to myself whether I should just turn around right there, go back to dad, get some warm clothes on and call it. I told myself I would give it a 5k and see how I felt then. I took it easy, I found a nice pace that I enjoyed where I was, running in my hometown where I love to be, doing what I love to do. This was Kairos time. The race seemed timeless. I paid no attention to what my pace time was. We ran down Hennepin Ave right in the heart of the city and past the Basilica with the bells ringing. I kept moving, my body was warming up and I was falling into a sustainable rhythm. There seemed to be no immediate warning that it was a bad move to try and do the marathon that day.

             I knew the course well after all it was my fourth TC marathon. I knew what to expect, so I could completely go by feel and take it easy. I was a little worried about taking in my nutrition since I had had a sour stomach all week. I didn’t want to set it off with the sugary energy beans I usually eat during a race. After the sour stomach I had at my last marathon in Washington, I knew I didn’t want to repeat that again. I brought some gummy chews that weren’t quite as sweet and also some electrolytes. I knew I was running on the edge of being ok and didn’t want to push it into feeling not ok. I stayed present and mindful in the moment. I took in the crowds and listened to my body and was as relaxed as I had ever been in a marathon. I was making steady progress and it seemed very doable. This is what I’m here for, this is what I love to do, I run marathons- was my mantra. I was completely relaxed in Kairos time and took in the spectators, the bands, the signs, the words of encouragement. I really sunk into my core how incredible a marathon really is.

             I was going to continue to be smart, listen to my body, enjoy the race and would see my family at the finish. The Twin Cities Marathon has a long stretch between miles 15-19 along the river. Every marathon has this stretch, these same miles that drag on. I knew that I was trained and capable of getting through these miles. This race felt different, I had been on a different plane around time. The Kairos archetype was strong. Why didn’t I do every marathon like this, I questioned myself? It may be 15-20 min slower but not pushing the pace felt so much better! For this day, this was the way to finish and I was getting it done. I was content and at ease.

             I made it up the big hill at mile 20 and up to Summit Ave. and then took it block by block those last five miles down Summit with the cheering crowds. Patience. Persistence. I felt a burst of energy as I rounded the last hill and could see the capital and the long downhill straight into the finish line. The crowds were thick, I felt that bursting sense of accomplishment. I spotted my husband and kids and ran over and gave them high five’s. I took my final steps to the finish and was done! I did it. I walked through the finishers area, got my hot broth that had never tasted better, put my mylar blanket around me and my finishers shirt and headed out to meet up with my family. My voice was pretty much gone. There were hugs and pictures and I enjoyed the post race high feeling that Kairos time got me through this one.


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