#8.-The Self- Twin Cities 2017
Fall came along and that meant one of my favorite weekends of the year, the Twin Cities Marathon. This would be my third year in a row. My goal again was, step by step, take it all in, be mindful, be brave. I will take it as is, and the only expectation will be how present I can be. Twin Cities is the most supported marathon I have done. 26.2 miles of people cheering every step of the way from downtown Minneapolis to the capitol in St. Paul. I run, the spectators offer encouraging words, high fives and enthusiasm. It’s a reciprocal give and take. I let it energize me. Running a marathon is a vulnerable state to be exposed, being watched by thousands of people as you do something that challenges you to your core. It all hangs out there. It’s not pretty. There are people struggling, crying, raw with emotion. It’s powerful. It shows a different kind of beauty, in humanity. Life is palpable. The ego is “small” and doesn’t have a chance when the “big” Self appears in running. We witness our own life and our own humanity and show that in our rawness.
The race began and it was cool with a chance of rain. There was an incentive sponsored by Brooks shoe company that if you run mile 21-22 faster than the average time of your first 20 miles you win a pair of shoes. I am always up for a challenge and couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I saw my husband and kids, along with my parents at mile 14 where they have been standing every year with food and encouragement. I hit the big hill from mile 20-21 and started pushing harder while others began walking. The faster pace felt good and it was cool and starting to rain. I got to mile 22 and was sure I had earned the shoes. I became more encouraged by the fact I was still feeling good.The weather became more and more foul and this is when I knew that training in every kind of weather year-round in Minnesota was a huge advantage. I continued to take in energy from the crowd. I became more focused to keep my pace. The rain picked up and it became more windy. I passed the familiar landmarks of the last 5 miles of Summit Ave. The weather worsened by the mile and at this point was absurd, even by Minnesota standards. It was cold, windy and people were fading quickly. I knew I could do it and had no doubt in my abilities. I was soaked. I finally saw the St. Paul Basilica and headed straight down the big hill to the finish. The road was slippery and wet and if I had any reservation I would fall flat on my face, so I let my legs take over. Thoughts passed as quickly as my legs carried me. No hesitation, no doubt, these moments were transformative. Running into the finish was pure joy. Who in the world would run in this weather, I thought. I would, and I did, for 26.2 miles.