#9.- The Lover- Eau Claire Marathon 2018

 The Lover

The Lover archetype in us has fallen for running, we are smitten. We feel connection, expansion, devotion and awe during a training run or race. We love what running represents for us. We love what running does to us. We love the part of ourselves that we call “the runner”.  I am incredibly grateful to have found myself in running. I feel it when I am fully present in my run. When all my senses are used and I fully experience what is, rather than what should be. I savor every last drop and enter another realm. When I am done, I am amazed at what the mind and body has done. The shadow side of the lover is having a love/hate relationship with running. You toggle back and forth between an affinity for and an aversion to running. You may feel that you hate running while you’re doing it, however you love the feeling of having done it. I snap pictures with my phone while I’m out of on a run. It helps me to take in my surroundings and stay alert and aware in the moment. One thing you could try, is to look for hearts in the environment. Document them in some way. I sometimes find myself getting very emotional on a run or especially during a race. I like to show my gratitude by smiling and giving high five’s as I pass spectators during a race.


#9. Eau Claire Marathon- Eau Claire, Wis.

I reflect more on running in what most people would consider “bad” weather. Here in Minnesota you cannot be a fair-weather runner, or you would hardly run at all! When the weather was cool, grey and wet it helped me to be mellow. I like to get out in each season here and embrace whatever the weather is. I wrote in my journal,

“I don’t feel like I’m running away from anything, I feel like I’m running into myself”

“I do it because of how it makes me feel and where it takes me internally. It breeds contentment.”

I like to just be outside fully immersed, no where else I need to be. It makes me feel at peace with the landscape, with place, with life. In the rhythm of the hear and now, not wishing for anything to be different. Running lets me be me. I found my way to myself in running. It has created a lifestyle for me. The motivation to keep showing up. It has brought forth focus, strength, tenacity, motivation and best of all, health and happiness.

I ran through the cold and icy winter in running cleats month after month. I stayed consistent despite it starting to get dark shortly after I was done with work. I’m hungry for the marathon experience. The race is the icing on top after a long Minnesota winter of cold, snow, sleet and ice. No indoor running for this girl. I love the challenge. The daily runs and keeping a good base of miles makes it possible for me to keep doing marathons year-round year after year. I hope I can keep heeding the call, staying curious. I make the most of what my body and mind are capable of. It’s finding joy in the journey, the experience. That’s what I have fallen in love with. This is the Lover archetype manifested in me. There are good races and bad races, but that doesn’t affect my opinion of the marathon itself.

I wouldn’t say I have a “talent” for running. I’m not fast, so I’m out there much longer than faster runners. I found something that gave me spark and I heeded the call. My “why” is to honor the gift, the opportunity to run. It has shown me a way to love myself and in that I have fallen in love with it. To accept what I have been through, who I have been and keep moving forward into what I am becoming. I now show up to life. The strength, compassion and resilience are present in my life, even when I’m not running. It’s not a quick fix, but a way to be in love with my own life, a way of being in the world.

We had a record snowfall in April. I found running in the slush of melting snow more difficult than snow and ice. By the first weekend of May, all the snow was gone, and I was headed to Eau Claire, Wisconsin for another marathon. I was curious what all those winter miles with cleats on would do for my legs when I put my running shoes back on.

My race began and I accidentally had my running watch in a different mode, and I had to turn it off. Maybe a blessing in disguise so I would not be tempted to look at my pace but could run by feel. It was also the first race I had done where they had a relay option. This includes four runners that each run about 6 ½ miles to equal the 26.2 distance. It was different to have people entering and exciting at different points, but the hand off points for the relay were full of energy as runners passed through and I did what I could to take in the good vibes. My first half of the marathon was comfortable, but I knew I would need to negative split in order to get a new personal record (PR) time. In the fall at Twin Cities Marathon when I negative split the race it was in the cold and rain, which is easier for me to go faster in. In Eau Claire the day was heating up and I hadn’t done any training in warm weather, since we had snow on the ground just weeks earlier. I stepped up my mental game to stay strong. I felt like I had to dig deeper with each marathon. They certainly don’t get easier.

It was getting hot, sunny and long. Miles 17-20 I like to call the “meat” of the marathon. It’s well past halfway, but there are still four 5k distances to go. I like to tick of 5ks in chunks. I remind myself during these miles that this is what it’s all about. I kept my pace right where I wanted, but it was getting harder and harder to keep it up. Can I really keep this up another 10 miles? I thought to myself. I let that thought pass by as quickly as it entered since it would do me no good to question myself now. I am capable, I am doing it, just keep going. I was hot and tired, dumping water on myself at the relay check points. We eventually made it back into town where there was some relief of more shade and more people. Still a 5k left and my body wanted to slow down so badly. I knew that walking wouldn’t feel any better and it wouldn’t get me to the finish any faster. The pain would fade so quickly after the race, I knew that.

I reached the “blue gold mile” on the college campus where the band made a tunnel for runners to go through as they blasted their instruments. They did all they could to keep us moving forward. The energy kept me going, the music and overall support felt overwhelming. I got a little choaked up at my love for the whole thing, the people, the race, the distance. The Lover archetype had all my senses peaked and I savored every drop of energy. The crowds continued, then there was the big hill at the end that I had heard about and trained for. There was no way I was letting up. I powered up the hill, my body numb with pain and fatigue. All my training had come to fruition. I had a sense of accomplishment and completion when I crossed the finish line with another drop-in time by 6 more minutes. The race had come after so many life changes with a job shift, working full time and training through over 6 months of winter. I was completely satisfied and in this moment it all felt like “enough”. I held in my mind and body what I had accomplished. I travel to the races along and don’t have anyone that I know at the finish to celebrate with. Instead I feel the collective energy of all the others that also had a story of how they got there and now have a sense of a job well done. The collective love through shared through this life altering experience.



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