#13.-The Creator-Kansas City 2018

The Creator

 The runner is an artist. She creates a new image of herself as a runner. This image is curious and playful, full of imagination. My favorite subject to ponder, write about and express is creativity. It has been something I have been fascinated about throughout my life. Throughout my life I have looked to be an artist, the Creator archetype expressing itself in unique ways. This has shown itself in a myriad of expressions. When I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic, I realized that running has been my most magical creation. From my own void, a new creation has developed. I have collaborated with a force greater than myself to take this journey. The shadow side of the Creator is when we lose our spark. When we expect an outcome, feel unworthy or other energy takes over and our artist self gets blocked. In running there is no such thing as not “good enough”. Every step you take is moving in the right direction. You are creating your running story. You are an alchemist turning your insecurities into gold through the heat of passion, hard work and molding yourself into a new form.

#13. Kansas City Marathon- Kansas City, Missouri

"I am so thankful for what my body and mind can do. I have my routine; I have my mindset of forever being curious about where this journey will take me. I appreciate all of the opportunities that I have and remain mindful of each one. I have a heart that loves deeply and listens and appreciates its longings. I try to be smart and not take one single step with harshness or expectation. This all comes from a place from releasing a pleasure in life that I have missed. It’s not about pain or tearing down. It’s about building up and respect for the task at hand and what I am capable of. Most importantly, it calls out to me and draws out the parts of me that haven’t been given their time to shine. It’s about potential, growth, maturity, independence, strength and power. I feel it, I love it, I embrace it. I have brought this into creation."

These are all sentiments that I wrote in my journal between the TC Marathon and my big double race weekend for the i35 challenge in Kansas City and Des Moines. I worked, slept and listened to what my body needed. I was excited for the challenge of two races, in two cities, in two days. I had been reading the book Unbound by Steph Jagger and her quest to ski the world over in a year. It was a much bigger challenge than I was pursuing, but it made me think about the challenges I take on. It’s not about the swag or the bragging rights, it’s the journey, the exploration of what my body can do. I am open to all that each opportunity offers as far as personal reflection, growth, empowerment, all with the intention of living life to the fullest. I am the creator of my own destiny.

After a day of driving, I crossed over the large suspension bridge over the Missouri River into Kansas City. I went to the expo, found my hotel and got a bit of sleep. Before I knew it it was time to run a marathon! It was pitch black and in the 40’s and all the distances started together right in the middle of downtown with fireworks to kick off the race. This adventure was just getting started! The race winds around through different parts of Kansas City and the half marathoners peel off at mile eight. I happened to glace at my watch and saw that my heartrate was way too high. I took short walk breaks to settle things down. I was already feeling fatigue in my legs fairly early on and had a moment of worry about finishing this marathon and then another the very next day. I reminded myself to stay relaxed, be in the moment, take in the city and step one foot in front of the other.

There were hills in Kansas City, lots of them. I settled into the race and knew there was nowhere else to be, nothing else to be doing. I had collaborated with a force larger than myself on this running journey. I had so many questions going in my head about Kansas City as I passed by monuments and fountains. I was growing to love it mile after mile. After many miles in residential areas we made our way back into the city. It gave me some much needed energy. The last mile always feels the longest. There’s always the last turn, the last hill, that always seems to last forever. The very end was a massive downhill that went right into the finishing chute. I got my huge medal, took some pictures and I was done. My legs were tapped. I got my famous KC bbq sandwich and it was the best barbeque I had ever had. I realized that my creation over years of expectations on myself was this pure enjoyment of the process of training, traveling to a new city and running a marathon. I had created this into being and it was something that I was more passionate about than anything I had ever created before.

Shortly after taking in the skyline one more time, I had to hit the road to get to Des Moines to make the expo before 6 pm when it closed. I soaked in every last drop of KC and hoped that I would be there again sometime soon. I then hit the road for my 2 ½ hr. drive. My recovery needed to begin immediately if I had a prayer of doing another marathon the next morning. I fueled, stopped for brief walks and drank lots of water. When I got out of the car my IT band was pretty tight and my legs were torn up from all the hills. I was analyzing every step to help me determine if I should do the full marathon, or switch to the half marathon for the Des Moines race the next morning. The i35 challenge would be complete by doing any combination of the races, they didn’t both need to be full marathon distance. However, doing a half in Des Moines would not count towards another state in my 50 states marathon journey. I got to the expo in time and my head was spinning and my body was hurting. I ultimately made the decision to do the half the next day. I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t regret doing the half, since I had made a big effort to complete the challenge. I just hadn’t anticipated the soreness from the hills in Kansas City. I had created this journey, I was writing my own story, it was up to me.

I made the change, went my hotel, rolled out my legs and went to bed. I was still incredibly sore the next morning and was at peace with my decision. I could hardly even break into a jog for the first several miles my legs were so sore. They finally seemed to loosen up after 8 or 9 miles. I’m not sure if it was because I knew I was done after a few more miles or if they would have felt ok for another 18 miles. I finished strong and was incredibly proud of what I had done. It was a wonderful experience and I could always try for the double full the next year.

I went right back to work and was remarkably not too sore the next day. I think the second race got the blood flowing and the healing began. After the double races I had some downtime to think about what an incredible lifestyle I had created. I had become a marathon “tourist” and managed to make it sustainable. Live a great story was my motto and I had, by living my best story, of my own making.


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