#26.-Anima Mundi- Twin Cities Marathon (from home) 2020
For the Anima Mundi archetype there is no separation, only connection. Running connects me with all that is. It awakens my light and gives my life meaning, motivation and hope. It’s the harmony and contentment of a good run, a race complete. Not wanting or needing to be anywhere else or do anything more. It’s a feeling of wholeness. It’s an ending and a beginning. How can we feel this more often? In the shadow of Anima Mundi, were overwhelmed by this bigness. We feel insignificant. We absorb this presence when it’s felt and make the choice to keep going. It’s all your layers together. The interconnectedness of all things. You know that your run is not just about you, but this alignment as gotten you to this place and time. Have gratitude.
#26. Twin Cities Marathon- (from home) 2020
After the third pandemic marathon out my front door, I had completed 25 full marathons. I was ready for my 26th x 26.2 to be at the Twin Cities marathon where it all began five years ago I continued to keep pretty steady base miles to keep my fitness throughout the summer. Training in the heat and humidity of summer gets me ready for any kind of weather for race day, much like training in the cold and snow. Minnesota is truly the perfect running training ground! Twin Cities marathon was officially cancelled for October, so I knew as a “virtual” race I could choose to do it whenever I wanted. This left the rest of the summer wide open. I strongly prefer running in the cold, but I was in good shape. Since it was going to be a milestone race, I was also getting a little antsy. I got my long runs in and my miles up an wanted to be ready to do it on a whim at any point when the weather looked good.
I told my daughter she was “on call” since she was going to crew me on the bike again. After we did a long bike ride of over 20 miles, I knew she was ready. When the third week of July arrived, a full 2.5 months before the usual Twin Cities marathon race date, it looked like we were going to get a nice, cool day. Just what I was looking for. We prepped the day before and we woke up to low humidity and cooler weather. My daughter geared up her bike and we packed the handmade medals that she had made for my big 26th marathon. We were up and out early on our adventure. I had planned the route to take a regional trail right from our doorstep up to Elm Creek Park Preserve and then over to the Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park. It looked like one way would take us exactly 26.2 miles off highways and roads with no traffic and we would be on a beautiful paved nature trail.
We headed out calm and confident that it was going to be a good day. The weather was cloudy, which was perfect for a long run. We chatted here and there and my daughter rode in front of me, as she always did. We made our way heading north and ticking off the miles. I told about a story I had experienced during a marathon when a guy running next to me talking to a buddy told him that the first mile of the marathon was the hardest. He seemed serious, but it must have been a joke. I told her that it was certainly not the hardest mile. I told her that during miles 17-19 I always felt like that was really the “heart” of the marathon and the real essence of what the marathon is. You’ve come so far, yet you still have so far to go. I told her that if you can embrace that and see it as the real spirt of the marathon, the Anima Mundi, then you will find joy in the process and can get through it. The last mile for me is definitely the hardest. You know the finish is close, but those last few steps seem to go on forever. It’s the embodiment of all the miles you have put in your legs and you are almost there. The last .2 mile is the cherry on top for all that has come before. We started clicking off first 5k done, first 10k done, etc. we got to a park that the kids used to go to when they were young and we stopped to see a couple of swans with their young cygnet babies out for a morning snack.
From that point on, it was all trails that wound around through the northwest suburbs with rolling hills, forests, grassy meadows and wetlands. It was a beautiful route. We enjoyed the little fairy houses that the neighborhood kids had built at the base of the trees in the woods. There was a beautifully painted rock next to the trail that was done by a local artist. The clouds were big and fluffy against the blue sky. I ran and she rode on. There was a slight breeze and the weather stayed incredibly comfortable. We passed bikers, strollers, and dog walkers moving about. It was a lovely, calm, engrossing experience. We wound our way north past lakes and eventually made it to Elm Creek, 16 miles from home. Only 10 left! We took a short break and had a snack, then headed to a stretch that was about 8 miles straight east across the northern suburbs. With just a few miles to go we saw a huge blue water tower looming over us that had "Brooklyn Park" painted on it with in bold black print. I felt like I had come full circle. Like the Anima Mundi, no separation, just connection to all that is. The circle of life. My life began in Brooklyn Park and never could I have predicted that 44 years later I would be back here running a marathon, my 26th during a global pandemic. I took in the moment. From that point on, over the last 5k I was very introspective about how far I’d come. We made our way to Coon Rapids Dam, and logged the last couple of miles along the Mississippi River. The last .2 was running across the dam and I pictured that we would be passing the St. Paul Basilica with the huge the the capitol right in front of us if we were at the Twin Cities marathon itself. The feeling of flying down that hill is the best feeling in the world.