Thursday, October 1, 2009

It ends where it began

This morning was the last workout before the marathon on Sunday. I did a short, 3 mile-ish loop by my house. This was the first workout I did back in March when the training was just beginning.

This run is such a familiar, comfortable course. I run out of my neighborhood and down the main road. Over the course of the past six months, I have run in all sorts of weather. I have run in the dark and cold of early spring, the dark and rain of actual Spring, the early dawn light of Summer and now the fading light and coolness of Fall. When there is a full moon, I see it as I run out of my neighborhood and over the first little hill. I love that.

I go for about half a mile and then cross the only major intersection of this run. I used to go through it against the light or with the light - when I saw no traffic. After my brush with the law this summer for crossing through a green light, with no walk sign, I always stop now and wait for the "walk" sign.

I follow the road past the new park they are building, that was just an open field back in March. I pass the elementary school where I have watched the sign out front say "spring break", "have a great summer", "back to school night". I turn into a neighborhood where I have watched boats appear in driveways and no go away to be stored for the winter. I pass the liliacs that were in full bloom in May.

I turn to go down a small, paved path between houses. The path is lined with trees. I remember how the trees were bare when training began, then they budded. One day, I turned down the path and was overwhelmed by the pink flowers that filled the branches. The pink turned to brown and now those branches are losing their leaves. They showed me the way one last time before Sunday.

I looped around and headed for home. Its been a hectic, crazy six months since the first training run. I have had my ups and downs, good days and bad. Some of the time, this run has been so simple, other days, it has been a back breaking slog. It has been a journey of self-reflection. I have learned about myself and what I am capable of during this time.

I hurt my back last week and was really wondering if I would even make it to the start line on Sunday. I'm not saying I feel great. I am certainly exhausted - our new addition, Maggie, has been keeping me up all night. I am still having some aching and stiffness in my back/hips/legs. But on Sunday at 7 am, I'll stand at the start line with thousands of others. And I'll be ready for whatever that day and that race gives me. It may be a good day, it may not, but I will be proud to be at the start and let it unfold how it will.

I love these days of reflection. Sometimes I get out there and get so caught up in all that is going on, what we are training for, all the stress of it, all the worry and the work. Every once in a while, its awesome to sit back, look at where I've been and see how far I've come.

I'm ready for Sunday. 26.2. Its just a thing.

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