#18.-The Healer- Grandma's marathon 2019

The Healer

 My Healer archetype is the “threshold” on my runner’s journey. It is the habit that wants to hold me back and has done so many times before. That may sound strange, how could “healing” hold me back? In Kim Krans archetype deck, she says the Healer is “self-contained, grateful and awake.” My shadow of the Healer was self-pity, frustration and melancholy. I was exhausted mentally and physically. I kept searching, seeking and writing about finding a calm center, some sort of source of life energy. However, I kept drifting from it. I kept “forgetting” my natural Healer. My running began to heal when it became a meditation for me. Mackenzie Harvey talks about “mindful running” in her book of the same name. This approach exhibits how the Healer archetype is in us all and running can be a powerful way to get in touch with it. Our journey is not linear, but we have cycles where our health and well-being are a constantly changing circuitous process. In the goal-oriented world in which we live, we like things to be in a straight line and it takes a stable center to embrace the process of cycles. Let the seasons of life and of running take their natural course.

#18. Grandma's Marathon- Duluth, MN  2019

 The end of the school year proved to be a feat of endurance. I had been using my endurance muscles, mind and body, running marathons. It reminded me that I can and will continue to move forward. I had slowly slipped into a depression that I hadn’t felt since I was a teenager. Endurance is the ability to withstand hardship and adversity. Enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving away. I have grown into my endurance and fostered it as my strength. The school year ended at work and my blood pressure was way too high for a forty three year old marathoner. I had trouble putting the past behind me and letting go of all that I had gone through. My desire to do Grandma’s Marathon a few weeks after the school year ended was in question. My summer had begun with my stress manifesting itself in my body. I could feel the high blood pressure. I desperately wanted to do the race but there was a lot of concern about my health. The risk of a heart attack or stroke were high with my blood pressure so elevated. I had always put mind over matter, but this time I needed to work with my doctor on how to get it down enough to safely run a marathon. I could push through fatigue, but I couldn’t will my blood pressure down. I got on some strong blood pressure medication and started seeing a therapist. I was in “fix it” mode. I needed to be in the Healer mode.

I did as the doctor ordered and got my blood pressure down enough to do the race. I have to admit, for the first time in 17 marathons, I was a bit nervous. I trusted myself to listen to my body and run smart. I was up before sunrise on marathon morning and made it to the shuttle which drove us from Duluth to the starting line in Two Harbors. I put my watch on heartrate mode. I didn’t care one bit about my pace, I was out there to enjoy the scenery and take it all in while keeping my heartrate down. Passing under the giant START sign and over the timing pads on the road is always a momentous occasion and this was no different. You just never know what’s going to happen in those next four to five hours ahead. Right when I started running, my heartrate spiked. I kept a slow, easy jog and hoped that I could find a rhythm that was comfortable and I could relax. I needed to settle my mind as well as my body. 

By the end of the first 5k I was settling in a little bit. I noticed the views and remembered what a gift it as to be running these miles upon miles. No matter how many time I do it, it always seems incredible to me. That I CAN do it and that I love it so much. I was tapping into energy of the Healer archetype. I had been forgetting that I was a natural healer and had been stressed, tired and needy. Grandma’s marathon was going to be about enjoying it truly appreciating what my body is capable of. I can be self-contained, grateful and awake as a healer to myself. The rest of the run I kept my heartrate low. It naturally crept up as the race went on, simply by being on my feet running for so long.  We had a few views from far off of the city and the Duluth lift bridge. We still had over 13 miles to go and the distance gave us a full appreciation for how far we were running. I kept making my way, one foot in front of the other. 

By mile 18 we were within city limits and there were crowds lining the street. I thought to myself how wonderful it is to have this sport that even the slowest runner gets to feel like an Olympian through the enthusiasm of the cheering. The crowd support gives you the strength to keep going. I needed to suppress my urge to do a last minute surge with whatever I had left, to not spike my heartrate. I ran in steady and strong. I had done it, stuck to my plan and felt a great sense of satisfaction. 



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